Grand Divisions

Tennessee Equality Project seeks to advance and protect the civil rights of our State’s gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender persons and their families in each Grand Division.

Monday, December 8, 2008

Evangelical leaders attack Newsweek piece, but they say they really aren't worried about it.

Politico quotes a number of Evangelical leaders who express their dismay with the recent Newsweek cover story about the religious case for same-sex marriage.

“It doesn’t surprise me. Newsweek has been so far in the tank on the homosexual issue, for so long, they need scuba gear and breathing apparatus,” said Richard Land, who heads the Southern Baptist Convention’s Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission. “I don’t think it’s going to change the minds of anyone who takes biblical teachings seriously.”

Tony Perkins, president of the socially conservative Family Research Council, agreed, calling Newsweek’s cover story “yet another attack on orthodox Christianity.”

“I hardly think that Newsweek is a credible venue for theological discussion,” said Perkins. “I mean, I thought it was just full of holes.”

Of course, they really are worried about the piece. It bypasses their pronouncements and lands in the mailboxes of hundreds of thousands of people around the country. It will spend a week in waiting areas of barber shops and doctors' offices for anyone to pick up. You won't be able to browse the magazine section of Kroger without seeing it. And it hits them where they believe they're strongest--religious authority. It adds another jolt of momentum in public opinion that is gradually shifting in favor of some kind of state sanction for same-sex relationships.

And best of all, it highlights the irony of the names of the organizations opposing same-sex marriage that include the words "liberty" and "research."

The problem that the Religious Right has is that it has no end game, except holding onto the status quo. While there can be little doubt that their hardcore adherents would like to see a return to sodomy laws, there is almost no chance of that happening. So we're in the purgatorial situation of not being able to go backwards. The GLBT genie is out of the bottle. More and more people are going to live their lives openly and lawfully and form relationships, and they have straight friends and family members who love them. So if we're not going to go back to sodomy laws and we've got hundreds of thousands of people forming relationships, doesn't the state have an interest in recognizing and ordering those relationships in order to secure the status of children and protect the partners involved? If that is the case, the only solution is a state sanctioned means of entering and dissolving committed relationships. The arrangement society knows best is marriage.

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