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Southern Baptist leader admits it: Pastors won't be punished for rejecting same-sex marriages

by Jeremy Hooper

I'm legitimately going to give longtime Southern Baptist top dog Albert Mohler some points here. Unlike so many of his fellows who are going around insisting that pastors are on the cusp of being penalized or even hauled to jail for refusing to perform same-sex marriages, Mohler today admitted to the SBC's national conference that this drummed up fear is "not really a danger":

"Look I really don't fear- It's really important that you and every other pastor needs to say "I'm not going to perform a same-sex wedding," but let's be honest, there's not really a danger that the sheriff's gonna show up and say, "you have to do this." So far as I know, no pastor has been sued successfully for refusing to marry someone on other grounds- that's not the real danger. The real danger is we're going to pay an enormous social, cultural price for not doing a same-sex ceremony. We're going to be considered morally deficient. Let's admit it. We're much more accustomed to being accused of being morally superior. They've said we've been "stand-offish" meaning better than them, now a large part of this culture thinks we are morally deficient. And we're going to that's a very different way to do ministry."

And there you have it: the real fear that is hiding behind so much of the anti-gay right's incessant spin. Like Mohler, most of the spokesfolks on the other side know that things like jailed pastors and targeted churches are not real dangers. What they really fear—the kind of fear that keeps them up at night—is living in an America that starts calling out their discriminatory actions for what they are. They fear their inability to keep hiding up a "pro-family" charade in a world that more fully recognizes family in all its forms.

That probably is a valid fear.

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