Anyhow, his recent blog post over at The New Republic is worth reading in its entirety. It's about social conservatives' obsession with homosexuality. I have a few thoughts of my own. Here he quotes Rod Dreher:
As he puts it in a recent post,
Gay-rights supporters typically believe people like me hold to our opposition to gay marriage and so forth because of some animosity towards gays. I know that it's true for a lot of conservatives, but in my case -- and in the case of most people I know who share my views -- it's not an emotional matter. We have gay friends, are comfortable around gay people, and simply don't share that visceral reaction that used to be commonplace in American life, and (regrettably) still is in many quarters.
I don't know Rod Dreher, so I can't really speak to his qualities as an individual. I am sure that his gay friends find much to recommend about him. Splendid. But I have very little patience and even less time for people who congratulate themselves for having gay friends, while simultaneously believing that said friends should be content with being second-class citizens. As though we should all applaud and be grateful that we're not getting burned at the stake, and go about our lives keeping in our place.
Linker sees Dreher's views about homosexuality as reflective of the Church's authority in general. The scriptures, Dreher states, are unambiguous on the subject of homosexuality, and thus believing Christians either accept the truth of the Church's condemnation thereof, or reject the authority of the Church to dictate sexual mores.
This is such a trite and facile argument as to be almost embarrassing. The Bible, turns out, says a whole lot of things. In addition to the clarity that the Bible supposedly contains about homosexuality, one can also find (in both Testaments!) justification for all kinds of fun stuff. Slavery, for example, is a breeze (Leviticus 25:44, Titus 2:9). Women, apparently, are useful commodities who should keep their mouths shut and do what they're told (Genesis 29:18-19, I Corinthians 14: 33b-36, Colossians 3:18). While I can find people who will actually defend that latter proposition (though I wouldn't really want to spend much time having a conversation with them), I (certainly hope I) would have a hard time finding anyone in contemporary society that would support the former.
Either we inhabit modernity, or we do not. Either we accept that historical Biblical teaching must be framed within the understandings of our current society, and allow for changes within that understanding, or we do not. Either we admit that reason cannot always be squared with Scripture, and can sometimes even take precedence over a literal belief in Biblical inerrancy, or we do not. Orthodox Christians, even fundamentalists, behave like the former but proclaim the latter. Regardless, let us not pretend that holding up the Bible as the perfect record of God's will, to be translated into law and policy, would result in anything other than a regression.