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Jan. 15 Flashback: ‘Gracious and cordial’ inequality

Jan. 15 Flashback: ‘Gracious and cordial’ inequality January 15, 2022

And in the 20th year of the blog, the Slacktivist looked upon all that he had posted, and saw that some of it was, you know, pretty OK.

This is from January 15, 2013, “‘Gracious and cordial’ does not describe the attempt to deny legal equality“:

The criticism directed at Louie Giglio seems to have confused and angered many evangelicals who don’t see anything wrong, or even unusual, in the sermons about homosexuality for which Giglio was denounced. He is, after all, a nice guy, and his condemnations of what he calls the “homosexual lifestyle” were expressed in what he, and many of his fellow evangelicals, regard as a nice way.

Matthew Lee Anderson, writing for CNN, conveys the prevailing evangelical confusion over how Giglio’s niceness could be met with such a backlash: “Giglio’s defenders have been quick to point out that his position on the question comfortably fits the main currents of what Christianity has always taught about homosexuality, and does so with a gracious, cordial tone.”

But there’s nothing gracious or cordial about it. That word “gracious” simply does not apply — not in the sentimental sense Anderson uses there, and not in the deeper, theological sense.

Anderson misapprehends two things there.

First is that what he and Giglio and others perceive to be a “gracious, cordial tone” does not seem at all gracious or cordial to those on the receiving end of it — not to people who understand the contemptuousness and vicious slanders invested in that phrase “homosexual lifestyle” or who understand the callous cruelty of the “ex-gay” ideology Giglio endorsed, which accuses LGBT people of having a moral, spiritual or psychological deficiency in need of a cure.

If you intend to be gracious and/or cordial, then you should never, ever, utter that insidious euphemism “homosexual lifestyle” ever again. Please. Thank you. OK, then.

The second thing that Anderson, Giglio, et. al., misunderstand about this “gracious, cordial tone” is that tone doesn’t matter. Substance matters.

Adopting a more gracious and cordial tone than Charles Worley sets the bar abysmally low, but it also is meaningless if that gracious and cordial tone is used to advocate the same denial of equality under the law and denial of equality under God that Worley advocates.

Or, as I put it back during Worley’s 15 minutes of infamy, “You can’t deny people their rights and be nice about it.”

Read the whole thing here.

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