Although some idiocy still reigns — like this guy who says that sexual preference is akin to religious belief — we’ve clearly passed the tipping point when even the looniest Republican politician is signaling that he’s going to support gay marriage. That would be none other than Texas governor and past-and-future presidential hopeful Rick Perry. Gun-totin’-cowboy Perry spoke at one of the most adamantly anti-gay churches in the country, First Baptist-Dallas, last weekend at the dedication of the church’s $130 million addition:
“We cannot condemn certain lifestyles while turning a blind eye to sins that, in God’s eye, are just as grievous,” Perry said. “We must love all… welcome all… and be a model for Christ.”
“Scripture tells us it is no credit to love people who love us. You know, on that side of the ledger sheet, you don’t get a check mark,” the governor continued. “It is loving the estranged, those who we might not even like, that we truly show the love of God.”
Observers say that Perry is softening his stance to grease the skids for a 2016 presidential run. So be it.
Even Bill O’Reilly, who previously mocked President Obama for saying that his views on gay marriage have “evolved,” has now co-opted the same language:
Even some social conservative rabble-rousers have conceded defeat. Fox News’s Bill O’Reilly, who in the past has compared gay unions to marrying a goat or a dolphin, has flipped, saying his views have “evolved.” “The compelling argument is on the side of homosexuals,” O’Reilly said last week. “The other side hasn’t been able to do anything but thump the Bible.” Rush Limbaugh, too, is reluctantly resigned to the change. “I don’t care what the Supreme Court does, this is now inevitable,” he said.
In a TV interview for the Odyssey Network earlier this week, I was asked how I felt about Christian leaders like Rob Bell and Jim Wallis coming late to the pro-gay party. You’ll have to wait for the video to be released to hear my answer, but I can tell you that I quoted a parable of Jesus. Can you guess which one?
In any case, it’s impossible to dispute the fact: the tipping point has been passed. If you’re a Christian who’s still on the fence, I encourage you to get over the “yuck factor” and read a book that deals with the biblical, legal, and political arguments against the full inclusion of all persons in society and church.