It is titled The Gospel, Homosexuality, and the Future of Marriage. According to the Ethics and Religious Liberty Convention of the Southern Baptist Convention it’s aim is “to equip Christians to apply the gospel on these issues with convictional kindness in their communities, their families and their churches.” They go on to ask:
Are you and your church prepared for the moral revolution surrounding homosexuality and same-sex marriage happening across America? While human sexuality and social institutions are being redefined before our very eyes, the Bible presents marriage as an unchanging picture of the gospel through the union of one man and one woman. The gospel announces that the story of Jesus is greater than the sum total of our sexual desires.
I think that we all know where this is going. Among the speakers who will attempt to answer the question are Robert George water carriers Ryan T. Anderson and Sherif Girgis. With bright minds turned to mush by fundamentalist Catholic zealotry these two are True Defenders of the Faith®. The gay is just a bad habit, kind of like alcoholism or drug addiction. Mischaracterizing sexual orientation to conform to ancient scripture and the teachings of ambitious priests without social-science training is what passes for “convictional kindness.”
Representing the pray-away-the-gay crowd is Jackie Hill who “was molested, bullied, and fatherless, which accompanied by an inherent separation from God, led her into a lifestyle of rebellion, homosexuality, drug use, and porn addiction. God spoke to her in 2008.”
- Q. Why do they always claim to have been molested.
- A. Their sexual orientation isn’t their “fault.”
Ms. Hill, who claims to be a poet, used to have a rather amusing website. Alas it has vanished into the ether.
Then there is Christopher Yuan who was expelled from dental school, did time for drug dealing, claims to be ex-gay and is HIV positive. He found god too. What’s an expelled grad student who is a gay, HIV positive ex-con to do for a living? Between Akin and Yan are a host of speakers who believe that the bible is the literal word of their god. “Convictional kindness” is unlikely to include acceptance and tolerance. Conformity seeking group-think is the agenda. The hidden agenda is an effort to impose this belief system (what some would call superstition) on everyone else by force of law.
The greatest damage, of course, is the messages that attendees will pass on to the families in their congregations. Some of those families have gay kids who require real kindness comprised of acceptance, unconditional love and emotional support. Some understanding of the social science would be an added benefit but these folks are science resistant unless it happens to conform to religious belief. Actually, when they get real ill they suddenly become real admirers of science.