Communicator (communicator) wrote,
Communicator
communicator

Recommending slacktivist

I read slacktivist, which is a blog about ethics and stuff by an evangelical US Christian, Fred. It's really good. At present Fred is doing a series of posts on why anti-homosexuality has become the (supposedly) defining issue for Christianity in America. The dominance of this single issue was recently highlighted by a poll from a Christian research organisation the Barna Group.

The most common perception is that present-day Christianity is "anti-homosexual." Overall, 91% of young non-Christians and 80% of young churchgoers say this phrase describes Christianity. As the research probed this perception, non-Christians and Christians explained that beyond their recognition that Christians oppose homosexuality, they believe that Christians show excessive contempt and unloving attitudes towards gays and lesbians. One of the most frequent criticisms of young Christians was that they believe the church has made homosexuality a "bigger sin" than anything else.


In a series of linked posts, Fred discusses six (sometimes contradictory) explanations which have been offered for this emphasis. There may be more posts to come.

ETA - of course you don't all know slacktivist. I should explain that Fred is against this emphasis on the 'sin' of homosexuality, and he is not anti-gay at all. His posts are an attempt to understand what has gone wrong within his own community.

1 - The soft target: 'It's the chance to rail against sinners who seem completely other -- people whose sin doesn't tempt us in the least.'

2 - Inner Demons: Self-hatred from people who are denying their own sexuality. 'for a succinct summary of this dynamic, you can't beat this from Ted Haggard himself: "There is a part of my life that is so dark that I've been warring against it all of my adult life." '

3 - The innocent backlash: 'This explanation for the (mis)perception that American Christianity is inappropriately anti-homosexual is thus something that any grade-school child can understand: They started it.'

4 - The Exegetical Panic defence: 'the dissonance that comes from questioning one's own conscience and experience... This is what happens when an evangelical who has been taught to believe in the Big Gay Evil finally gets to know a flesh-and-blood homosexual human being and starts to think that, actually, this person doesn't really seem like they are evil... Something's gotta give and that something, in this case, is their own experience, conscience and instincts. That's when the panic-inducing cognitive dissonance kicks in.'

5 - It's the politics, stupid: 'The religious right portrays itself as a religious movement seeking to reshape politics, but in fact it is a political movement seeking to reshape religion.'

6 - The thin end of the wedge: 'If homosexuals are accorded legal equality and cultural acceptance, or even tolerance, then, according to this view, every distinction between vice and virtue, between right and wrong, will melt away'

These posts are complex, thoughtful, and tolerant IMHO. The comments are a bit more knockabout, but it's all interesting.
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