Homophobia--a Secret Weapon

Though I'd argue with the title, Gay Marriage, GOP Secret Weapon because there was nothing secret about it, Jeff Sharlet of the Revealer wrote a thought provoking piece on the disproportionate emphasis on gay marriage and homophobia.

I don't agree with the entire piece but here's the vital part--"Why the obession with gay marriage?"

Even if one concedes that homosexuality might be against God’s will, and that the state should help enforce God’s will, there’s the troubling question of priority. Depending on how you read -- or don’t read-- your scripture, there are a lot of things against God’s will, and in no faith that I know of is homosexuality chief among them. Most are more concerned, for example, with relations between men and women.

Get Religion has a followup discussion on Jeff's post, especially his broad use of the word "homophobia." It's an important debate and the Revealer and Get Religion folks are much better at getting at all the nuances than I am.

I would like to share one anecdote about "the gay card."

Last year, there was a lot of attention on Alabama, when Susan Hamill, a law professor at the University of Alabama, and the Governor Bob Riley state proposed the radical idea that God cared about fair taxation. In doing a story about this, I talked to several evangelical opponents.

One leader, after talking about his opposition, decided to pull the gay card. "This is just between us," he said, thinking that I was on his side. "Hamill is pro-gay." That, in his mind, clinched it. No matter that Hamill's premise was based on the Bible of all things--she was "pro-gay" and that was all I needed to know.

I felt like I needed a shower. I don't know what Hamill's position on homosexuality is, but using the gay card as a means of demonizing her.

Jeff's right. Homosexuality, even if you believe it is a sin, is way down on God's agenda. Lots of anti-gay Christians use the story of Sodom and Gomorrah as a proof text for their position, but neglect to read the prophet Isaiah, who viewed social and economic injustice as a cause for God to judge a nation. We've got lots of that here in the US, and not many Bible believing Christians seem to care.

If you don't believe me, ask the Real Live Preacher .

Come with me to the church cellar. Come now and don’t delay. I am shaking with anger and fighting the urge to grab you by the collar and drag you down these steps.

You didn’t know the church had a cellar? Oh yes, every church does. Down, down we go into the darkness. Don’t slip on the flagstone and never mind the heat.

There, do you see the iron furnace door, gaping open? Do you see the roaring flames? Do you see the huge man with glistening muscles, covered with soot? Do you see him feeding the fire as fast as can with his massive, scooped shovel?

He feeds these flames with the bible, with every book, chapter, and verse that American Christians must burn to support our bloated lifestyles, our selfishness, our materialism, our love of power, our neglect of the poor, our support of injustice, our nationalism, and our pride.

See how frantically he works? Time is short, and he has much to burn. The prophets, the Shema, whole sections of Matthew, most of Luke, the entire book of James. Your blessed 10 commandments? Why would you want to post them on courtroom walls when you’ve burned them in your own cellar?

Do you see? DO YOU SEE? Do you see how we rip, tear, and burn scripture to justify our lives?

Do you smell the reek of this injustice? It is a stink in the nostrils of the very living God. We are dressed in beautiful clothes and we wear pretty smiles, but we stink of this blasphemous holocaust.
Every church in America has a cellar like this. We must shovel 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, 365 days a year, because every chapter and book we ignore must be burned to warm our comfy pews.

Sit down Christian. Sit down and be you silent.

God have mercy on us all.  


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