My interview with N.T. Wright on marriage equality

I am honored today to present my exclusive interview with noted British theologian N.T. Wright. The former Anglican bishop of Durham is a prolific author whose works are both enormously popular and respected by scholars. I have read, enjoyed and learned from several of his books, and it is a great honor to have this opportunity to speak with him.

FC: Steve Chalke created a stir in the UK last year with his forceful argument in favor of same-sex marriage. That was a big deal not just because Chalke is a prominent leader in the evangelical Christian community in your country, but because his argument was so substantive and so thoroughly biblical. Given that Chalke’s theological argument reflects the influence of your own writing, I’m interested in hearing more about your response to it.

WRIGHT: When anybody — pressure groups, governments, civilizations — suddenly change the meaning of key words, you really should watch out. If you go to a German dictionary and just open at random, you may well see several German words which have a little square bracket saying “N.S.,” meaning National Socialist or Nazi. The Nazis gave those words a certain meaning. In post-1917 Russia, there were whole categories of people who were called “former persons,” because by the Communist diktat they had ceased to be relevant for the state, and once you call them former persons it was extremely easy to ship them off somewhere and have them killed.

“Did this clown just invoke the NAZIS in his argument AGAINST civil rights for gays? WTF? I can’t even …”

FC: Very droll. Yes, I get it — we Christians here in America are known for our reckless rhetoric, violent imagery and post-Christian partisan allegiance. That’s a terrific imitation — especially going right for the Nazi analogies. But seriously, what did you make of Steve Chalke’s argument?

WRIGHT: When anybody — pressure groups, governments, civilizations — suddenly change the meaning of key words, you really should watch out. If you go to a German dictionary and just open at random, you may well see several German words which have a little square bracket saying “N.S.,” meaning National Socialist or Nazi. The Nazis gave those words a certain meaning. In post-1917 Russia, there were whole categories of people who were called “former persons,” because by the Communist diktat they had ceased to be relevant for the state, and once you call them former persons it was extremely easy to ship them off somewhere and have them killed.

FC: Oh. Oh my. You were … serious? Um, that’s kind of …

WRIGHT: National Socialist or Nazi. The Communist diktat.

FC: Ooookay. Well, then. I take it you disagree with Steve Chalke’s argument. What is it, substantively, that you find …?

WRIGHT: Nazi. Communist.

FC: You are aware that the Nazis weren’t exactly pro-gay, right?

WRIGHT: If you go to a German dictionary and just open at random, you may well see several German words which have a little square bracket saying “N.S.,” meaning National Socialist or …

FC: I mean, citing the Nazis in defense of denying civil rights to gay people is ironic. It’s worse than ironi …

WRIGHT: If you go to a German dictionary and just open at random, you may well see several German words which have a little square bracket saying “N.S.,” meaning …

FC: Especially given that you’re siding with people in your own Anglican communion in places like Uganda, where they’re actually following the Nazi playbook, rounding up …

WRIGHT: … National Socialist or Nazi. …

FC: Bonhoeffer was gay!

WRIGHT: … The Nazis gave those words a certain meaning. …

FC: Bonhoeffer’s gay ghost is going to gay-haunt you if you don’t knock off this Nazi crap!

WRIGHT: In post-1917 Russia, there were whole categories of people who were called “former persons” …

FC: Yeah, they have former persons in Uganda, too. And in your church, and …

WRIGHT: … because by the Communist diktat they had ceased to be relevant …

FC: I think we’re done here. Thank you for your time.

Well, that was … disappointing.

Oh what a noble mind and all that.

I apologize for losing my temper there a bit, and for presuming that Wright was going to have something thoughtful to say on this subject. He usually makes more sense than this.

If N.T. Wright ever does articulate a meaningful argument against same-sex marriage — one that doesn’t contradict the vast body of his impressive published theology — I will be sure to let you know here.

Or if he does the right thing and apologizes for his embarrassingly sloppy, dishonest, historically inept Nazi garbage.

 

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