Follow-Up to Scot McKnight’s Post—Part 1

Last week I alerted everyone to two posts Scot McKnight did about a letter he received from a Christian worship leader who asking for advice about a student in their group who is gay and believes God blesses same-sex civil unions. He posted the letter one day, and then the next day he posted a response he asked me to write.

Over the course of a few days there were 142 comments going back and forth about things that didn’t even relate to the letter or to my response—such is the life of the majority of posts/comments about the topic of homosexuality (the reason why I LOVE you all so much because you get it, and don’t get into those traditional and stale debates that prove very unproductive). Anyway, Scot was so taken back by the comments that he went back and posted another blog on what it means to have civility in two contexts: the bottom line in civility and civility in the intent in our convictions.

I thought Scot was 100% dead on with his deconstruction of civility at its core and its application, and it’s worth a read. Then something strange happened, within the next day or so there were 142 comments just on that post—and a majority of them weren’t civil at all! I think what happens is when people see the word homosexuality connected with anything, they think it gives them right to not contemplate anything that was said, but rather gives them free reign to resort back to their baseline arguments; wherever those arguments are coming from. That’s crazy! And that is exactly what task the Lord has given me—to systemically help us learn to not do such a thing.

In my observations of all of the 284 comments between the three posts (some of which were my comments as well), I feel the biggest disconnected gap between Scot and my words vs. the majority of the comments were that people are having a very difficult time separating the difference between validation and affirmation; an important part of understanding how to peacefully and productively build a bridge and one that I’ll talk about in my next post.

Much love.

About Andrew Marin

Andrew Marin is President and Founder of The Marin Foundation ( He is author of the award winning book Love Is an Orientation (2009), its interactive DVD curriculum (2011), and recently an academic ebook titled Our Last Option: How a New Approach to Civility can Save the Public Square (2013). Andrew is a regular contributor to a variety of media outlets and frequently lectures at universities around the world. Since 2010 Andrew has been asked by the United Nations to advise their various agencies on issues of bridging opposing worldviews, civic engagement, and theological aspects of reconciliation. For twelve years he lived in the LGBT Boystown neighborhood of Chicago, and is currently based St. Andrews, Scotland, where he is teaching and researching at the University of St. Andrews earning his PhD in Constructive Theology with a focus on the Theology of Culture. Andrew's research centers on the cultural, political, and religious dynamics of reconciliation. Andrew is married to Brenda, and you can find him elsewhere on Twitter (@Andrew_Marin), Facebook (AndrewMarin01), and Instagram (@andrewmarin1).

  • Jeff S.

    The ability to engage in civil discourse is a skill that a majority of Christians still need to learn. Thanks for some great observations.