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03/20/2008

It's less that we find you 'mean', more that we find you myopic!

by Jeremy Hooper

ImageserverdbIn the eyes of social conservatives, even the most unrelated ideas tend to come back to homosexuality.  For an example, consider the following chunk of text, wherein the executive director of the Louisiana Baptist Convention, David Hankins (pic.), compares his faith-based unwillingness to accept the evidence that man-made climate change is happening with this faith-based refusal to accept the evidence that gays are a normal part of society who deserve to be treated as such:

Reclaiming a proper theology is a task related to the environment that we can welcome.  But what about the concern that we are perceived as uncaring among those who are anxious about catastrophic climate change?

This reminds me of a poll reported in SBC Life last year that church young people believe the conservative church is mean to homosexuals.

Are we "mean"? Or could it be that the church believes homosexual behavior is sinful and, when it has addressed this highly volatile subject, it has said so?

Now, it doesn't matter how many ministries we have to homosexuals or how much we express our concern for all sinners, we are still considered "mean." Until we say homosexual behavior is acceptable, we will not be considered by the culture to be "caring." "Caring" means affirming their point of view, including their error.

Alright, so as previously mentioned, we find it odd that Mr. Hankins had to turn to the gays.  It seriously seems sometimes like these Southern Baptists focus more on homosexuality than does a news anchor at the Logo channel who is reading The Advocate while standing in the middle of the Castro during Pride week.

But bizarre obsession aside -- The thing is, Mr. Hankins' argument is a bit of a disingenuous downplay.  For while the SBC Life poll to which he refers might have used the word "mean" to describe they way Southern Baptists are perceived (we can't find the exact poll to verify), it is trivializing the matter to act like this is all that the organized gay movement is saying about the SBC's views on homosexuality.  What we are saying is that they use one-sided interpretations of Scripture to condemn us, while overlooking both the scholars who say that this scripture speaks very little to homosexuality as we know it today, as well as the other similarly worded condemnations that are largely ignored in modern society.  We also say that they ignore the personal life stories and testimonials of gays in favor of their own preconceived notions.  And we tell them that regardless of their personal faith views and refusal to see other sides, they cannot use those views to legislate and deprive us of our civil equality!

Some on our side would certainly describe Southern Baptists as mean for implementing policies that prevent gays from joining their churches, just like some would certainly cite a lack of compassion when addressing their refusal to accept global warming (and dismiss it as theoretical, rather than as a scientific theory).  But in our minds, it's not so much the personal affront that bothers us.  As gays of the world, we've become slightly numb to the individualized pain that these kids cause.  The "meanness" that we are more focused on in that which they inflict on reason, intellect, and rational discourse.  We think it's incredibly disrespectful to the wonderfully complex human mind to be so dismissive of actual science and tangible research so as to make reality more in accordance with your personal agenda and your personal theological views.  If you're a person of faith, it's rude to cull your data only from the multi-translated work of man, rather than the God-given (human-damaged?) world around you!  And last but not least -- it's downright OFFENSIVE to see religious freedom as giving you the freedom to foist your religious views on society and its government!

So please, Mr. Hankins, don't just right off those who try and open your eyes on certain matters as opponents who have deemed you "mean" because of your unwavering faith.  Like climate change and homosexuality, the truth of the matter is far more complex!


Why I will not sign
[Baptist Press]

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Your thoughts

Uh, no - nobody gives a fuck what he thinks.

The whole "hate the sin, love the sinner" thing is bullcrap anyway, because they talk viciously about "those people". That's not talking about the so-called "sin".

It's ok though, these people can carry on with their kooking "christianity" into oblivion. It's hilarious how these nutballs, in their race for $$$ for saying the most reactionary things about gay people, are annihilating this "God", "Jesus" or whoever it is they have a love affair with. Good riddance. Amen.

Posted by: Scott | Mar 20, 2008 3:51:16 PM

Well Scott, you may not "give a fuck what he thinks." Unfortunately, since he is the director of a state Southern Baptist Convention, there are PLENTY of people who care mucho about what he thinks.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Mar 20, 2008 3:54:26 PM

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