Help! We’re Gay and We’re Being Oppressed!

Help! We’re Gay and We’re Being Oppressed! January 11, 2013

A recent Prudential study showed that gays and lesbians are considerably more wealthy, on average, than their heterosexual counterparts.  As the Prudential press release explains:

The study found that the LGBT community is in relatively good financial health with a median household income of $61,500, above the median U.S. household income of $50,000. Although gay men report earning more than lesbians individually ($49,000 vs. $43,500 median personal income), when it comes to household income, lesbians, who are more likely to live in dualincome households, have higher household income ($63,700 vs. $62,300). While the combined household income of gay male couples is the highest overall at $103,000, these couples constitute a minority (19%) of the LGBT community.

The study is based on a detailed survey of 1400 LGBT’s in every state of the union, aged 25-68, with a distribution that corresponds to the distribution of LGBT’s according to the US Census, and with over seventy multiple-choice and write-in questions. While other surveys have only looked tangentially at income, this one was specifically designed to determine the financial health of LGBT’s, and had neither the marketer’s temptation to overstate the purchasing power of LGBT’s nor the political temptation to understate gay wealth in order to convey the image of systemic gay oppression. In the past, one argument against the “gay wealth myth” has been that it’s disproportionately the wealthy who are “out” and therefore the results are skewed. Yet the Prudential study included both “out” and “not out” gays. While the methodology will presumably be attacked, the Prudential study represents the strongest evidence to date that the “gay wealth myth” is not a myth at all.

You can read the report in full, but it’s fairly summarized by Austin Ruse in First Things, who suggests that the results challenge the equation of the LGBT condition with the conditions of other historically oppressed minorities: “Rather than living in extreme poverty, or poverty of any kind, the study shows that gay individuals and couples are significantly better off than heterosexuals. They are more likely to be employed. They make significantly more money. They have much higher levels of disposable income and have more in savings.”

It should not be surprising that LGBTs have more wealth in general than non-LGBT Americans. For one thing, LGBT’s are strongly over-represented in elite academia. While LGBT’s are generally found to be roughly 4% of the general population, they are over ten percent at many elite universities, ranging all the way up to Yale University, where one-fifth to one-quarter of the student population identifies as LGBT. Gays, lesbians and bisexuals emerge disproportionately from universities where their average incomes will be high. In my own fourteen years at elite universities, a very high proportion of my friends were gays and lesbians — and I continue to have great love and respect for them. This is not an accusation, it’s simply a fact. Universities have bent over backward to include gays and lesbians in the student population, and have especially supported gay applicants who make a point of social activism or political leadership on behalf of their orientation. It was a joke I heard more than once that any applicant who wanted to gain an advantage in the admissions process should claim that he was the President of the Gay-Straight Alliance or had formed an Out and Proud Society. Furthermore, LGBT’s are also disproportionately likely to live in high-income states and high-income cities. So rather than the usual rending of garments when it’s pointed out that LGBTs are relatively flourishing financially, the answer really should be: of course they are.

Neither are these the only advantages gays enjoy. As Ruse goes on to write, “They are lauded in the media and in the popular culture [and] their cause is championed by what Fr. Neuhaus called the ‘prestige media.’ They are honored and promoted not just as Ivy League schools but in just about every college setting in the United States.” Meanwhile, those who oppose them are “vilified” and “driven…from the public square.” Recent court rulings too have underscored the fact that LGBTs have powerful political muscle and therefore do not deserve the “heightened judicial solicitude” granted to powerless minority groups.

Sometimes it seems as though the whole of contemporary political discourse is a fierce competition to claim the most persecuted victim status — that, at least, is a fair description of far too many seminar conversations in which I took part at Stanford as an undergraduate and Harvard as a doctoral student. The first person to be righteously offended generally won the conversation, and identification with a victimized people group was like grabbing the “snitch” in Quidditch: the end of the match and practically an automatic victory. So it’s understandable that LGBTs have often fought back against the notion that they are by and large wealthy and successful. But if greater wealth, greater education, greater access to academic privilege and the professional classes, and almost universal celebration in popular media is the new form of oppression, it’s an odd oppression indeed.

AND YET, and yet

This is where I want to make a very important transition. And I hope it will be edifying to those who are thoroughly furious with me right now.

AND YET, LGBTs do suffer certain forms of social opposition and disadvantage. They may lose their jobs because heterosexual colleagues are uncomfortable around them. They struggle with a whole set of issues around medical care, retirement and partner benefits that heterosexuals do not. And far, far too many gays have suffered verbal abuse, and sometimes even physical abuse, from non-LGBT’s, including non-LGBT Christians.

In other words, the question of whether a particular group suffers unjust forms of social opposition is not a simple question. And for all my gay and lesbian friend and readers who are agreeing with me right now — “Yes, absolutely right, you can be doing fine in some ways and yet suffering attacks at the same time!” — I want to ask: Why should it be any different when it comes to evangelical Christians?

Evangelical Christians are frequently mocked for crying out that they are “persecuted” (although I almost never see that term used) when they are denigrated in popular media or when the culture turns holidays sacred to them into areligious consumeristic feeding frenzies. In fact, a couple hours ago, Rachel Held Evans extended her usual mockery to the notion, this time in relation to Louie Giglio’s invitation and then exclusion from the inauguration ceremony. She points to how “we live in a country in which the majority of its citizens are Christians” and then she torches the straw man: “Not getting your way in every area of civic life,” she writes, “is not persecution.”

Granted, but who claimed that it is? And what does “Christians” have to do with it? The majority of Americans are not evangelical (which is what’s really under discussion here), and evangelicals are treated unjustly in many spheres of civic life. While evangelicals have political power due to their sheer voting numbers, and while the worst (and therefore most-quoted) evangelical commentators can be terribly ungracious in their use of the power of the megaphone, it’s nevertheless true that evangelicals are frequently mocked in popular culture, frequently given a raw deal in academia and elite media, and evangelicals who hold to traditional views of sexual ethics are — as the Louie Giglio affair shows — increasingly shoved to the side of the public square.

An evangelical pastor with a sterling record, who had developed strong relationships with President Obama and particularly his office of faith-based initiatives headed by Joshua DuBois, who had turned his enormously successful Passion conferences against the problem of human trafficking, was just publicly humiliated and shouted out of the public square for professing fairly standard Christian views on human sexuality and the possible redemption of our desires through the transformative power of the gospel of Christ. On the advice of the faith-based office, Giglio was invited to deliver the benediction, the LGBT community raised a hue and cry, and the White House quite obviously (see here and here) pressured him to step aside.

The message is loud and clear. It doesn’t matter what else you have done. It doesn’t matter how long ago it was. If you hold to traditional Christian views of human sexuality, or once did, you are no longer a citizen in good standing who is welcome to participate fully in the public square.

So, a wry congratulations to the LGBT community. You just chased an evangelical pastor widely known and celebrated for his anti-trafficking efforts out of the President’s inaugural for the thought-crime of believing (or once believing) that homosexual sex is sinful, and homosexual desires can be controlled or cultivated in other ways. In so doing, however, you proved not only that you (unlike most oppressed minorities) wield immense political power, but you also proved that the oppressed can also be oppressors, the bullied bullies, and you proved too that evangelicals are right to have concerns that their religious conscience freedoms are in danger.

Was it worth it? It’s hard to claim the place of the oppressed when you wield power like this.

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  • MountainTiger

    “If you hold to traditional Christian views of human sexuality, or once did, you are no longer a citizen in good standing who is welcome to participate fully in the public square.”

    This is ridiculous. How many members of Congress hold or once held similar views? Furthermore, do you doubt at all that the benediction at the next Republican president’s inauguration will be delivered by somebody with essentially the same views? Nobody’s freedom of conscience is threatened, nobody is being excluded from the public square.

    • You’re right, MountainTiger. It is only the Democratic Party that says you aren’t welcome to participate fully. Traditional Christian views are still welcome — in the Republican Party.

      People wonder why evangelicals tend to vote Republican. Perhaps they don’t want the US to be like Europe, where your final sentence is no longer true. LGBTs now control one party and use that control to exclude evangelicals — hardly surprising if evangelicals hesitate to give that party more power. Europe shows where this is going. Every evangelical and Catholic who wants to be free to express their views without fear of consequences down the road should vote a straight ticket for the party where their views are still welcome, I guess. You are very convincing on that point.

      The LGBT community is using influence and power (in politics, academia, media) to try to make people afraid to say anything that doesn’t match their narrative. No one can deny that. OK, so they’ll have some success in those areas. The cause of Christ will never be advanced by political power, anyway. But if someone throws political weight around and simultaneously claims victim status, they shouldn’t be shocked if someone says, “Hey, those are incompatible.”

      • MountainTiger

        It turns out that political issues tend to divide along party lines. Who knew?

        • Yep. It’s just that evangelicals get flack for being too supportive of Republicans. Granted, Republicans may frequently not deserve that support, but they at least aren’t trying to silence us, usually.

          • MountainTiger

            Not being given a free platform isn’t being silenced. That you are so used to getting government promotion that they seem the same is telling.

          • Timothy Dalrymple

            It isn’t that no evangelical was invited to give the benediction. It’s that an evangelical *was* invited to give the benediction and was then rudely hounded out of the public square because of some things he said about homosexuality nearly twenty years ago.

          • No one thinks he was going to use that platform to say anything that would make anyone unhappy. It isn’t about silencing him at the inauguration, but about trying to intimidate people from saying something the LGBT activists will use against them later. If you say something they don’t like, IT WILL BE REMEMBERED and used against you if they get the chance. Even if it is 15 years later. So just watch yourself.

            That’s the message being sent. “Watch what you say, because we’ll use our power against you if we don’t like it.” No way to spin it into anything else.

          • MountainTiger

            So what you don’t like is that a group of activists objected to a presidential choice and dared to say something about it. Personally, I think this is exactly why activist groups exist: to let politicians know what their constituents think. In this case, an Obama constituency didn’t like something Giglio said and let it be known; this is entirely appropriate. It may be shocking to you that other people also want someone they are comfortable with delivering the invocation, but it shouldn’t.

          • MountainTiger

            There you go again, Timothy, conflating the 2013 inaugural with the public square. Giglio remains free to participate in public life; indeed, if he is so inclined I suspect that some conservatives will be more than happy to promote his cause as the pastor Obama snubbed.

          • No, my friend, they have every right to make their objections known. And they have every right to claim victimhood while they do it. They even have the right to expect us not to notice the inconsistency between those two things. But when we do notice the inconsistency, and say, “Hey, look!” they really don’t have any right to object to it.

            They control one of the two political parties, now, and they use that control. And they’ll use it to prevent anyone who ever disagreed with them from having recognition. If possible, they would drive them out of the public arena entirely.

            As long as they aren’t violating the Constitution, they have the right to do that. But they shouldn’t expect anyone to feel sorry for them, and they shouldn’t expect those who have been or are likely to be targeted to support them, or support the party they control. And they also shouldn’t throw around the “divisive” accusation, either, because that kind of rebounds against you when you do this kind of thing.

      • Steven

        Gay people don’t choose to be gay. evangelicals choose to believe in their bs and they choose to be discriminatory. They aren’t nearly the same and this whole article is ridiculous. Yes, it’s true, hate speech is no longer generally tolerated in the US, especially from the left, even under the guise of religious freedom. What a terrible injustice that is.

        • Timothy Dalrymple

          It would be nice if people listened every now and then.

        • LMA

          There is no greater source of hate speech in the U.S. THAN the left. It’s just that they justify it to themselves.

  • leannemcginney

    As I said on your facebook post, the problem is that this pastor has made discriminatory remarks from the pulpit. That is not longer acceptable to the general public, and what could be more public than the Presidential Inauguration Ceremony.

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      It was not “the general public” that responded here, and I don’t believe the comments you mention are discriminatory.

      • This is a perfect example of what the whole re-defining marriage is all about. It has nothing to do with equality and fairness, but everything to do with delitimizing traditional Christian sexual morality, and demonizing anyone who espouses it. Period. Using the word discrimination means homosexuality is the same as race, can’t be chosen anymore than skin color can (which is unprovable but besides the point), so if you oppose homosexuality in any way, if you call such activity a sin, you are a bigot. Good compassionate people who think the marriage debate is about equality and fairness are deluded. The only thing that will satisfy them is if we declare homosexuality a moral good and renounce several thousand years of Jewish and Christian history and belief.

  • Brantley Gasaway

    Tim, you wrote this well and have a good argument. I spend a good bit of my time explaining to many of my colleagues how many conservative Christians *feel* oppressed or at least embattled, especially in the elite academic circles you describe. Giglio’s treatment will only confirm this for them. But, at the same time, I wouldn’t call this persecution, a type of response from leading evangelicals that I’ve seen–e.g Al Mohler called this the “new moral McCarthyism,” and you end with saying that LBGT activists have acted here as oppressors and bullies.

    How does your response in this piece square with your earlier musing about Christians who prudentially hold on to traditional standards of sexuality in our private communities while recognizing the changes in the broader public sphere?

    • Jon

      Wait, how is it not persecution? Mere ridicule for your position isn’t persecution, agreed. But persecution is “a program or campaign to exterminate, drive away, or subjugate a people because of their religion….”

      This is not, granted, extreme persecution; it isn’t extermination or slavery. But it is more than free-speech ridicule by others. It’s an effort to “drive away” evangelicals from the public space for teaching within their religious community about sexual ideals.

      This is disturbing because it seems to be presented as a *justified* kind of persecution based on the public morality of the party. The party cannot acknowledge any theory of immoral sexual conduct, on the theory someone might use it to support a “fix” in therapy. So if you have a moral idea that might discourage consensual sex, you’re not fit to solemnize a public event.

      • Brantley

        In brief, calling this “persecution” cheapens the meaning of this term (which you acknowledge by distinguishing it from “extreme persecution”). This is, in legal terms, viewpoint discrimination. But the presidential inauguration is not an open forum in which free speech or even freedom of religion is guaranteed.

        So, in sum, “disturbing” and persecution are not the same. Let’s reserve the latter for cases in which Christians cannot practice or proclaim their faith without threat of harm.

  • DZ

    Evangelicals getting mocked in popular culture (insert does-not-equal sign here) denial of basic rights guaranteed to other Americans.

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      If we agreed that there were a “basic right” at play in the gay marriage debate, then we really wouldn’t have a debate at all.

      • Nathaniel

        To sum up this article:

        “Help help, I’m being oppressed! People are saying mean things about me!”

        • Timothy Dalrymple

          Turns out reading comprehension skills are not what they used to be.

          • Nathaniel

            They are. As is special pleading, as you amply prove in the article above.

          • Nathaniel

            On another note, thanks for being confidant enough in your position to actually allow debate. Far too many Christians on this site seem to have such fragile faith in their arguments that they disappear any dissenting voices.

          • Timothy Dalrymple

            You’re welcome. And we allow bloggers to moderate comments in the way they want. Some will delete if they feel it goes off topic, or adds more heat than light. I’m a bit quicker to delete things from my Facebook page than I am from here. I just don’t like going to my Facebook page and finding a bunch of criticism. But the blog is about conversation, so, have at it!

      • William

        Herein lies the problem in any debate between proponents of Gay marriage and Evangelicals. Debate requires a granting of a common premise. The two sides are arguing entirely different arguments, which is why neither side makes any sense to the other side. Proponents are arguing that because marriage is a basic legal right, it must be extended to homosexuals. (The assumed premise is that marriage is a basic legal right.) Evangelicals are arguing that marriage is derived from divine or natural laws, so it can’t possibly include homosexuals. (The assumed premise being the divine or natural origin of marriage.) We really can’t have an intelligent discussion until we can agree which one is being discussed.

        • Timothy Dalrymple

          I might frame the premises a little differently, but I agree wholeheartedly on the basic dynamic of the problem.

        • Matt Thornton

          William – Very well framed.

          Which leads to the natural question – for all sides of the conversation – is there a position different from your personal belief that you would find acceptable as a matter of public policy? My guess is that finding common ground will require thinking along those lines.

        • Crœsos

          Marriage was held to be “one of the ‘basic civil rights of man'” in Loving v. Virginia. That’s not a precedent I’d like to see overturned.

  • Christi

    “I distrust those people who know so well what God wants them to do because I notice it always coincides with their own desires.” ― Susan B. Anthony

  • kenneth

    Nobody is campaigning to have Giglio’s marriage invalidated or to have him remanded for mental therapy to “fix” who he is. If not being able to deliver speeches at the White House constitutes oppression, then 300 million of us are in the same boat.

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      No one, certainly not Giglio, spoke of people being “remanded” to mental therapy. Let’s not exaggerate what he said. He was talking about a voluntary attempt from individuals who seek pastoral counseling help in reshaping and recultivating their desires. I know it’s practically heresy in some quarters to countenance the possibility, but I know quite a few folks who have had successful results — not necessarily quieting their same-sex desires forever, but gaining some control over them, or even seeing the emergence of opposite-sex desires as they work through issues arising out of their pasts. Some of them are happily married. I think we speak in too-static terms if we do not allow for some fluidity of desire and the ability to shape those desires over time.

      • BobN

        You know. Giglio knows. Anybody involved with the issue knows that a lot of unwilling teenagers are forced to undergo “reparative therapy”. Some commit suicide. It is a damaging, bogus “treatment”.

      • kenneth

        The simple fact of the matter is that speakers at presidential functions reflect the beliefs and priorities of that administration. What Giglio stands for is deeply at odds with Obama and what his administration stands for. Gays, in no small part, got him elected, twice. Evangelicals, for the most part, fought him and characterized him, in as many words, as Satan’s right hand man.

        Now, Obama has to be everyone’s president, but I don’t see where he’s obligated to yield his national platform to a guy selling a vision the American people rejected in November. A message that is deeply offensive to Obama’s core constituency and a message coming from a movement whose actions damage the quality of life of gay people in this country, regardless of whether it is meant out of hate or misguided love.

        If presidential inaugurations should instead be wide open free speech marketplaces, tell me this: Would you and other evangelicals be cool with a speech from, say, Dawkins, who says that Christian belief is disordered thinking and that one can change that orientation with help?

        • Timothy Dalrymple

          I would have no objection to Dawkins. But again, the point isn’t that Giglio wasn’t invited. It’s that he was invited and then publicly shamed and chased away from the opportunity to pray in front of the country because of views he stated on homosexuality nearly twenty years ago.

          • kenneth

            The view of the mainstream have changed a lot in 20 years. Giglio’s, apparently, have not. If they have, then he should have been given the opportunity to say in in a statement and then base the decision on his appearance on that. Really the whole thing could have been avoided if White House people had vetted him more carefully and ironed it out before it became public. Giglio might also have had a bit more self-awareness of the political dynamics these days. He has a right to believe whatever he wishes. He doesn’t have a right to speak for a sitting president nor any right to have his views help popular.

          • Matt Thornton

            Isn’t one of the issues here that there wasn’t a ‘they’ who “chased” Giglio away?

            He speaks into the public square for a living, and has done so for some time. He has said lots of things. People have disagreed with some of the things he said long ago. These disagreements got aired in a number of places recently with greater and lesser histrionics. Giglio is now not speaking at the event. Fine. Probably sucks to be him.

            Now, to relate that episode to the treatment of evangelicals in ‘elite academia?’ Academic institutions certainly have a direct power to shape their student and faculty bodies. Some people are included, some are excluded. That MIT admits lots of brilliant engineering students does not mean that they are discriminating against slower students. It means that those students don’t fit the profile for which MIT is selecting.

            Similarly, evangelicals find themselves shut out of some conversations/opportunities because of their beliefs, outlooks and abilities. True. Great basketball players often find themselves shut out of elite gymnastic competitions – they never even get the opportunity to compete. I’m just not understanding what harm you’re claiming for evangelicals.

          • Hi, Matt. Let’s use your logic. First, quoting you.

            “Similarly, evangelicals find themselves shut out of some conversations/opportunities because of their beliefs, outlooks and abilities. True. Great basketball players often find themselves shut out of elite gymnastic competitions – they never even get the opportunity to compete. I’m just not understanding what harm you’re claiming for evangelicals.”

            Similarly, homosexuals find themselves shut out of marriage because of their desires. True. Great basketball players often find themselves shut out of elite gymnastic competitions – they never even get the opportunity to compete. I’m just not understanding what harm you’re claiming for homosexuals.

            If you want to use that kind of logic, you might find it doesn’t work so well for you in every case. Maybe that’s not the argument you want to make after all.

          • Matt Thornton

            Jon – Pleased to meet you!

            Actually, I’m happy to see the argument run that way. Homosexuals have been shut out of marriage because of their ‘desires’ (I’m using the quotes there because I find ‘desires’ in that context a little squishy). True thing. That’s changing in a number of places, and as a result homosexuals are less shut out of marriage today. That trend may or may not continue. That’s the way change happens in complex societies.

            I’m arguing that not every buyer wants what every seller has on offer. If there’s not a market for your ideas, then it’s hardly the fault of your market, and it’s hard to make the case for discrimination. If we’re talking about an equal protection argument, that’s a bit different, but I don’t think that’s what’s being discussed.

            So, to say that it’s discrimination because people don’t believe (or reject) your truth claims is a bit much. Like the basketball star with dreams of the uneven bars, there may be issues of physics and momentum to contend with, but again, I think what’s at issue here might be a shrinking market for strident/definitive answers on human sexuality.

          • Matt, thanks for the thoughtful reply. I was trying to find the right word there, and ‘desires’ wasn’t the one I, well, desired, but the best I could come up with on short notice.

            I would say that they are still “shut out” of marriage, that a marriage is not a governmental thing, but a God-made thing. If marriage belongs to government, and is merely a societal norm, then government can do whatever it wants, I suppose, though we might differ on whether particular government actions are a good idea.

            But marriage is something inherent in humanity, made by God, that has bridged all cultures and societies across history, where government exists and where it doesn’t. So SSM is a fiction, beyond the remit of government, and they perpetrate a fraud in claiming they can make such a thing. The people likely to be most hurt are homosexuals, who will find if they weren’t happy before that this won’t make them happy, either. Since this has been made out to be THE answer for homosexuals, when they find it doesn’t help, the despair that is so prevalent among many (for whatever reasons it is there) is going to be devastating and dangerous.

            I actually agree with your last paragraph pretty much. I’d take out the word “strident”, because anyone who is definitive is viewed as strident no matter how peaceably they express themselves. I don’t think the Inaugural thing really constitutes discrimination / persecution. But Timothy’s point is sound, and your last paragraph supports it, that the “we’re the weak and oppressed” line isn’t going to work very well for the LGBT community anymore.

          • Matt Thornton

            Jon –

            Perhaps it’s a definitional thing – You say that homosexuals are still shut out of marriage, but homosexuals do have the legal rights of marriage in a number of places. Questions about what’s God-given or “inherent in humanity” are beyond my pay grade, so dunno about that. Ditto for what impact the changing marriage laws might have on individual homosexual people or relationships. I just don’t know, but I’m guessing whatever the effects might be, they won’t be simple or uniform across populations.

            Also, I’m perfectly happy to call it something other than marriage, but not sure what difference that would make. Language is even less amenable to legislation than morality!

            On the ‘strident’ point – that may have been a bit of an over-reach on my part, so apologies if I offended. I debated with myself about whether to use that word, but decided to go ahead. I think you raise a good point about ‘strident’ being a poor synonym for passionate or deep. I think people are generally attracted to honest, loving passion and generally put off by pious anger and holier-than-thou condescension. I was trying to say that in much of the debate, the tone tends to the latter, and I think that harms the possibility for productive conversation.

            And believe me, I’m not ‘taking sides’ in saying that. I have my opinions, and I would love for more people to think the way I do, but they don’t, and so be it. Still, the level of animosity and dismissiveness from so many is just wholly unproductive.

            I’m trying to be very careful here to NOT say that I believe opposition to same-sex-marriage (or whatever we want to call it) is inherently a problem. Those are real, powerful and deep convictions for lots and lots of people. In fact, there’s no shortage of real, powerful convictions at play here from any quarter.

            More importantly, though, this is something that’s going to get worked out (in the US at least) in the public square, and in the voting booth. As such, we need to find room in the debate for people of good will to disagree. The present tone in many quarters – either the direct “you’re wrong and an idiot for thinking that way” or the passive-aggressive “I think you’re doing is evil but I’m going to find it in my heart to love you anyway” – makes for a low-percentage game for everyone involved. If you want to shape opinion, you have to engage in a way that’s meaningful to the people you’re trying to convince.

            Finally, appeals to an authority only work if everyone agrees on the authority in question. On the question of what constitutes marriage, it’s simply a fact that not everyone does.


            That said, I chose the word strident to get at the intent in much of the speech I see on this topic. Comments

          • Matt, I’m not offended by “strident” — I know why you used it. I just see a shrinking market, to use your term, for any moral absolutes, strident or otherwise.

            Beyond that, I just want to give you two thoughts, in response to this:
            “The present tone in many quarters – either the direct “you’re wrong and an idiot for thinking that way” or the passive-aggressive “I think you’re doing is evil but I’m going to find it in my heart to love you anyway” – makes for a low-percentage game for everyone involved.”

            1) If my kids lie to me that would be evil, but I would love them anyway. Perhaps it isn’t fair to characterise the statement you cited as passive-aggressive, or at least not always. Sometimes, at least, it’s recognising that a person is far more than one aspect of their behaviour, and we can/must see past negative behaviour and still find value in the person. But perhaps Christians would do better to say, “I’m persuaded that what you are doing is evil, but that doesn’t change the fact that there is much I value in you.”

            2) The Biblical / Christian understanding of love is that it is much more about what we >do< than what we feel. The story of the Good Samaritan is of someone who loved his neighbour, though he'd never met him before and presumably had no great emotional affinity to him. He cared for him in need, potentially risking his own safety, at his own personal expense, and Jesus called it "love." If we read that great love chapter, I Corinthians 13, it defines love pretty much exclusively as what we do. Look it up and read it, if you want to understand Christians on this. Feelings really aren't in view there at all. Love is seeking the best for the other person, treating them well, putting their needs (not necessarily what they want, but what they need) first, etc.

            If a Christian is thinking Biblically, when he says, "I love you even though I am persuaded what you are doing is wrong," he's not saying he's trying to summon up a warm fuzzy feeling. He's saying he's willing to put his resources, maybe even his very life, on the line for you if it were needed. So I hope next time you hear that statement, you view it a little differently. If you were starving, I'd feed you, even if it meant I'd have to feed my family on potatoes and oatmeal for a month. In general, when we do love, we start to feel love, too, but it's not that feeling that we're talking about when the Bible talks about loving our neighbours.

            Matt, I've spent more time on this thread than I really have time for, so I'm dropping out now. If you want to continue the conversation in private, I'd be glad to do so, just click my name and hit my contact page. I'll read your response here if any, but beyond that, I need to drop out. Thank you for the discussion.

          • Matt Thornton

            Jon –

            Excellent points on love as “do” rather than “feel”. Makes perfect sense to me, and your restatement of “love the sinner, hate the sin” is great as well.

            Thanks for the many great points. Peace to you and yours.


    • Josh Lyman

      Nobody is arguing that he should be arrested for being a Christian. Nobody is suggesting that it should be OK for someone to fire him simply because he is a Christian. Nobody is suggesting that he not be able to adopt children just because he is a Christian. Nobody is suggesting that he be denied the right to visit his loved ones in hospital because he is a Christian.

      But yes.. it is the poor hard done by Evangelicals who are not citizens in good standing.

      • Josh, I have a friend here in Britain who was arrested for saying, when asked by a police officer, that the Bible says homosexual behaviour is a sin.

        People in Britain have been denied the right to adopt because of their commitment to their Christian faith, or because they believe homosexual behaviour is a sin.

        The British government said in the European courts that government should be able to fire Christians for their faith, because Christians can just go get a job somewhere else.

        The LGBT community here argues the things you say “nobody is arguing.” Hard to believe they won’t argue it in America, if they get enough power, when we see things like this.

        • Josh Lyman

          No. You don’t.

          • Mr. X

            As a British person myself, I can confirm that all the examples Jon used have actually happened.

          • Josh Lyman

            No. You can’t. You can CLAIM they have happened. But you can’t actually confirm it. Confirmation requires evidence. Not just a claim.

          • Dorfl

            Mr X, can you explain how being British makes it possible for you to confirm what happened to Jon Gleason’s friend?

          • Josh: “No. You don’t.”

            You know, Josh, it’s not very intelligent to deny something without asking for evidence. You might end up looking stupid.


            There’s a video. Dale is a friend of mine. You can check his comments on my blog, or mine on his.

            Mr X knows that these things happened because it is well-known among British evangelicals. He could not perhaps know that Dale and I are friends, but he certainly knew of Dale’s arrest. Or perhaps he was thinking of Shawn Holes, who was arrested in Glasgow.

          • kenneth

            There are a few salient points of these UK cases that are being conveniently left aside. McAlpine’s charges were dropped, and the matter was considered a misunderstanding of the law and circumstances by police. The law clearly does not criminalize opinion or statement of belief. The problem is educating law enforcement about the true intent and limits of the law.

            The Shawn Holes case smacks of public relations maneuvering. He quite probably would have prevailed in the same way McAlpine did, but he chose to pay the thousand pound fine the day after his arrest. This feels like a guy backed by a movement who was trolling for a way to gain some press and martyr credentials. He’s an American who claimed to have no money to fight the case (which would have actually helped fellow Christians with a serious interest in free speech). The UK’s top gay advocates are on record saying they would have helped him fight his case. They don’t think people should be arrested for opion.

            So he’s broke, yet he has the money to traipse around Scotland preaching to the masses? He couldn’t hang out to contest or even research the options in his case because he had a sick father back home….did his condition become markedly more urgent the day of his arrest?
            The most charitable read of his situation is that he charged into a foreign culture and legal climate without understanding the lay of the land. My guess is his arrest is the best thing that happens to him and the best $1,600 investment he ever made (apparently little of it out of his own pocket). He’s got a gold-plated martyr card and anti-SSM activists everywhere can claim that religious belief is criminalized.

          • It takes weeks for anything to go to trial, and he would have had to stay in the UK, which is hardly inexpensive. I wish Holes had fought it, but It’s one thing to go visit another country for a week, quite another to stay there for two months while the police investigate to see if they can dig up anything else to use against you at trial.

            Your “most charitable read” isn’t charitable at all. He and his friends had asked the police earlier in the day if they were allowed to answer questions about what the Bible says about homosexuality.

            But here’s the interesting thing to me in this discussion. You know all about these cases. You’ve got all the details. So you know Dale was arrested at the instigation of a gay officer, not just on a misunderstanding. You know Holes was responding to questions from gay couples, and that gay couples were trying to get him in trouble with the police.

            But especially, kenneth, you reveal that you know these things happened. These are not “cases where some minister was under active prosecution turned out to be nothing.” They are not “the cops took a citizen complaint and saw no reason to do much else.” They are not “cases where the Christian in question was not punished for belief or statement of belief, but for refusing to follow laws on public accommodation.”

            So if you know so much about these cases, why did you say those things in your 1/12/2013 post (just below this one)? Why did you say names, dates, news accounts are “always just out of reach”?

            Christians have been arrested in the UK. You acknowledge it. They were arrested for expressing traditional Christian beliefs. You acknowledge it. You say they shouldn’t have been. We agree. But homosexuals did try to use the law to suppress religious belief, even if some activists like Peter Tatchell object to the attempts. You’ll note that I’ve given him credit where credit is due for that. Perhaps you could give credit where credit is due and acknowledge that I was right, that there have been heavyhanded actions by LGBT activists against Christians.

            And perhaps you’ll understand, when you read these reports, why Christians are nervous about seeing LGBT activists gaining and using political power. Or perhaps, instead, you’ll go on denying that anything happened (when you can get away with it), and then when someone cites the facts, you’ll say it was all just a misunderstanding. Your choice.

        • kenneth

          Funny thing about these supposed Gestapo police raids on Christians for speech crimes in the UK: Somebody always cites them in a thread like this, and no one can ever seem to document them. We’re always assured that “I know a guy who swears its true.” The details – names, dates, news accounts etc., are always just out of reach, just as they are in UFO stories. Maybe the PC police in Britain use “Men in Black” Neuralyzers to wipe the memories of everyone involved in the arrests and detentions…

          Seriously, the one or two incidents mentioned by blog owners themselves here on Patheos turned out to be nothing like they were portrayed once I dug into the files. A cases where some minister was under active prosecution turned out to be nothing. The cops took a citizen complaint and saw no reason to do much else. Others were cases where the Christian in question was not punished for belief or statement of belief, but for refusing to follow laws on public accommodation.

          Because anti-SSM folks have nothing much else to trade on these days, they’re resorting to a persecution narrative which says Europe is sliding toward Nero’s Rome vis-a-vis Christians and that America is next, if we give the gays an inch. If you want to sell fear, that’s your business, but it’s time to step up and actually prove there’s something in the product…

          • Funny thing, Kenneth. See my comment just above, which includes a link, which includes a video.

            Here’s another link, on Christians told they can always get another job:

            Again, there’s a video at the link of the government statement. Nobody is making this stuff up. These people lost their jobs, and the UK government is saying that’s fine, because they can resign and get work elsewhere. This stuff has been in all the news outlets. Google Lillian Ladele. She lost her job. It’s in every British news outlet.

            Google Peter & Rosemary Bull. They are in every British news outlet. They are likely to be driven out of business because gays have been calling up and requesting double rooms, so they can sue them. It’s not unmarried heterosexuals who are trying to do this to them, though their policy affected heterosexuals and homosexuals equally. It’s LGBT people that are trying to destroy them.

            So now, I’ve documented the things you say are never documented.

            Fortunately, there was a video to back Dale up, though the police didn’t know about it when he was arrested. You can see the video in the link I gave above, or just google Dale McAlpine arrest video. He was held in jail for seven hours. Not a great experience.

            Christians in the UK aren’t likely to play ostrich just because you say these things never happened. No reason Christians in the US should, either.

          • Josh Lyman

            Here is the quote from the video transcript.

            Police: It is against the law. Listen, mate, we’re pretty sure. You’re under arrest for a racially aggravated Section 5 Public Order offence.

            Whats that? Racially aggravated? You mean it was nothing to do with homosexuality? You mean they lied? How shocking!

          • Josh, you read the transcript, it was about homosexuality. You are being disingenuous. Perhaps you are embarrassed you denied it, not knowing the facts, when it was obviously true, and find it hard to just admit you were mistaken.

            “It is against the law.” You quoted that. What is “it”? You know as well as I. Dale said it isn’t against the law to say homosexuality is sin. The officer said, “It is against the law.”

            This is sad, Josh. Anyone who clicks through to that link knows what happened, and you’re just digging yourself in deeper and looking worse.

            The LGBT liaison officer, who is gay, instigated the whole thing. It is ALL about Dale saying homosexuality was sin. The whole conversation was about that. They tacked on “racially aggravated” because they were manufacturing charges. Fortunately, there was a video they didn’t know about, or Dale would have been convicted.

            Dale was arrested for saying homosexuality was sin. Not even Peter Tatchell would spin this the way you are. You’re making yourself foolish.

            Tatchell: “Mr Mcalpine’s views were homophobic, but the fact that he was treated as a criminal for expressing them, shocked me. The officer who arrested him, although doubtless well-intentioned, interpreted the law in a harsh, authoritarian manner. Mr Mcalpine was neither aggressive, threatening nor intimidating. He did not incite violence against LGBT people.”

            The top LGBT activist in the UK says Dale was treated as a criminal for expressing his views, and acknowledges Dale was not aggressive, intimidating, or threatening.

            And Dale isn’t the only one, as Tatchell also admits.

            You guys over on that side of the Atlantic really ought to get a clue before running around denying what is going on over here.

          • Josh Lyman

            Except that the claim it was about homosexuality is NOT supported by the video. The whole thing is recorded AFTER whatever “it” is. And since the only mention in that video about the offence was that it was racially aggravated, you are yet to provide evidence to the contrary. Which is not at all surprising. Bigots often have trouble telling the truth.

          • This is ludicrous. “The whole thing is recorded AFTER whatever “it” is.” No, it isn’t. Here’s an earlier part of the transcript:

            Dale: Well, homophobia is hatred towards homosexuals. That’s the definition of homophobia but I’m not a homophobia [sic]. I spoke to your officer earlier and he was upset that I was saying homosexuality was a sin – which is what the Bible says. And I affirm that’s what I say because that’s in the Bible. And there’s no law, there’s no law…
            Police: Well there is.
            Dale: No there isn’t.
            Police: There is. Unfortunately, mate, it’s a breach of Section 5 of the Public Order Act.

            That’s what Dale was charged with, Section 5 Public Order offence for saying homosexuality is a sin. “It” was what he said about homosexuality. Peter Tatchell admits it. Kenneth above finally admitted it, saying it was a police error. You alone try to deny it in the face of the conclusive evidence. And you accuse me of having trouble telling the truth.

            You can close our interaction with the last word if you want. My last word is no one has to believe either of us — they should check the video and transcript themselves. Here’s the link again.

      • JohnE_o

        So what does the (alleged) experiences of a British subject have to do with those of US citizens?

        Why not throw in the experience of folks who live in North Korea – it is just as (ir)relevant.

        • “The LGBT community here argues the things you say “nobody is arguing.” Hard to believe they won’t argue it in America, if they get enough power, when we see things like this.”

          That’s how I closed that comment. I think it is pretty self explanatory as to the relevance.

  • When was this published? Why are there no comments on it yet? Why has it not got viral yet?

    This article deserves, IMO, wide readership.

    Timothy, this article is superb! Well written and quite even handed.

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      Thank you, Derek.

  • When Gabe Lyons calls the situation a “hate crime” against Giglio, I think it’s worth revisiting the persecution myth. And I think I did so in a thoughtful, even-keeled way – without mocking. You often accuse me of this – “scorn,” “mockery”, etc. but this post, and its title, have a mocking tone do they not?

    • Josh Lyman

      Of course it is a hate crime. Every single person who isn’t performing at the inauguration of the President of the USA is the victim of a hate crime! Its the biggest crime spree in history!

  • Martin Geiger

    The Prudential survey is certainly interesting data, but I would hesitate to say it’s the be-all and end-all of data on LGBT economic health. In particular, the fact that it was conducted entirely online makes it seem very likely to exclude the poorest LGBT people, and the research company providing the participants provides market research to many corporations, which seems like an obvious incentive to look for evidence of LGBT wealth. See Community Marketing Inc.’s page on the panel from which Prudential drew participants

    The Williams Institute, which does excellent work on LGBT demographics, produced this report on LGBT poverty in 2009, which argues that it’s at least as common among those who aren’t straight as it is for heterosexual people. I’m not citing this as definitive either, but the picture seems more complex than the Prudential survey. After all, LGBT people are overrepresented among homeless youth as well as Ivy League college students.

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      I agree that it’s not the final word. Few studies are. And I indicated that I was sure there would be criticisms – I had the online element in mind.

  • BobN

    How many Evangelical Christians were murdered in 2012 for being Evangelical Christians? In 2011? Since 2000? Since 1950? None. 32 American citizens were killed last year for being gay or being transsexual or for just being perceived as such. Wake me up when those evil gays are bashing your brothers on the street.

  • Dorfl

    ‘Yet the Prudential study included both “out” and “not out” gays.’

    How, exactly?

    If somebody won’t admit that they’re gay, they won’t. I don’t see how any attempt at including “not out gays” can even in principle be much more methodologically valid than replacing the question ‘Are you gay?’ with ‘Are you gay? (ps: No Lying!!!)’.

    • Josh Lyman

      You can answer an anonymous survey about your sexuality and still keep your sexuality private to people who know you.

      • Dorfl

        You certainly can. That does not mean that it is what most respondents in fact do. If the study simply ignores gays who aren’t willing to admit that they are gay, even anonymously, I don’t see how it can get very useful results.

        • Why would you not be honest in an anonymous survey? Who do you have to be afraid of, since it’s anonymous? That is tantamount to lying to yourself which, if you do that, if a gay person won’t tell himself he’s gay, maybe he’s not. Thus, anonymous surveys are usually pretty accurate.

          • Dorfl

            Because they worry that someone will see them signing the survey? Because they don’t completely trust the survey’s anonymity? Because their instant response is to go “Ahaha! Me gay? Of course not!” when their sexuality is questioned? You can probably make any number of reasons up yourself, if you try.

            My point is that the assumption “Anonymity = Totally truthful results” seems very much like the kind of assumption a social scientist might make because the alternative is very difficult to handle methodologically – and that a few decades later turns out to be invalid, meaning that those decades’ research really will need to be done over again.

  • BabyRaptor

    Here’s an idea: Learn your place. Learn the law, and what the Constitution says. Learn how the country works.

    Then start respecting that. ‘Cause I promise you, once you guys shut up with the constant trying to enshrine your religion as law, and just leave the rest of us to live our lives as we see fit, as is our right, you’ll stop getting so much “persecution.” In fact, people will probably forget you exist. We’d like to now, but you won’t stop trying to undermine our freedoms.

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      What’s funny is how this whole kerfuffle around Giglio demonstrates the falsity of the frequent claim, “I don’t care what you think about homosexuality, just don’t try to take away my freedoms.” Clearly, people cared very much what Giglio thinks about homosexuality.

      • Dorfl

        I think it would be more accurate to say that we care a lot *more* about your attempts to take away our friends’ and relatives’ freedoms than we care about what you think about homosexuality.

        Can I make an analogy, to show what things look like from our point of view?

        Imagine a world were there exists a strong movement opposed to lefthanders. That decries the lefthanders insistence on rebelling against God’s order and natural law* by their constant use of the sinister hand. Presumably your main reason for opposing them would be in the harm they cause, by their attempts at using physical therapy and prayer to teach their children to use the correct hand, and by their attempts at banning open lefthanders from becoming teachers lest they indoctrinate the children into lefthandedness, and by other attempts at influencing laws and public policy against lefthanders. But even absent that, you would probably oppose their silly beliefs as a matter of principle, and probably prefer not to see ‘anti-leftie’ preachers being officially supported by your elected politicians. At least I would.

        * Some biologists claim that most polar bears are naturally leftpawed, but that is clearly misinformation by the liberal academia.

  • Timothy, you’ve fought a really good fight. I’ve left a note on Rachel Held’s site saying persecution isn’t a myth. It’s easy for folks in Tennessee (where we both live) to laugh at the idea of persecution in such a red state area, but it’s a different story when you move to blue state land and try to get a job in media or academia as an evangelical Christian. Which I – and many others – have done or tried to do and she has not. What’s new in this war are the targeted lawsuits; gays suing folks in Britain for not housing them in hotels; or suing a photography business in Albuquerque that refused on Christian principles to do a gay wedding. As Mr. Giglio knows all too well, it’s payback time now, isn’t it?

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      Thanks, Julia, it’s nice to hear from you. You make a very good point.

  • Jimmy Cook

    Would you say the same if Pastor Giglio had made statements against inter-racial marriage or female equality? If he had spoken in favor of the Biblical moralities of slavery or genocidal wars of conquest, would the outcry mean he was persecuted? (I think the belief that homosexuality is immoral belongs in the first group, not the second, but you get the idea.)

    I think your formulation means our current society is bullying and oppressing anyone holding a once popular moral belief that is now considered very immoral.

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      No, I would not say the same if Giglio had condemned blacks, but the very fact I have to explain the difference shows how far this conversation has gone off course.

      • Jimmy Cook

        But I said inter-racial marriage, what some view as a sinful act, not condemning blacks. Of course most who oppose inter-racial marriage do so for racist reasons, but some then and now argue they merely want to keep the equal races separate as God intended. I also listed other behaviors people have spoken of approvingly to general acclaim but now would quickly get the hook in many public settings.

        I still do not see how your argument can avoid meaning our society oppresses and bullies people all the time for espousing various moral standards. You are understandably upset that one of your beliefs is being added to the unofficial thou-shalt-not list, but the existence of the list is nothing new.

  • John Haas

    The new American Dream: To be more-victimized-than-thou . . . Good times . . .

  • BlazerJason

    I think you may have overlooked one of the most horrific things Christians do to gays. The rampant ejection of gay teenagers from homes by Christian parents is beyond reprehensible. Teens are forced, through no fault of their own, to a life of horror on the streets (often through the influence of their parents church leaders). Preaching hate has vile consequences, and if it takes merciless ridicule to change things, then so be it. I’m pretty sure being insulted by late night comedians is trumped by being forced into prostitution at age 16 to survive because your parents threw you out of the house for being too girly (or manly).

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      I have condemned that before, actually — although I’ve never seen a study of what percentage of LGBT teens were kicked out that I really trusted (i.e., a nonpartisan study that relies on something more than self-reporting). I’ve also never seen a study that differentiates between Christian households and non-Christian households; the figures I’ve seen are just of how many LGBT teens are kicked out, or how many homeless teens are LGBT teens who were either kicked out or ran away. If you have a link to a study that focuses specifically on Christian households, please share. Of course, it goes without saying that many American households are Christian households, that any percentage is too high, and that most homeless teens are homeless due to family conflict and that’s a problem more generally.

      It’s easy to pick the lightest abuse on one side and the worst on the other and make it sound imbalanced, so I don’t put much stock in your last sentence.

      If we agreed that saying “sex with a person of the same sex is sinful, but we should love all people and guide them toward Christ” is “preaching hate,” then this conversation would have a whole different tenor.

      • BlazerJason

        Fair enough, my last sentence I respectfully withdraw. I appreciate your acknowledgement of the sufferings of LGBT youth (and adults). I know using the word “hate” for preaching against sin seems extreme. However, what you see is sin is actually a loving relationship which is the most solid unit of any family. I view my gay neighbor’s marriage as valid as my own and if somebody told me that my relationship with my wife was evil and filthy, why should I not consider that bold hatred. If you hate all sin, then you hate gay relationships. The Bible can’t hate (or love) for you. You are ultimately responsible for your own beliefs and actions independent of what the Bible says. Also, the evidence for a higher proportion of Christians ejecting gay youth to the streets does appear to be mostly anecdotal or from biased sources, so pardon my sloppiness.

      • Matt Thornton

        Timothy – Well summarized!

        I agree that research on the topic of family experiences of LGBT youth would be fascinating. I’m sure one can find lots of anecdotes all over the map, but it would be great to see research that looks at this topic in a structured way.

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      I have condemned that before, actually — although I’ve never seen a study of what percentage of LGBT teens were kicked out that I really trusted (i.e., a nonpartisan study that relies on something more than self-reporting). I see the 26% figure often employed, but when I try to hunt down that statistic it evanesces. (I can write about that sometime, if you like.) I’ve also never seen a study that differentiates between Christian households and non-Christian households; the figures I’ve seen are just of how many LGBT teens are kicked out, or how many homeless teens are LGBT teens who were either kicked out or ran away. If you have a link to a study that focuses specifically on Christian households, please share. Of course, it goes without saying that many American households are Christian households, that any percentage is too high, and that most homeless teens are homeless due to family conflict and that’s a problem more generally.

      It’s easy to pick the lightest abuse on one side and among the worst on the other and make it sound imbalanced, so I don’t put much stock in your last sentence.

      If we agreed that saying “sex with a person of the same sex is sinful, but we should love all people and guide them toward Christ” is “preaching hate,” then this conversation would have a whole different tenor.

  • Chris Lang

    The premise of this column is incorrect: The Prudential survey was not scientific, and research with better methodologies indicates that gay and lesbian people earn LESS than the similarly-qualified heterosexuals.

  • AJ

    Opposition and oppression are not the same thing.

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      A true statement.

  • “The apex of our obsession with deserters is more visible in media’s lustful piety. There’s an altar for everyone who comes out. This is why homossexuality got it’s revenge of centuries of scandal in the current path of beatitude. Gays are the new pilgrims and you can’t mess with them. Camille Paglia is still one of the few old-school perversion-type voices of lesbianism and she’s hated by who? Of course, lesbians and homossexuals in power. Paglia knows that the greatest moment about depravity is the minute you get in, not the one you walk away from normality. Her authenticity comes from her genuine amusement, something paradoxically very hard to find in the LGBT world.”
    It’s not directly about your great post, Tim, but it’s near. You can read it here:

  • Voices Carry

    When Evangelicals had great influence (or control even) of the “Public Square” they exhibited no mercy toward gay people. They actively supported laws that discriminated against us. They spread fear and even hatred toward us. They opposed (and still oppose) laws protecting us from bullying or being fired for being gay. Now that society is coming around to the idea that it’s wrong to mistreat and discriminate against someone for being gay, Evangelicals are having to adjust to a new reality.

    Perhaps, Timothy, you should consider that Evangelicals are getting a small taste of what they have dished out to gay people for years. Maybe a little humility and repentance are in order.

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      Go back and read the lines starting with “AND YET…”

  • Voices Carry

    I read the “AND YET…”. My point is that if Evangelicals had been merciful when they did have great power they might not be facing a turn on the “rack”. I call it Karma, but in Christianity it would be called “reaping what you sow” I suppose. If Evangelicals take their faith seriously one would think they’d use the new reality as a time for reflection, humility, and repentance. Will they? Early signs are not good – they’re doing a lot of complaining, arguing and finger pointing. Incidents like the Louie Giglio issue presented a good opportunity for a change of course and heart by Evangelicals. Too bad they didn’t take it.

    As for your specific complaint that Evangelicals face “mockery”, pray that is the worst they experience given what they’ve dished out down through the years. It pales to insignificance to what gay people have endured and still endure.

    In regards to the complaint that Evangelicals are no longer “citizens in good standing” all I can say is Welcome to our world! The Evangelicals haven’t experienced even a tiny fraction of what gay people have put up with.

    Is it fair? No. Is it fair that a gay person will never give the benediction at the inauguration of a Republican president?

    Instead of complaining that gay people are treated well by academia perhaps you should ask why they aren’t treated well everywhere including your churches.

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      My point was: you’re just repeating what I already said. Of course gays have experienced oppression. Everyone knows this. And I among many others have said that Christians need to confess and apologize. Fortunately, evangelicals in the United States don’t face much more than mockery and sometimes professional setbacks. Worldwide, of course, evangelicals (and Christians of many stripes) do face a great deal worse — many of the same things that gays do. I don’t intend to get into a martyr-a-thon or some kind of persecution competition, because I think that’s beside the point.

      And please stop misrepresenting what I’ve said. I did not complain that gay people are treated well be academia. Don’t put words in my mouth.

      There’s a difference between being merciful and abandoning your moral convictions. Christians should love their gay brothers and sisters with all their hearts, even when that means telling them that they think what they’re doing is wrong.

  • Voices Carry

    “Christians should love their gay brothers and sisters with all their hearts…”

    If only they would stop there, they might gain an audience with gay people (and many others). They don’t realize how denigrating and hypocritical the second part of that statement is. You know – the whole “mote and beam” thing. The mantra you repeated is the standard Evangelical talking point when it comes to gay people and it’s raised a ton of money for them. But it’s a non-starter for gay people. They can do better.

    I understand Evangelicals are unhappy (and angry, even) about the turn of events in civil society. Perhaps Evangelicals should use that to reflect and reconsider their approach.

    • Timothy Dalrymple

      I agree that evangelicals should reflect and reconsider their approach. I’ve done a fair amount of that kind of writing here. But it’s one thing to condemn a brother for his sin. It’s another to deny that a sin is a sin. I understand you don’t like the fact that many evangelicals believe that gay sex is wrong. I wish I did not believe it — it would spare me from conversations like this. But I do believe it. I believe it’s the truth, and a truth I’m not free to change. If it is the truth, and if sin is ultimately self-destructive (as I believe it is), then there’s nothing loving in calling something that is sin as though it’s not-sin.

      The second part of the statement is only denigrating if it’s in fact not true that homosexual relations are wrong. Which is rather assuming what one has to prove. As for the mote and beam, again, it’s one thing to clarify or uphold God’s Word on what is right and wrong, and it’s another to pour scorn or judgment on an individual. I do not consider my gay friends any worse of sinners than I am. I have plenty of sins, and terrible sins of my own, to worry about. But that doesn’t mean that I should abandon the truth. And since I believe it to be the truth, and I believe the truth is liberating, it would be unloving to cover it up.

  • A Hermit

    Unlike your gay friends however you, as an evangelical, enjoy the same rights and legal priveleges as any other non-gay American. You can marry the person you love, and have that marriage recognized as the basis for a host of legal rights (and obligations). You can’t be fired for being an evangelical, or be denied housing as your gay friends in many states can be just for being gay.

    As for being “lauded” in the media, we don;t have to look back very far to remember a time when any depiction of homosexuals in the media was at best a stereotypical caricature. That positive portrayals of gays is becoming more common is surely a good thing. That’s hardly an “advantage” as you call it; it’s just a long overdue fairness.

    Pastor Giglio may indeed be doing many good things, but that does not guarantee him a platform like the inauguration. If he had said the same kinds of things about Jews or Africans or Catholics as he has said about gays (eg that they are a “malfunction”) would he even have been considered for such an honour?

    If evangelicals don’t like being called bigots you have to stop talking like bigots.

  • Basil


    I am skipping this chain of comments (for lack of time) because I wanted to correct you on your interpretation of this study, and your conclusion. Look this Prudential study is great — for market research. And I & my husband, as urban, affluent, gays are the target market for that study, and there is lots of useful information for financial service providers who wish to target people like me (and for affluent couples like me, who are planning out our financial futures). But this study is drawn from a sample of 1400 people. It is 100% certain that there is a selection bias in the sample chosen — which is fine given the purpose of the study — which is to inform companies like Prudential how to better target gays like me. You categorically cannot draw the conclusion you draw — that most gays are affluent like me — based on this study, because there is no basis to say that. I am one of those gays, and I would not come to such a conclusion, because frankly, it’s foolish, and its a silly stereotype

    If you want to know how same sex households stack up in terms of income, you can pull U.S. census data on the subject (which would be census — by definition more representative because it includes everyone). The Williams Institute out of UCLA has written about this, so have other places (I would post links, but your spam filter is really nasty about that, and you can Google just as easily as I can). According to the 2010 census data, same sex couples made an average of $7437 LESS than their straight colleagues (comparable couples). So yes there is a big financial penalty for being LGBT — which is hardly a surprise given the widespread discrimination, and lack of employment protection.

    I can’t believe that you would willfully cherry-pick and misconstrue a marketing study to try and confirm a stereotype about “those rich queers”. But I think you should have known better — I mean it is just too obvious a stereotype to be trues, isn’t it? Email me next time you have questions on economics (it’s my field)