Queer Quagmires: An Interview with Jonathan Dudley

Driscoll's comment reflects an unfortunate callousness among many evangelical leaders toward those who are disempowered. It also illustrates some of the attitudes that are guiding his interpretation of the Bible when it comes to homosexuality and the interpretations of the other heterosexual men who are guiding evangelical thought on homosexuality. When I was a kid, I remember going with my dad to a Promise Keepers convention, which was organized to appeal to the same stereotypical, car loving, sports watching, beer-drinking, violent "male" that Driscoll seems to celebrate. Although I could bench press Mark Driscoll's body several times, I've never comfortably fit into the mold of the stereotypical male and think it's wrong to advocate the idea that there's only one way to be a "true man."

In Ship of Fools, I charted the development of evangelical thought on the subject of LGBT rights. Why do you think the majority of progressive evangelicals who say they "love their gay friends" won't come out and support their quest to have the same rites (marriage and ordination) as everyone else? 

Progressive evangelicals usually understand biblical interpretation in the same basic way as conservative evangelicals. Both groups think that one can derive one's political program and theology simply by reading the Bible very closely and carefully. In the process, both groups ignore the pre-existing values that guide their interpretation of the Bible.

I think a lot of progressive evangelicals are still convinced that the Bible requires them to be morally opposed to gay marriage. And I think a lot of progressive evangelicals already feel "unorthodox" enough among evangelicals, given their political views. One often senses a deep anxiety among progressive evangelicals to prove to conservatives that, "Hey, I'm a Christian too!" Supporting gay marriage makes it too hard for progressives to prove their orthodoxy to conservatives, who see gay marriage as a deal-breaker.

8/14/2011 4:00:00 AM