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You think your faith allows you to overreach. Period. Full stop. Own it, Russell Moore.

by Jeremy Hooper

Without giving them too much of a pass for what they knowingly do and say to lessen our culture and its fabric of people, I will say that I believe many anti-gay evangelicals don't even realize how self-centered and exclusionary their worldviews can be. The teachings are often so ingrained that they really don't hear how their suggestions are rooted in a hierarchy that puts them at the top while leaving so many of the rest of us as societal bottom-feeders who can only hope for a few scraps dropping down from above.

Here's an example of what I mean:

National Review Online's Kathryn Jean Lopez: What does [your Christian view of marriage] have to do with non-Christians? Are you trying to legislate your morality when you argue against same-sex marriage?

Russell Moore, president of the Southern Baptist Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission: Biblical revelation tells me why, as a Christian, I ought to see marriage as of cosmic, and not just social, significance. But we can all see that marriage matters. Indeed, we all recognize, even the most radical sexual revolutionary, that marriage has some limits to its definition. Marriage as a creational structure, grounded in common grace and testified universally in the human conscience, is seen in this gathering, in which representatives of every world religion talked about why male/female complementarity matters in their respective perspectives. I think this is because of God’s design, and I think that design leads us, ultimately, to ask why God created a universe in which we don’t subdivide like amoebas but are drawn to this life-giving, one-flesh union. I think the answer to that is the gospel.

FULL: Keeping the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in Mind—This Christmas, in Politics, in Lives [NRO]

See what he does? After acknowledging that he does hold a certain view "as a Christian," Moore pivots to what he insists is a shared idea: that "marriage matters." But of course the view of marriage than he describes—which is the only view of marriage he will in fact accept as "mattering"—is the one guided by his—wait for it, wait for it—Christian beliefs. He's essentially saying "yes" to Lopez' question of whether or not he is trying to impose his own faith, only he's using far more words than needed.

And of course Mr. Moore doesn't pause for even a second "to ask why God created a universe in which" gay people exist. Because of course he doesn't; his mind is made up on the subject. Even though LGBT people do, in fact, exist and attempts to "change" that fact range from offensive to wacky with a connective tissue that is anything but scientific, folks like Moore are insistent that God made some sort of mistake when he allowed us to slip through the production line. And even though a majority of our states have civil marriage laws that include same-sex couples and consistent polling shows a majority of Americans in support, folks like Moore don't think they even have to acknowledge marriages and families like mine. In fact his regularly stated view pits me, a really big fan of marriage who has been in a damn solid one for years and will be in that same solid one for life, as being against the notion of marriage "mattering." Which isn't surprising considering he positions my very orientation as being outside of God's intent. And he does all this precisely because of his rigidly dogmatic hold on faith and what he sees as its role in shaping our civil laws.

But while I know he knows what he's doing in some sense, I really do believe he and others like hime are too deep in the trenches to even fully realize how self-centered, self-aggrandizing, and other-offending their views really are. The ingrained sense of entitlement is really the root of the problem.

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