How I Became an Evangelical Voice for Marriage Equality

Evangelicals are changing their minds on gay marriage. So argues the Log Cabin Republicans’ David Lampo in a recent op-ed in the Daily Caller. In defense of his thesis, Lampo trots out the examples of two prominent evolved evangelicals: David Blankenhorn and yours truly. There are two problems here: Blankenhorn is not an Evangelical and I have not changed my mind on gay marriage. If David and I are the two best examples of an evangelical evolution, it ain’t happening. Continue Reading »

To Substitute Another Thirst

If there’s one theological commitment that unites both sides of the same-sex marriage debate, it’s semi-Pelagianism. Taking its name from the fourth-century monk Pelagius, semi-Pelagianism may be thought of as a theological mood or a set of impulses that’s opposed to a strong doctrine of original sin. Fearing that talk of our broken wills may hamper moral striving, the semi-Pelagian stresses perfectibility as a motive for action. Continue Reading »

Richard Posner’s Delusions

The Seventh Circuit of the U.S. Court of Appeals put out its ruling on same-sex marriage yesterday. A unanimous three-judge panel declared that Wisconsin and Indiana’s refusal to recognize same-sex marriage (misdescribed by the press as a “ban”) is unconstitutional. Continue Reading »

The Princess Bride Syndrome

Like many Americans, I have changed my mind on gay marriage—though my change of mind has gone the opposite way of most. My support for gay marriage was early and enthusiastic. In high school I wrote a research paper titled “Gay Marriage as a Constitutional and Human Right.” I was earnest and impassioned, motivated by a desire to see justice done and unsure of how or why anyone could disagree. Continue Reading »

Is It Legal—or, Who’s the Victim?

One of the more intractable aspects of sexual politics today for traditionalists is the emergence of the courtroom as the arena for settling every debate. Even when they have a democratic majority, not to mention centuries of sexual-marital mores, on their side, the contrary will of one-to-five politically-appointed individuals can prevail. Of course, judicial activism is an old problem, undemocratic and arbitrary, placing monumental decisions in too few hands. But there is another problem, an indirect one that follows precisely from critics taking seriously the courtroom’s power. We could call this problem the “legalization” of debate, meaning not whether something is legal, but instead the conversion of moral, social, religious, and other dimensions of an issue into legal, or legalistic, terms, or at least the neglect of them because of a focus on what the judges will say.

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Why Gay Rights Are Not The New Civil Rights

Supporters of same-sex marriage love to make analogies to the African American Civil Rights Movement. Analogies are rhetorical devices that require careful scrutiny. While I do not find the attempt to connect bans on gay marriage to miscegenation laws persuasive, nevertheless there is nothing inherently wrong in trying to find parallels between these two social movements. In that spirit, let me offer my own reflections on what we can learn by comparing them. Continue Reading »

N. T. Wright on Gay Marriage

N. T. Wright—hailed by Time as “one of the most formidable figures in Christian thought”—first captured my imagination with the early volumes of his series  Christian Origins and the Question of God. In them, he frames the Christian story precisely as a story, a . . . . Continue Reading »

Piling Cliché Upon Cliché

In the past two days, federal courts have redefined marriage in two states: Oregon and Pennsylvania. No one should be surprised by this; though the Supreme Court’s decision in Windsor v. U.S., which struck down the federal Defense of Marriage Act, could be shrewdly navigated so as to permit state definitions of marriage to survive scrutiny, it was unlikely that any federal judge would bring attention to himself by defying the accumulating mass of pro-same-sex marriage rulings. Continue Reading »