Gay marriage is not the end of the world. Really, it’s not.

130629_Gay_marriage_660
I understood — or thought that I understood — that a Supreme Court ruling in favor of gay marriage would inspire some serious rending of garments and gnashing of teeth among those who opposed such a ruling. But I confess that I didn’t begin to imagine how deep it would run, or what heights of melodrama the fears of persecution might inspire.

Let’s start off with a piece by Todd Starnes at Fox News, citing an interview with evangelist Franklin Graham in which Graham warns that “I believe God could bring judgment upon America” for the decision.

Starnes writes:

“The Supreme Court’s decision means gay rights now trump religious liberty. And if you think the cultural purging of the Southern States has been breathtaking, wait until you see what LGBT activists are about to unleash on American Christians.

“If pastors are going to be forced to provide marriage services for gay couples, I’m not going to do it,” Graham declared.

Churches and faith-based business should prepare for lawsuits and government investigations. Pastors who refuse to perform gay marriages and preach from the Bible should prepare for hate-crime charges. All dissent will be silenced by the government and the activists.”

Hate-crime prosecutions for refusing to perform gay marriage? Any dissent silenced by the government? Ranked on a melodrama scale of one to five fainting couches, such rhetoric might seem to be high on the scale. But for reasons explained below, I give it a rating of two fainting couches:

couchtwo

In our next entry, George Weigel at National Review uses the religious persecution suffered by Catholics in Elizabethan England as an example of what is coming for American Catholics today. He cites Jesuit priest Edmund Campion as the hero of his piece, noting that in 16th century England, Campion had been hunted down, tortured, convicted of treason, hanged, drawn and quartered for refusing to give up his Catholic faith.

Weigel writes:

“As recently as 20 years ago, recusant Catholicism seemed a thing of the past, save in Communist or Muslim countries. In the developed, democratic world, it seemed impossible to imagine that Catholics would once again live under penal laws or their cultural equivalent, scorned (and worse) for being threats to the state and civil comity by reason of their faith. It’s no longer impossible to imagine that. And those who deny the possibility are living in Fantasyland.”

Like his colleagues, Weigel warns that “It is only a matter of time — days, weeks, months — before a same-sex couple presents itself at a Catholic church, requests to be ‘married’ there, is (politely) refused, and then takes the pastor, the parish, or both to court.”

I think that’s fear-mongering nonsense. Gender discrimination has been illegal in this country for a long time, yet the Catholic Church, with its insistence that women cannot be priests, has never been successfully or even seriously sued for discrimination. The same is true of other sects, such as the Southern Baptists, who believe that women are biblically barred from positions of church leadership.

Everyone understands that such beliefs fall easily under the protection of the First Amendment. It’s not an issue in the slightest. So I’m not sure why Weigel and others believe that gay marriage won’t be treated in similar fashion. Maybe it’s because if they acknowledge that fact, it would ruin all the fun and deprive them of the thrill of being persecuted.

As to the rating: Despite the lurid parallels that he attempts to draw, Weigel does at least acknowledge that he and other marriage traditionalists aren’t likely to be drawn and quartered for that belief. Instead, they face “legal pressure, ridicule, bullying, social ostracism, and professional disadvantage,” a deal that Edmund Campion would have taken in a minute. So overall, Weigel gets:

couchthree

 

Next we have Rod Dreher, writing at American Conservative. Like Weigel, Dreher notes that “Christians have been here before” in facing persecution for their beliefs, but he reaches back still further into time for his comparison, likening the current situation to “a Fall of Rome-like catastrophe, one that is concealed by our liberty and prosperity.”

How should Christians respond to this Second Fall? Dreher explores what he calls the Benedict Option, named after the sixth-century Saint Benedict, who chose to lead others into a retreat from society by seeking protection in monasteries. There, they could find safety against the chaotic world that threatened their lives and their faith.

“Rome’s collapse meant staggering loss. People forgot how to read, how to farm, how to govern themselves, how to build houses, how to trade, and even what it had once meant to be a human being. Behind monastery walls, though, in their chapels, scriptoriums, and refectories, Benedict’s monks built lives of peace, order, and learning and spread their network throughout Western Europe.

They did not keep the fruits of their labors to themselves. Benedictines taught the peasants who gathered around their monasteries the Christian faith, as well as practical skills, like farming. Because monks of the order took a vow of ‘stability,’ meaning they were sworn to stay in that place until they died, Benedictine monasteries emerged as islands of sanity and serenity. These were the bases from which European civilization gradually re-emerged…”

That’s a pretty extreme reaction. And as Dreher notes, “there is no way to have Benedict Option communities without giving up a significant measure of individual autonomy — and the opportunity for career advancement — as the cost of stability.” Nonetheless, he believes that such communities “offer a way for believers to thicken Christian culture in a time of moral revolution and religious dissolution,” and to project light in the postmodern darkness.

For that, I give him:

couchfour

 

We have one entry left, and it comes to us from Erick Erickson at RedState. He writes of the Supreme Court decision as part of a raging wildfire that will destroy anyone and anything in its path:

 

For those of us of faith, it appears society has collectively lost its mind. Madness has set in. Yes, in fact, we see what Paul warns of in Romans 1. The people have been handed over to themselves and we are caught in the middle. It is a wildfire of the mind and society….

Certainly there is destruction along the way. Some will be burned up. Maybe that is me. Maybe that is you. But there are always others who survive. There is the tree around which all is burned, but that is spared. There is the burn line where on the other side life thrives and those within the fire take refuge. Maybe that is me. Maybe that is you….

You may need to withdraw from popular culture. You may want to cancel the television subscription, cancel the magazines, tune out most of the internet, etc. But I’ll still be here reminding you that you are not alone. I’ll still let you know what is going on and how you can make an impact.

Because you are not alone though they want you to think you are alone. You have to remember that. The wildfire may burn all around you, but through the smoke and flames there are others just like you.”

 

As I think you’ll agree, Erickson has an impressive flair for melodrama. In my opinion, however, he earns the top rating because of his remarkable willingness to sacrifice himself on behalf of his readers. While they withdraw from the wildfire, he will keep appearing on Fox News and talk radio, just so they know they are not alone.

couchfive
On a bit more serious note, I acknowledge that the culture is changing quickly, and in ways that can be deeply disorienting. Endless Viagra commercials and four-hour erections, the prominence of fame whores, the rougher side of hip-hop — I don’t pretend to be comfortable with it all myself. The velocity of change creates confusion and fear, and as always, there will be some who seek to shepherd people through that transition and others who rush to take cynical advantage of it.

And while I make light of some of the rhetoric cited above, I should confess that it also scares me. Even if I disagree profoundly with others on a particular topic, I generally have some idea of where they’re coming from and why they might feel that way. I have no such comprehension of the apocalyptic reaction to the gay-marriage decision from some quarters, and it leads me to worry for the first time that the chasm separating us has grown too large to be closed.

I hope that’s wrong. I hope that the sentiment among some in the evangelical community to withdraw into a quasi-Benedictine Option is only a passing thing, because both they and we in the larger community have something to learn from each other. We’re all in this together.

And I should stress as strongly as possible that nobody is going to force churches or ministers to perform gay marriage against their will. Nobody is going to make a serious effort at denying tax exemptions to such churches, just as no one has challenged tax exemptions over gender discrimination. And in the secular world, those who still believe that marriage is only between a man and a woman ought to be able to thrive and succeed as long as they show the same respect for others that they expect and deserve for their own viewpoint.

Reader Comments 0

994 comments
Saul Romano
Saul Romano

http://thenameofjesus.net/

Gay marriage is an abomination and that is God's ruling and it's final. The church however, needs to focus on serving God the way he commanded for he alone is judge.

dreema
dreema

Love the fainting couch ranking system. 

Dusty2
Dusty2

The slope

Has no hope.

But let us not mope.

The sun is still shining

So stop your whining.

Let joy be yours in designing.

Dusty2
Dusty2

sheetz?

I repeatz;

What is sheetz?

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

@Dusty2 Jay has posted a new article/blog.  A new sheet of paper. Sheets. Sheetz. 

Lee30519
Lee30519

Not the end of the world but a very slippery slope.


Dusty2
Dusty2

So Elgrunir

Has no fear.

He too doth wander

While others ponder.

But if he thinks Hillary is "sunny",

His mind has gone completely "funny".


elgrunir
elgrunir

Off to work for a bit...

SimpleTruths
SimpleTruths

@elgrunir I often don't agree with the message in your poems, but wow!.  You are sharp and quick at writing some tight ditties!

elgrunir
elgrunir

72?  Yikes!!!


Seventy-two cats in the house?

I can’t handle one in my blouse

You must go a-twitter

When you’re changing the litter

Ever thought of just raising a mouse?


elgrunir
elgrunir

FOR KITTY 72



Ah, so she has returned, Sweet Kitty

I wonder if she’s country or city

She can be quite terse

Regardless of verse

I can’t wait to see her next ditty


gotalife
gotalife

I listened to the President on Cuba today and have never seen a "lame duck" accomplish so much and be so happy.

FIGMO2
FIGMO2

Is jay digging through his linen closet?

It's obvious everyone's become bored with the topic of gay marriage.

Hope that doesn't put a damper on the gay community's celebrations. 

gotalife
gotalife

@FIGMO2  Not much going on. Food unites us so lets talk about, food.

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

@FIGMO2 "bored with the topic of gay marriage" 


Exactly. So he's highlighting the "world will end!!!" complaints. 


And providing fainting couches. 

elgrunir
elgrunir

@Brosephus 



Brosephus!Way off the theme

That had lately been gathering steam

But instead of a cancer

We hear of a dancer

Who brings to our eyes some gleam


kitty72
kitty72

@Brosephus 


Ballet is real athleticism. Our sports figures are nothing on muscle control and skill compared to ballet dancers. She sure can leap. Absolutely breathtaking.


Doggone_GA
Doggone_GA

@kitty72 @Brosephus Wasn't it Ron Reagan who said something like: If you think ballet is for sissies, try dancing across a stage carrying 120 lb ballerina on one hand

gotalife
gotalife

Clinton raised 45 million for the first quarter.


A new record.

elgrunir
elgrunir

@gotalife 



Clinton’s been raising some money

So Capitalist! But for Cons, not funny

Jeb Bush is dowdy

His chances are cloudy

While Hillary’s are looking quite sunny


elgrunir
elgrunir

“Gays ending life here on Earth!”

Chicken Littles say without mirth

Instead of attacks

Let’s look at the facts:

Many species? No heterosexual birth

consumedconsumer
consumedconsumer

homosexuality is a sin and a sin that cannot be tolerated. 


but, thou shalt not kill is just something to take under advisement and not to be taken literally. i gotcha.


and you wonder why people get a little annoyed when you use the bible to justify your 'beliefs'.

gotalife
gotalife

cons are out to getcha libs.


Too funny.

Dusty2
Dusty2

zzzzzzz


somebody is always out to get somebody .....zzzzz

gotalife
gotalife

@Dusty2  I am not out to get you dusty. You do that by yourselves.

LogicalDude
LogicalDude

How good of Erickson to stay in the middle of the fire and be the point of education for his listeners.  If they listen to him, they'll get more ignorant, more biased, and more behind the times. 


Change is happening quickly, and it seems the old/conservatives are reluctant seeing those changes. Especially when the church tells them those changes are against their religion. 


However, the young see no issue with gay marriage, and along with other changes that have happened before, the world will become more accepting.  How many people today are would work hard against inter-racial marriage? I don't see anyone attempting that today. How about 50 years ago? 


In 50 years, how many people will work hard against gay marriage?  I don't think anyone will attempt it. 


All these scare sessions regarding homosexuals have come to naught.  Gays in the military?  Nope, don't see military collapsing as conservatives predicted.  Gays able to get married?  Nope, don't see society collapsing in those states or countries that legalized it first. 

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@LogicalDude


In 50 years, how many people will work hard against gay marriage?  I don't think anyone will attempt it. 

Agreed. And I'll add, we'll have right wingers busy re-writing history long before then, to re-cast conservatives as the heroes in this particular culture battle.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

Anyway, about Rush? 

He has been, arguably, even more deliberately offensive at times than this Battle Flag business, but this latest stuff, it's up there in his Top Ten to be sure.

The timing--this willingness to provide aid and comfort to blatant expressions of stone cold racism in the wake of what's clearly the most horrific act of domestic racial terrorism we've experienced in decades--really ought to be enough to convince any decent person that the man's rhetoric is simply beyond any established levels of civility and decency. 

Brosephus
Brosephus

@Visual_Cortex 
Rush doesn't give a crap.  As long as the check is deposited on time, he will continue to do whatever it takes to keep the ratings.  The more people talk about him, the longer he collects that check.  That's why I generally ignore him and his views whether I agree with him or not.  He's not on my list of people whom I look to for insight.

LeninTime
LeninTime

@Brosephus @Visual_Cortex 

The more people talk about him, the longer he collects that check.  

***
Actually that appears not to be the case. It appears he really could be near the end of his run - at least outside of satellite.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@LeninTime @Brosephus @Visual_Cortex

Yeah, I don't know how much longer Clear Channel's going to pay his Florida compound upkeep given what I've heard about his advertisers.

And if by pounding him however we can we're just piling on? Couldn't happen to a more deserving guy.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Brosephus @Visual_Cortex

 he will continue to do whatever it takes to keep the ratings.

well, it's kind of like taking a lead off of first--you have to get picked off occasionally to know if you've gone out too far. In his case, it's sponsors telling him "ew, you're toxic, I don't want to be associated with you any more." He can get away with that happening on rare occasions, but I think it's not so rare any more.

Which is to say it's like he's getting picked off nearly as often as he gets on base of late. If that makes any sense.

Visual_Cortex
Visual_Cortex

@Brosephus @Visual_Cortex

For me, the canary in the coal mine for him is that you simply never see anything, I mean anything, remotely positive reported about his enterprise in the news any more. He loses a flagship station; that's news. Another sponsor dumps him; that's news. He says something really disgusting? Also news.

You don't read about him getting an invite to speak at some important conference, or that he's crushing his competition in this market, or anything like that, any more.

KUTGF
KUTGF

@Visual_Cortex I would have to agree.  It is not as if Rush will change.  He knows his base and there will be a minor market for that.  His advertisers and sponsors are different however and they are looking at the negatives of the association. 

KUTGF
KUTGF

An east Tennessee pastor changed the wording on a sign banning LGBT customers from his hardware shop one day after vowing that he would never remove the placard.

Jeff Amyx, a Baptist minister who owns Amyx Hardware & Roofing Supplies in Grainger County, said he got to thinking Monday morning, after a Supreme Court ruling in favor of marriage equality, that Christians were the victim of a double standard that allowed homosexuals to stand up for their beliefs but not religious people.

“They gladly stand for what they believe in — why can’t I?” Amyx told WBLR. “They believe their way is right, I believe it’s wrong — but yet I’m going to take more persecution than them because I’m standing for what I believe in.”

So he placed a “no gays allowed” sign on the front door of his Washburn hardware store and said Monday that he would never take it down.

_____________________


Actually I think this is a good thing albeit sad, to the extent that it will push the move to make sexual orientation a protected class in more areas. 


I wonder how he will know who is "gay".....  is it just his gaydar? 

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

@KUTGF is it just his gaydar? 

hmmm, is it just me or did you claim to have one last week?

elgrunir
elgrunir

Dear Rush says that the sky’s again falling

Whipping up trash his unfortunate calling

When he takes a vacay

From bashing all that is gay

He goes “island” to take care of his balling

Peachs
Peachs

Morally bankrupted and then calling it Christian like real Christians buy in to this stuff.  Christians have a unprotected brand that any ID thief can come in and control like he has been with the firm for 2000 years.   

DownInAlbany
DownInAlbany

C'mon, NickDanger.

Sack up, dude.

Admit that you carelessly threw around some false accusations.