Theo Hobson (Guardian): Gay-friendly Christianity has become a self-righteous subculture
I had the same feeling when I heard Gene Robinson speak a couple of years ago, and read his memoir. His approach seemed very close to that of a secular gay-rights campaigner; he spoke and wrote as if this issue was a crusade, a holy issue, the very essence of liberal Christianity in our day. It may sound like I’m being prejudiced but it needs saying: there was a victimised stridency in his tone that I found offputting. See the piece I wrote at the time. The problem was his willingness to overuse the rhetoric of civil rights, as if the struggle for gay equality is just as righteous as the struggle for racial equality.
What’s the difference? Sexuality is more ambiguous. Gay rights is joined at the hip to cultural forces that are, from a Christian point of view, dubious. I mean sexual liberation, individualism, hedonism. We are talking about human desire, which is endlessly fallible. The language of liberation therefore does not quite apply. If a racist repents and starts a mixed-race family, that is an unambiguous story of liberation, holy progress towards the kingdom of God. If a man leaves his wife because he decides he is gay, well, that is more ambiguous. To spin it as a marvellous tale of courageous self-realisation is dubious.
The problem with the Christian gay-rights lobby is that it insists that homosexuality is something to celebrate. Shouldn’t all forms of loving relationship be celebrated? Well, we should tread very carefully when sex is involved. The reality is that this thing called “homosexuality” is ambiguous. It does not just refer to stable committed same-sex partnerships. It also refers to a culture that detaches sex from commitment. But you could say the same of “heterosexuality”. Yes: all sexuality is ambiguous. But the gay lobby implies that we should overlook the ambiguity and affirm homosexuality as a holy cause…more
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