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Tuesday, February 19, 2013

The Gay Agenda, Pt. 3

Prelude to the Series
The fact that there is a gay agenda, at least on the part of the leaders of the Gay Rights Movement, should not be understood as anything out of the ordinary.  All movements have agendas, including political parties, religious organizations and nonprofit enterprises like the Red Cross.  So simply having goals they want accomplished should not be off-putting.  It is a normal function of modern movements that want to advance their causes.  

However, many opponents of the gay agenda are trying to make it look like there is something underfoot akin to the subversive activities of the communists of the 1950s, along with a corresponding witch hunt.  When I finish with this series which focuses on the publicly declared and commonly held items of this agenda, I will list some of the more outrageous charges that act more as red herrings than actual concerns.   I hope to show that, regardless of the hysteria surrounding the reality of a gay agenda, these are reasonable, responsible and valuable contributions to the public square.  (Not withstanding the outlandish charges masquerading as part of the agenda, but are only made up by the opposition.)  This is why I chose an opponent of the gay rights movement's (John Rankin) list of what he sees as the gay agenda, as it is, except for the last two, a fair assessment of it.

The following quote is another of critic John Rankin's notions of the gay agenda: He is (mostly) right

"Gain ecclesiastical, legal and social 'approval' of the personal and social 'goodness' of homosexuality, and call it 'gay'."  And, "Translate this 'approval' into leadership positions – especially ordination status in the church and political office in the culture."

Again, this is a perfectly legitimate pursuit.  It only seems strange to those who react negatively to the arrival of LGBTs in their places of worship.  But there is little we can do for such as these.  They will continue to accept the pronouncements from their pulpits and tightly run synods and denominations that the only possible reason a Christian would associate with gays is to have the opportunity to "save" them.  They will continue to close their ears to the volume of biblical scholarship amassed over the last century that clearly shows that, for those who wish to, LGBTs rightfully hold their claim as Christians.  

I will also hasten to add that those Christians who oppose LGBT acceptance have their right to do so, as well.  I would not want them disbarred from the conversation, or jettisoned from our churches, any more than I want them to continue disassociating with LGBTs.  Perhaps if we are longsuffering enough, we might even "save" some of them!

The removal of the Sodomy laws was a major step in advancing this agenda item. On June 26, 2003, the U.S. Supreme Court in a 6-3 decision in Lawrence v. Texas struck down the Texas same-sex sodomy law, ruling that this private sexual conduct is protected by the liberty rights implicit in the due process clause of the United States Constitution. Ironically, many of those crimes defined as sodomy were widely practiced by heterosexual couples, and continue to be.  How people consensually choose to express their sexuality is deemed not a matter of governmental concern and increasingly is not seen as anyone else's, either.

Also ironically, the uneven enforcement against LGBTs, overlooking the widespread breaking of sodomy laws by straights, was a major reason for striking down the law.  So the striking down of this law had as much to do with gay opponents overzealous abuse of the law as the proponents of gay rights fighting these laws in court.  No matter.  This aspect of the agenda is accomplished. Still to come are legalizing same-marriage, gay adoption, and the removal of all laws allowing discrimination against gays on the job.

The fact that many openly gay clergy have been ordained, even promoted to high office, signifies the success that the movement enjoys in promoting this part of their agenda.  The election of Gene Robinson as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of New Hampshire and Mary Glaspool as Bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Los Angeles are just two of many LGBTs who have ascended to high office of late.  Also, the Presbyterian Church (USA) and the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America have recently voted to end their longstanding prohibitions on openly gay clergy members. The United Church of Christ and the Unitarian Universalist church have ordained openly gay clergy for decades.  Add to that the many congregations that will ordain and call openly gay pastors, the success of mainstreaming LGBTs in the church and society is apparent.  Give this agenda item its rightful due: it has succeeded and succeeded well.

Social approval was accomplished due to the widening acceptance of homosexuality as a normal part of the human experience.  Part of this was due to the research by the profession organizations that clearly shows that LGBTs are as normal as the next person.  But, the overwhelming verdict in favor of gay acceptance came when our sons and daughters, parents, uncles and aunts, cousins, friends and coworkers, and the person in the next pew, revealed their sexual orientation to us in large numbers.  When we came face to face with the true face of homosexuality, our fears vanished, our love for them continued, and our desire for their full access to all the rights any other human is afforded became our cause, too.  They are no longer strangers to be feared, but the very person we've always loved and admired.

I say to you who see only Gay Pride Parade exhibitionists, and think pedophiles are gay (they are not!), and hear only from homophobic ranters, get a life!  You are surrounded by gays who you actually admire and don't even know it.  That's how normal they are.  Imagine if heterosexuals were all thought to be like the Mardi Gras revelers or the nightly visitors to the singles bars, and the people displayed on porn sites. But we know there is a wide world of straights and gays who far outnumber these and act more like you do every day.  That's why the agenda is working.

TOMORROW: We'll examine Rankin's item: "Redefine 'marriage' to include 'same-sex' relationships."

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