13 October 2010

Preach it!

Dan Savage has had it with moderate Christians who complain about his emphasis on the bigotry of the fundamentalists.
I'm sick of tolerant, accepting Christians whispering to me that "we're not all like that." If you want to change the growing perception that "good Christian" means "anti-gay"—a perception that is leading many people to stop identifying themselves as Christian because they don't want to be lumped in with the haters—stop whispering to me and start screaming at them. Until there are moderate and "welcoming" Christian groups that are just as big, well-funded, aggressive, and loud as the conservative Christian organizations, "welcoming" Christians are in no position to complain about the perception that all Christians are anti-gay. Your co-religionists have invested decades and millions of dollars in creating that perception. You let it happen.


  1. Mr. Savage makes a worthy point. His statements remind me of JMU's motto which is taken from a quote by Ghandi, "We need to be the change we wish to see in the world." All to often moderates (not just in the religious sphere) "talk" but don't "do."

    However, I would like to offer a critique if I may. He claims that we moderates "let [fundamentalism] happen." I would counter that by saying that in the past many of us held similar positions to the fundamentalists in the genuine belief that we were doing the right thing. It is only recently that many of us (myself included) have become aware of how wrong we were. Moderates are now faced with the gargantuan task of changing the course of the ship mid-voyage.

    Mr. Savage also states that he wishes for moderate Christian groups to be "just as...aggressive, and loud as the conservative Christian organizations." As a Mennonite I steadfastly disagree that we ought to become just as aggressive and loud lest we find ourselves stooping to their level. Do I believe that my fellow moderates and I should be vocal? Yes. Should we stand firm in our beliefs? Yes. Should we be bold? Yes. Should we be loud and aggressive? No. Aggressive yelling does not change hearts. That is the realm of conversation, discussion, and education.

  2. An interesting point. However, I wonder how reasonable it would seem if the analogous, as far as I can see, reasoning were applied to Islam. Should we blame moderate Muslims for the Islamophobia that is rampant in the US?

    One problem, as Ethan touches upon, is that, by nature, moderates tend not to spread their message through such radical methods as radicals. Which makes us less newsworthy in general. I suppose we could picket funerals of returning soldiers with signs reading, "God loves all of us, including gays and your missed child." Despite the positive message, I would still feel like a cad intruding on their grief, and unless we were counter-protesting the Westburo Baptist Church, I doubt we would make local, let alone national news.

    Anyway, found your blog through the wondrous interconnection of the internet, and shall try to read some more of it. Thanks for the post.