It's time for a gut check for conservative Christians in America. If we are on the right side of one of the greatest social, moral, and spiritual issues of our time, then we need to dig deep, hold our ground, strengthen our commitment, and redouble our efforts, regardless of cost or consequence. But if we are on the wrong side of this issue, then we had best throw in the towel before we lose all credibility and further damage the reputation of the Lord.
The issue of which I speak is that of “gay rights” (or, more broadly, “gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender rights”), and on an almost daily basis, the mainstream media assures us of two things: 1) Just as many conservative Christians were on the wrong side of slavery, segregation, and women’s rights, we are on the wrong side of the gay rights issue today. 2) It is futile to oppose gay activism any longer, since the battle has already been won and Americans have embraced “equality and tolerance.”
Put another way, those who continue to argue that homosexual practice is sinful or that same-sex couples should not have the right to marry will soon be consigned to the dung heap of public opinion, there to join past generations of slave traders, misogynists, and members of the KKK. Is this true?
To be sure, we are living in times of stunning social transition:
- For the third straight year, President Barack Obama has declared June to be Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual, and Transgender Pride Month, also commemorating the Stonewall Riots of June 1969.
- In New York, both Governor Cuomo and Mayor Bloomberg are making an aggressive attempt to legalize same-sex marriage now.
- One of the country’s most prestigious law firms, King & Spalding, dropped the United States Government as its client under pressure from gay activists after agreeing to defend the Defense of Marriage Act.
- Media outlets have praised the students of a Florida high school for selecting a cross-dressing teenage boy as their prom queen.
- Major league baseball teams have now joined the “It Gets Better” campaign, designed to encourage gay and lesbian youth and teenagers in their sexual orientation, and “It Gets Better” commercials, sponsored by Google and even featuring a word of encouragement from Pixar’s “Woody” of Toy Story fame, have been broadcast during NBA playoff games.
- The Southern Poverty Law Center has designated some of America’s most respected family ministries as “hate groups” because of their alleged spreading of misinformation regarding homosexuality.
- When a Chik-Fil-A store in Pennsylvania donated brownies and sandwiches to a pro-family organization that opposed same-sex marriage, college students began to call for boycotts of Chik-Fil-A on their campuses. At the same time, major corporations pour millions of dollars into gay activist organizations and are widely praised for their philanthropy.
And the list goes on... and on. Is it time for us to capitulate? Are we on the wrong side of history once again? Certainly not.
It is true that there are many kind, friendly, hard-working, conscientious LGBT people and they deserve to be treated with civility and respect, but when it comes to biblical truth, there is not a single argument that has been presented or a single discovery that has been made – historically or linguistically or archeologically or exegetically – that would cause us to alter our understanding that God’s Word opposes homosexual practice. And it is true that there are many devoted, loving, same-sex couples, but there is still not the slightest reason to redefine marriage – society’s most fundamental social institution – nor, for that matter, has any proponent of same-sex marriage provided an adequate answer to the most basic of questions, namely, What’s so special about the number “two” if marriage is not the union of a man and a woman?
When it comes to recent polls that indicate that a majority of Americans – especially among younger Americans – now believe same-sex marriage should be legal, we must remember that polls do not tell us what is right, they simply report public opinion. Why in the world should Christian leaders bow down to polls when it comes to determining morality?
We must also bear in mind that other recent polls indicate that most Americans, quite remarkably, believe that more than 25% of the population is gay (as opposed to the correct figure, which is closer to 3%), with Americans under 30 years of age putting the figure at close to 33%. This is an almost unbelievably inaccurate picture (thanks to TV and the media, no doubt), and one that certainly influences public perception towards LGBT people.
The fact is that followers of Jesus are called to swim against the tide of popular opinion and go against the grain of popular morality rather than do what is convenient or expedient. And so, the real question is not whether we are on the right side of history. The question is: We will do what is right or will we cave in to culture?
Michael Brown is host of the daily, syndicated talk radio show, The Line of Fire, and author of A Queer Thing Happened to America: And What a Long, Strange Trip It’s Been.