Jeff Woods links to and mocks the Family Action Council's upcoming Ministers Day on the Hill. Watching the video, I noticed some diversity--white and African-American ministers. But you'd be hard pressed to find many women. I'm not sure how many priests (Orthodox, Catholic, or Episcopal) were in the crowd. Oh, um, rabbis and imams? Next question.
I'm not sure whether to be troubled by or just merely dismissive of the speaker who is being brought in to help the ministers respond to the "Gay Theology Movement." I have an M.Div., and I'd be lying if I said I'd never heard of something called "Gay Theology." But I can tell you that it has almost nothing to do with most GLBT Christians in Tennessee. In my view, theology is the systematic consideration of God's nature and how God relates through the process of redemption to the creation. A question in the vast sweep of the discipline relates to how we interpret the place of GLBT people in God's redemptive work. You can look at that question from the point of view of Biblical interpretation, social ethics, and the implications of the core doctrines. But I've never thought of myself as holding, following, or teaching a "Gay Theology."
I think the way this seminar will try to frame the question is one of "Gay Theology" vs. true Christianity, which means some form of Evangelical theology whose pedigree definitely doesn't go back further than the 16th century and probably not much further back than the late nineteenth. Truth be told, there's a lot of late 20th century innovation in it. And in my least charitable moments, I'd say whatever gets said will have been thought up 5 minutes before the seminar begins next month.
Of course, most troubling is the fact that the speaker is trying to respond to a movement that has little relevance in Tennessee, but he will ignore the lives of GLBT people in Tennessee. And this response will then be used to advance policy that makes life difficult for real families. It will be a clean, discursive procedure free of the body count. No muss, no fuss...all to the background of happy hymn singing.
Onward, Christian soldiers!