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Mohler concedes inevitability of social acceptance of same-sex couples

Timothy Kincaid

February 26th, 2011

Albert Mohler, president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary, is now admitting that their arguments are not going to win over society, or even all of those who sit in pews listening to their anti-gay sermonizing (Christian Post):

“I think it’s clear that something like same-sex marriage is going to become normalized, legalized and recognized in the culture. It’s time for Christians to start thinking about how we’re going to deal with that,” he said Friday on the Focus on the Family radio program.

The Southern Baptist made it clear that he was not saying that they are giving up. Marriage is still an institution Christians need to save, particularly in their own community. But Christians also need to start learning how to deal with the shifting culture and even face the fact that they may lose a few from their flock.

“I think we’re going to be surprised and heartbroken over how many people are going to capitulate to the spirit of the age,” he noted. “We’re going to find now that there may not be as many of us as we thought.”

He’s right.

Comments

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Hunter
February 26th, 2011 | LINK

“We’re going to find now that there may not be as many of us as we thought.”

There never were.

elaygee
February 26th, 2011 | LINK

Evil shrinks in size from the bright glow of daylight.

beachewtoy75
February 26th, 2011 | LINK

“It’s time for Christians to start thinking about how we’re going to deal with that”

You’re not going to allow them to get married in your church, which is your right.

That’s about all you gotta worry about.

Richard Rush
February 26th, 2011 | LINK

Mohler:

I think it’s clear that something like same-sex marriage is going to become normalized, legalized and recognized in the culture. It’s time for [Super] Christians to start thinking about how we’re going to deal with that.

Long after I’m dead, Super Christians will be claiming credit for ending society’s persecution of gay people. But they will neglect to mention that they were the ones being dragged kicking and screaming. That’s what Super Christians do. They claim credit for all outcomes deemed positive, while deflecting responsibility for all outcomes deemed negative.

Amicus
February 26th, 2011 | LINK

I don’t think it is that hard to carve out an ultra-right position on gay sex or gay marriage:

Sodomy is appropriate only for gays and only in the context of responsible relationship. “Gay” is exclusively the province of those who truly, honestly, before God feel that way and intend to reflect that truth as their exclusive social reality. All other gay sex acts are … impermissible.

For various reasons, I couldn’t be the one (nor could many, I suppose), help them to flesh out that “conservative theology”, because I think they also have atonement to do, among other things.

But, the path is clear. If the liberal theologians are talking about freedom and so forth, then the conservatives will only be comfortable when they can talk about responsibility, right?

TampaZeke
February 27th, 2011 | LINK

@Richard Rush, you’re absolutely right. I witnessed it with African-American civil rights in Mississippi. The very churches that fought hardest against integration and to keep blacks from voting 30 years later had the audacity to claim that it was because of THEM that civil rights were advanced.

It is just sickening.

Concerning Moeler, I don’t think most of us have ANY idea how big a deal this statement is. This is HUGE. As a former Southern Baptist and the son of a Southern Baptist pastor I can assure you that this statement is earth shattering and gut wrenching to the anti-gay fundamentalist industry.

As more and more of them see the writing on the wall more and more of them are going to be unwilling to be known as and remembered as anti-gay bigots the way their grandparents were known as racists.

Again, this is HUGE!

Priya Lynn
February 27th, 2011 | LINK

Tampazeke said “Concerning Moeler, I don’t think most of us have ANY idea how big a deal this statement is.”.

No, I saw it as extremely significant as well. This is one of the major turning points in the fight for equality.

Richard Rush
February 27th, 2011 | LINK

Like TampaZeke and Priya, I also see Mohler’s statement as an extremely significant admission. The final outcome of our quest for equality is no longer in doubt. The only question now is the timing.

Surely Maggie Gallagher and the rest of the NOMsters are aware of Mohler’s statement, and if they ever have fleeting moments of respite from their delusions, they would see the reality.

We all know there are still many battles ahead, so we need to be mindful of a famous old saying:

“It ain’t over ’til the fat lady sings”

As a 66-year-old who literally “came out”* in the summer of Stonewall (1969), I’ve personally witnessed an incredible journey. If I’m lucky, I’ll be there at the final destination where I will marry the guy who has been the love of my life for almost 30 years, and we will have full Federal recognition.
_____

*Remember, “coming out” in 1969 generally meant coming out to one’s self and other gay people, not to family, friends, colleagues, etc..

Hunter
February 27th, 2011 | LINK

Richard Rush said:

“Surely Maggie Gallagher and the rest of the NOMsters are aware of Mohler’s statement, and if they ever have fleeting moments of respite from their delusions, they would see the reality.”

The reality is that they’re making way too much money to give up without a fight. Mohler’s livelihood isn’t dependent on being vociferously anti-gay — he has room to maneuver. Tony Perkins, Maggie Gallagher, Matt Barber, the whole crew don’t have that wiggle room — they’d have to go out and get real jobs, and in this economy, that’s not so easy.

Priya Lynn
February 27th, 2011 | LINK

I can’t wait to hear what the other religious anti-gays have to say about Mohler’s comment.

Regan DuCasse
February 27th, 2011 | LINK

Some of this point were made already, but I’m hoping for EXHAUSTION for the other side.
Perhaps real crazies have an unnatural endurance for tilting at windmills, but it can’t too sustainable to demand the kinds of financial and emotional support the anti gay require.
This recession is killing everyone. And I think there are people out there wondering why THEY were tapped and tithed, and there hasn’t been any help when their families implode or divorce or abuse looms because of their personal financial and professional straits.

How does it look to someone barely able to feed their children, to see Maggie’s well fed self traveling all over and seeing the country and only making SPEECHES?
Perhaps some people are catching wise that NOM and every group like them, do nothing BUT talk.
Their actions benefit ONLY them, and not actual families and children and marriages and never did.

There was nearly 50 million dollars spent to keep gay couples from marrying. And CA’s economy is in the toilet, jobs are bleeding from it, and yet…does anyone recall that seeing marriages taking place is WHY CA is having a hard time right now?

We’re the ones being told that our government has better things to do than worry about gay people’s problems.
Well, how does NOM justify tapping the government to essentially do NOTHING that’s protecting anything from what really affects married people?
How does NOM justify tapping wallets to do the same?
And gay couples getting married didn’t COST any states money, indeed just the opposite was true.

I hope that the energy it’s taken to maintain gay people in pariah status is finally fading. That perhaps certain other priorities are consuming your average citizen and they simply don’t see the negative outcomes predicted to justify keeping up the vigil.

No harm in hoping that’s a factor in why Moehler feels this way.

Ben in Oakland
February 27th, 2011 | LINK

I wish i had some time to write. gotta go to Oscar’s.

This is what I would say to mr. mohler, were there the slightest chance of him listening to me:

Mr. mohler, You wrote,

“It’s time for Christians to start thinking about how we’re going to deal with that.”

Two points. first, You never really HAD to deal with it, any more than you “had” to deal with contraception and abortion. Lots of Chrisitnas are dealing with it just fine– they either leave gay people alone or welcome them into their churches, instead of waging war on people they do not know, know nothing about, and who have done them no harm. YOU chose to force your way into people’s personal lives and decisions, to use the coercive power of the state to enforce your religious beliefs on people who do not share them. The proper way to deal with it is to mind your own goddammed and god-damning business, the same way the every other anti-gay person has had to learn that more and more people disagree with stupidity and bigotry.

Second, your belief that you have to deal with it? This is the whole problem. You think that somehow it’s about you, your life, your faith, and what YOU think.

Your “dealing with it” has created untold grief and strife for gay people and their families and children, realigned political movements to the complete detriment of our country and our place in the world, wasted untol millions on stupid and fruitless political campaigns, money that ultimately could have been used to help the very people you claim to protect.

This is how you deal with it. drop the subject, tell your fawning minions to do likewise, and start being FOR something that helps people instead of AGAINST people who want to be left alone, and whose lives have no effect on yours.

Kisses.

Priya Lynn
February 27th, 2011 | LINK

Right on Ben.

Aeval
February 27th, 2011 | LINK

“I think we’re going to be surprised and heartbroken over how many people are going to capitulate to the spirit of the age,”

They are not capitulating, it’s called progressing, they are simply empracing the idea that the world is becoming increasingly better in terms of liberty, democracy, quality of life, and so on…

…and it’s nothing to be afraid of Mr Mohler, it is as it should be.

CPT_Doom
February 28th, 2011 | LINK

It occurs to me that 300 or so years ago a Catholic Bishop could have written the same thing about the Protestant Reformation – and likely did. After all, that is about the time the two sides stopped burning each other at the stake for following the wrong “lifestyle choice.”

I don’t know that the anti-gay hate movement as a whole can be expected to accept Mohler’s statements, of course. Not only are they making tons of money off the scapegoating of LGBT Americans, but once you’ve claimed equal rights for LGBT people will destroy society, how do you walk that back? They’ve painted themselves into a rhetorical corner that they will find extremely difficult from which to escape.

Ben in Oakland
February 28th, 2011 | LINK

I did end up writing to Mr. mohler. Here it is.

Dear Mr. Mohler,

Thank you for what you had to say on the subject of same-sex marriage, or my preferred term, marriage equality. I rarely bother to respond to fundamentalist religious belief, but in this case, I want to.

You wrote…

“It’s time for Christians to start thinking about how we’re going to deal with that.”

First, You never really HAD to deal with it, any more than you “had” to deal with contraception or abortion, or “had” to deal with sodomy laws, non-discrimination laws, or any other issue about ending this stupid, 2000 year old prejudice. Lots of Christians are dealing with it just fine– they either leave gay people alone or welcome them into their churches, instead of waging war on people they do not know, know nothing about, and who have done them no harm. Lots of Christians deal with it by taking Jesus’s basic teaching to heart: get your own moral house in order before you presume to start telling other people about their sins.

YOU, the Christian Rightists, and the anti-and-ex-gay industry– big bucks and political power there– chose to force your way into people’s personal lives and decisions, to use the coercive power of the state to enforce your religious beliefs on people who do not share them, to legally disadvantage and disenfranchise those people in whatever way you could. And for what? To make a “moral” statement based upon dubious translations of the Bible, bad social research, unproven and unprovable assumptions about human nature and sexuality, and ignorance of history.

And to make a political statement that continues to wreak harm on the lives and families of people who have done nothing to you, and whose lives have had no effect on yours.

The proper way to “deal with it” is to mind your own god-damned and god-damning business, as Jesus commanded you to do– the same way that every anti-gay person has learned to do with bad translations of 2000 year old books, and the justification of ancient prejudices as “sincere religious belief” and “moral concerns”.

Homosexuality is as old as humanity, and as moral as heterosexuality. The proper way to deal with it is to educate yourself, the same way that every other prejudiced person has had to learn that more and more people disagree with the stupidity, ignorance, fear, and bigotry that comprises their prejudice.

Your belief that you have to deal with it? This is the whole problem. Allowing gay couples to marry does not change the definition of marriage — heteros can marry just as they always have, as often and as badly as legally possible, to the opposite gender person of their choice. It does not affect and has never affected, in any way demonstrable by logic, fact, or experience, and in any jurisdiction where it is legal, the rights, status, and responsibilities of any heterosexual marriage. It merely expands access to marriage, and provides us and our families the legal protection that every heterosexual person takes for granted– or abuses.

Likewise, allowing gay people to marry has no effect on your religious beliefs, your church, or your freedom of religion. Why is it that as a Jew, I can reject the totality of your religious belief, not just this tiny part that says “gay is bad”, and this bothers no one but the most rabid of fundamentalists. But let me say that I am gay, and wish to live my life as God made me and as our country’s Constitution has promised me, and suddenly, I am a threat to faith, freedom, family, children, marriage, morality– you name it.

The reality is that the increasing acceptance of gay people in the world has had no effect on any heterosexual who did not wish to be so affected. Marriage equality has had NO effect on those anti-gay heterosexuals, and their churches can continue to define, to their hearts delight, marriage as God given, sanctified, and hetero-only. They can continue to deny our marriages as being real, or our families, faiths, and loves as real and every bit as important as theirs. They can exclude and shun us all they wish, and tell everyone that according to their religious beliefs, our marriages and families are counterfeit.

Believe it or not, I have NO problem with that. I think it is stupid, wrongheaded, bigoted, small-minded, ignorant, and ultimately on the wrong side of history. But no problem.

BECAUSE IT ISN’T ABOUT YOU, YOUR RELIGION, OR WHAT YOU “THINK”.

It is about how our government treats us,and our freedom of religion, our equality before the law.

You think that somehow it’s about you, your life, your faith, and what YOU think. Your “dealing with it” has created untold grief, hardship, and strife for gay people and their families and children, realigned political movements to the complete detriment of our country and our place in the world, wasted untold millions on stupid and fruitless political campaigns, money that ultimately could have been used to help the very people you claim you want to protect. How many families that fell apart in the past three years could have been helped by the $40 million spent in the Prop. 8 campaign? How many children are dying in Darfur, while Maggie Gallagher makes a swell living “defending” and “protecting” her marriage against mine?

Here’s how you “deal with it.” Drop the subject, take care of your own marriage and family, and tell the Armies of the Self-Righteous to do likewise, to start being FOR something that helps people instead of AGAINST people who want to be left alone, and whose lives have no effect on yours.

Thank you for listening.

Ben Janken

Regan DuCasse
February 28th, 2011 | LINK

Ben, SPEAK brother! From the mountain, a WISE man speaks!

I’m in no position to do so, but I love it when those who ARE, such as yourself…tell it like it IS and SHOULD be.
And why, I LOVE you and respect you so much!

XOXO

Ben in Oakland
February 28th, 2011 | LINK

Thank you, Regan.

BTW, I’m going to be going down to LA in three months. First time in 8 years, apart from a whirlwind job in 2006. I’d love to have lunch with you.

Regan DuCasse
March 1st, 2011 | LINK

Ben, it’s a DATE! Tim has my email and phone number. You can give me yours, and we’ll do it.
I’d love to meet you!
XOXO

Regan DuCasse
March 1st, 2011 | LINK

I’m also on Facebook, so you can hit me up there for my information.

Amicus
March 3rd, 2011 | LINK

“Dealing with it”

A charm offensive?

http://www.theroot.com/print/50519

A rhetorical softening, but no theological change?

A precursor to the real deal?

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