Atheist Reaction to PC(USA) – JT Eberhard
So the Presbyterian Church has said gay people can get married and their love counts. Cool. Not that we needed them to say it for it to be so, but still happy to have one less body treating perfectly normal Americans like they had something wrong with them and, thus, were unworthy of love – or that what they called love was really something else.
But take particular note of what the Presbyterian Church has not said and won’t say. They won’t say, “Huh, I guess god was wrong.” They also won’t say, “See how god’s will can be altered by popular vote? So when we were working to keep LGBT people as second class citizens all this time while crediting/blaming god, it could’ve been altered by our opinion/vote at any time. Surprise!” At best you’ll hear, “Huh, I guess we interpreted scripture wrong these last few thousand years and that when god wrote that we should kill men who lie with men as with women, what he really meant was that we should give them full and equal rights and not kill them for having sex. Our bad. God is a great and perfect communicator, we just bungled it. Oops. Thank goodness that god’s perfect, unalterable will and unchanging morality of the church can continue on from here.”
And over the next few years you probably won’t hear, “Sorry we came around so late, and only because popular opinion was turning and we have to monitor our PR – we didn’t make the change based on simple compassion when we had the chance.” What you will start to hear after a few years is, “We didn’t just come around reluctantly to the idea of gay marriage, we led the way! Without us fighting for the rights of LGBT people, guided by the love of Jesus, of course, it never would’ve happened. Gay rights owes so much to Christianity.” This will be said, of course, ignoring the fact that almost 100% of the opposition to gay rights comes from religious motivation, primarily Christian in the United States.
It may sound like I’m cynical about an organization switching from discriminating against gays to acknowledging that they’re just as human as the straight couple next door. I’m not. I’m happy to see one less pillar supporting the house of bigotry. But that doesn’t mean I’m also not aware of this particular PR script that has been run time and time again by churches throughout history or that I’m fond of spin. I also wish people would realize that they are the captains of their own moral ships and that they’d stop pretending like they’re following some unmoving moral beacon rather than their own whims. The fact that they just voted on a moral matter, despite what god supposedly had to say in the bible, confirms the latter. I just wish they’d admit it.
That might keep this type of thing from taking so long in the future.
Comment left on Eberhard blog – Jtrinity182
I always have a certain degree of appreciation for Christians that decide to liberalize their views, but I often have to wonder what the point is. This is to say that I fully understand fundamentalists. The Bible asserts that it is intended to be read literally as actual truth in a few passages (i.e. 2nd Peter 1:20-21), and literalism requires absolutely zero nuanced thinking. Granted, it does require a sort of mental gymnastics to deal with the cognitive dissonance that undoubtedly arises. Fundamentalists usually chalk that dissonant thinking up to mysteries of the faith or temptation from the devil and move on with their lives. Regardless, the fundamentalist has the security of believing that they have an instruction manual from the creator of the universe and they go about [rather haphazardly] attempting to live out that worldview. Gays are bad. Women are second class citizens. Men rode dinosaurs like the Flintstones. Original sin is real, and Christ is the solution to that particular shitty human origin story.
The Christian Liberal has a much harder task to endure. They believe that there are some truths in the Bible, but, some of the inspired passages are merely there as figurative allegories to be understood contextually or metaphorically. The element of the liberal approach that blows my mind is that it makes NO SENSE.