Pardon me, but have the Protestant churches been doing anything but addressing issues of homosexuality ad nauseum and ad infinitum?
The gay community took a real bashing after the elections, becoming the whipping boys and girls for an insanely disappointed and disillusioned Democratic party. After I got through banging my head slowly and repeatedly against a brick wall, I thought the opposite thing: where were the Protestant churches during the campaign, and the last two years of Bush's first term, for that matter? How come our churches let our gay brothers and sisters put themselves out there without our unequivocal support and prophetic righteousness to equal the hateful self-righteousness of the conservatives? And I don't mean a few courageous commentators or inveterate writers of letters to the editors, but churches -- whole churches. Millions of Christians, loud and proud. When are the liberal denominations finally going to settle this hash and end the eternal assemblies and conferences? Does God have that much patience?
Enough people have spoken of the need for a new "religious left," and I have nothing to add to the conversation. But about gay rights, this: Before we cross off all the red states and the people in 'em as despicable homophobes, might we consider the subtle, and hopeful, difference between the true homophobe and the heterosexist?
True homophobia is probably incurable: it requires such repression,such projection, such disgust and hatred as to be a true pathology, and beyond the reach of casual intervention. My guess, however, is that the majority of those who refuse to support gay rights are heterosexist, and can be reformed. Heterosexism is more about privilege than repulsion -- it has provided an easy bandwagon for lazy, comfortable heteros to jump on without being challenged, and hets have jumped... by the millions. The antidote to heterosexism is most often achieved when comfy, smug, privileged heterosexists become aware of -- and accomodate, in the spiritual realm, the social realm and the realm of justice -- the fact that lots of people they actually know, love, respect and need in their lives are queer.