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07/24/2009

At least he didn't call it a homo-cide

by Jeremy Hooper

6A00D8341C503453Ef010536Cdf281970B-1In 2008, the Family Research Council's Peter Sprigg earned widespread ire when he said that he'd like export gays from the United States. And while Pete was later forced to apologize for that egregious suggestion, he doesn't seem to have learned anything from his past adventure in wacky (revelatory?) hyperbole. For now, the same Mr. Sprigg is accusing the Episcopal Church in the United States of death by a self-inflicted case of gay, actually going so far as to write an obituary -- an obituary! -- for this particular faith:

Obituary: The Episcopal Church in the United States (1789-2009) Cause of Death: Suicide

The Episcopal Church in the United States took another major step toward ensuring its own demise last week, by adopting a resolution endorsing the ordination of homosexuals as clergy and bishops.

KEEP READING: Obituary: The Episcopal Church in the United States (1789-2009) Cause of Death: Suicide [FRC Blog]

Because that's what "religious freedom" really means: Preaching last rites to any denomination that doesn't stand shoulder to shoulder with your anti-gay "culture war" causes. When the far-right set preaches to "our father" -- they mean it. Exclusively.

Hey, society: You know when we say that this whole gay/anti-gay sparring is not o just about gay rights? Yea, well -- this is what we mean! Because at the end of the day, it's not just about gay people living their lives in peace: It's about ANYONE living and operating in a way that social conservatives have determined to be unacceptable. And if you think that begins and ends two ladies in bridal gowns, then it's time for you to wake up!

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Your thoughts

What concerns me most as a Christian and as a theologian is that many Christians have reduced the faith to a moral code. If a church wants to say that homosexuality is sinful, fine. Our First Amendment is a wonderful thing. But I become frustrated when I see Christians giving each other the boot because they refuse to tow the party line on this or many other issues (premarital sex, alcohol, home schooling, no-fault divorce, creationism, etc.). It's what theologian Karl Barth referred to as the "copulative 'and.'" (No, not that kind of copulation!) For him, writing during WWII, it was trusting God AND being a white German. Today, it's when they say that one must believe in and love God and Christ AND be anti-homosexual or be a teetotaler or believe in six-day creation. The issue, Barth says, is that the "and" becomes an "only." As in, being a Christian only means being a white German or only being anti-homosexual, etc. Are these Christians the same as Hitler? Let's not be sensationalistic here. Is the basis of their theologies the same? Yes. Could these people, unchecked, become just as awful? I hope we never find out.

Posted by: Brian | Jul 24, 2009 12:13:33 PM

Jeremy says: "Because at the end of the day, it's not just about gay people living their lives in peace: It's about ANYONE living and operating in a way that social conservatives have determined to be unacceptable."

A wise woman once said to me "We're all queer but Thee and Me; and I'm beginning to wonder about Thee!"

when the social conservatives build walls to keep the "other" out, they have no choice but to turn on their own and build another wall. Their group continues to shrink until it's just some crazy pastor living on a compound with his extended family......

Posted by: keltic | Jul 24, 2009 12:58:24 PM

I don't understand why these people are obsessed with other peoples moral values. And even so, why they think they can legislate their beliefs. Honestly, these people must be wandering around all day saying to themselves "Well gosh, I am just so amazing at this life. They might as well just put me in charge"

Posted by: Chelsea | Jul 24, 2009 1:23:56 PM

Just to comment on your last paragraph--it's not just bigotry on the part of social conservatives that needs to be countered, but all unjust prejudices that need to be countered. Two years ago, a staff member at my liberal Episcopal church refused to allow me to participate in a mission trip to New Orleans because I have a disability. It was one of the most devastating events of my life. What was worse, when I reported the incident to the rest of the staff, they did nothing; and when I wrote about it for a local newspaper, which I know many members of the congregation read, no one spoke up on my behalf.

Because I'm straight, some people have wondered why I'm so passionate about gay rights (the implication being that it's not my problem). My response has always been that that makes it all the more important, that it's the responsibility of all of us to do the right thing. Now I also add a more personal response: When I faced discrimination, no one stood by me. And how can anyone stand up for themselves, if they always stand alone?

Posted by: Rachel Snyder | Jul 26, 2009 11:54:56 PM

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