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Friday, November 28, 2014

Why Not Change The Subject?

Andrew Spencer (couldn't find a link with his biography on it, sorry about that) wrote a short review of a 500 page book that opposes same-sex marriage. This review appeared on the Gospel Coalition website (click here). The book, btw, is titled, Why Not Same-Sex Marriage: A Manual For Defending Marriage Against Radical Deconstruction

We could go into the specifics of this post, but perhaps a change of pace would help us see some things clearly. That is because it isn't just the focus that many Conservative Christians have placed on same-sex marriage that is the issue here. Yes, it includes that but it is also what many of us Conservatives neglect to talk about. What do American Conservative Christians neglect to talk about with the same interest as they discuss same-sex marriage? For starters, they seem to not discuss economic disparity and classism, war and empire, and our current environmental destruction. And why don't we want to talk about those issues as much as we want to wring their hands over the growing acceptance of homosexuality and same-sex marriage?

To answer that question, let's look at what the other issues have in common in contrast to same-sex marriage. One thing those issues have in common is that they are interests that, if allowed to continue, serve the short-term welfare of the business class. Our current economic disparity and classism allows the business class to maintain a privileged position in society--note, for example, we could find out how many leaders from the corporate and financial service sectors are not prosecuted for major financial crimes, such as money laundering. In addition, war and empire enrich the coffers of those participating in the Military Industrial Complex. And finally, shortcuts in extracting fossil fuel resources and the encouragement to extract and use these resources without limits help those businesses in the energy sector even though growing extraction and use of fossil fuels is harming the environment. But there is no, either positive or negative, relation of the Business class to those desiring same-sex marriage and thus this doesn't seem to address why Conservative Christian leaders can draw bigger audiences by focusing on same-sex marriage. So it is back to the drawing board.

Perhaps, then, there is another way to look at it and that way might be summed up with the saying: 'not in my backyard.' See, for those who are privileged, the ravages of class war, military war, and the destruction of the environment are not personally experienced and thus the harm others suffer from those abuses is invisible. 

But that is not the same with same-sex marriage. Since any adult from anywhere can date and marry someone of the same gender, same-sex marriage can occur in anyone's backyard. And so it is possible that harping on this subject is one way Conservative Christian leaders can keep the attention of their audience because they are telling us about something that either has, is, or will be coming to our neighborhoods soon. That is something that is not just sinful, but is very distasteful to some will become inescapable to all of us Conservative Christians whereas all of those other issues that bring so much suffering to so many are not up close and personal to us.  And we should note that some find this sexual orientation so distasteful that they are willing to deny equality and respect to those who have this orientation. So we are only responding to what affects us and we are responding in a bad way. So we are responding in order to control what we see in our neighborhoods.

Such an assessment about ourselves is not something to write home about. 





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