Come out of the closet, Secretly Progressive Pastors!

Come out of the closet, Secretly Progressive Pastors! July 3, 2014

For we Christians who know that being gay is no sin, and that an actual living female is more valuable than a zygote, these are very dark days indeed.

Do you know who I blame for what happened in the Hobby Lobby case—and for the abominations already happening in its aftermath (see Post-Hobby Lobby, Religious Orgs Want Exemption From LGBT Hiring Order and Supreme Court Broadens Hobby Lobby Ruling to All Forms of Birth Control)? Not the right-wing, spotlight-chasing, money-crazed, power-mad Christians who employ the Bible as a weapon against LGBT people, women, and all people who lack the money and power they’re after.

Nah. Such Christians, like cockroaches and bad breath, have always been with us. Those poor souls aren’t really the problem. An enemy you can see coming rarely is.

The real detriments to the progress of true Christianity are all of the Christian pastors and “leaders” out there who, in their heart of hearts, are progressive, but who never ever say anything controversial until they are absolutely certain that doing so is safe for them.

The Secretly Progressive Pastor (SPP) doesn’t want to offend the wealthy people in his congregation. He doesn’t want his church elders to complain about him. What he does want is for a Christian literary agent to bring his book to a Christian book publisher. He wants a Christian magazine to publish his article. He wants a Christian radio or TV show to have him on as a guest. He wants to be invited to speak at other Christian churches, at Christian colleges, at Christian conventions, at Christian meetings, events, festivals.

Like anyone else, he wants to be a player. At the very least he wants to keep what he has. So the SPP does the safe thing: he plays the soft middle ground between saying anything real, and only, if artfully (for that art is his stock in trade) pretending to.

Sure, the SPP will slide to the left—and then claim to have been waiting there all along. But he’ll only move left after the money and power are already there–and never any further left than either has already gone.

What I wish the SPPs would trust is that if they would only come out of the closet, they would have all of the money and power they want. They’d be fine. I myself hear from enough SPP’s to be confident that if half the pastors in this country publicly took the positions they privately hold, Roberts, Alito, Scalia and Thomas wouldn’t have had the nerve to pervert justice in a way they and all judges like them now feel increasingly empowered to.

If you are a Secretly Progressive Pastor, now is the time for you to step forward and become the person you know God is waiting for you to be. Now is the time for you to let your mouth speak the words of your heart.

Now is the time for you to lead.

We need you, friend.

Gay people need you. Women need you. Poor people need you.

Jesus Christ needs you.


That said: Secretly Gay-Affirming Christians: You Are Not Alone.

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