Last week I noted that much of evangelical political/theological discourse is based on the assumption that the Bible reveals a full-fledged system of belief which is readily apparent. Tamper with just one piece of it and the whole thing comes crashing down, with moral decay, chaos, and destruction to follow inevitably. We are seeing that played out right before our very eyes with respect to the issue of gay marriage.
Unless you’ve been living under a rock the past few weeks, you are aware that the Supreme Court is currently hearing arguments on same-sex marriage. As you might expect, conservative evangelical leaders are falling all over themselves to see who can paint the issue in the most apocalyptic terms possible. To wit: If the traditional Judeo-Christian view of marriage which is readily apparent from the Bible falls, then all of America and Western civilization will come crashing down. Here is a sampling:
James Dobson: “Talk about a Civil War, we could have another one over this.” “I really believe if what the Supreme Court is about to do is carried through with, and it looks like it will be, then we’re going to see a general collapse in the next decade or two. I just am convinced of that. So we need to do everything we can to try to hold it back and to preserve the institution of marriage.”
Tony Perkins: “This really will determine the future of Western civilization….It really will, this is very serious.”
Glenn Beck: “What kind of America are you building, you frickin’ Nazis! What kind of Nazi regime are you building? Wake up!…You are following a Nazi group. I don’t know who is even leading this, but you’re becoming Nazis.”
Rick Joyner: This could lead to the mark of the beast. But, “Even if this is not the actual mark of the beast, it is at least a precursor, a ‘dress rehearsal’ that sets up the world for this ultimate test.”
Mike Huckabee: The Christian faith is “on the brink of being criminalized”.
Don Wildman of American Family Association: “Justice Kennedy holds civilization in his hands. He will decide which way we are going to go, and if we step away from the Judeo-Christian perspective we will never return. Our society will be radically changed within the next 30, 40 years, your grandchildren will be influenced, and the society that we have will never, can never be repeated.
Alan Keyes: “If the United States Supreme Court presumes to impose any redefinition of marriage on the states, respectively, or the people, without addressing the issue of unalienable right it involves, with reasoning that respects God-endowed right (which is the logic by which the American people asserted, and still claim to possess and exercise, sovereign authority over themselves), the Court’s decision will be an attack on the very foundation of constitutional government, of by and for the people of the United States. It will be a high crime and misdemeanor that effectively dissolves the just bonds of government between and among the states, and among the individuals who compose the people of the United States. It will therefore be just cause for war.”
Okay, people. Let’s take a deep breath. Now go back and reread the above quotes. Click the links to read them in their entirety or watch the videos. As you do this, ask yourself: Is it possible to believe that gay people are people for whom Christ died, while also believing this?
There is something dangerously close to a disconnect here.
As Christians, our calling in every age is to live faithfully while serving others in humility, in a world where many hold views divergent from what we believe and engage in practices antithetical to what we believe. Is it possible to do this while believing the sentiments expressed above?
Didn’t think so.