In December of 2008, Richard Cizik, the vice president for governmental affairs of the National Association of Evangelicals, appeared on NPR’s Fresh Air. He told host Terry Gross that he was ok with civil unions for gay couples… and was shortly thereafter forced to resign from the NAE.
Yesterday, he came back on the show to give updates on his life. He stands by what he said about civil unions — though he’s still undecided about gay marriage:
… I agree with what I said then and I agree with it now. What’s changed since then — even over the last year — according to a poll released just this week by Public Religion Research Institute, is that a majority of evangelicals — not just younger evangelicals — say that they agree either with same-sex marriage or civil unions. That’s a majority of white evangelicals in California. And evangelicals around the country are looking at this in new light and new ways and evaluating this in terms of the Constitution and in light of our Christian values. And that’s good.”
A majority of evangelicals seem to be coming to their senses. But the old white, male, Protestant guard isn’t about to let up their power so this argument will continue for years to come… unless younger Christians take them on directly.
If young Christians want to change the fact that their religion is perceived as bigoted and anti-gay, they need to be on the front lines in support of gay marriage.
Cizik is taking steps in that direction. I wish he’d take larger leaps. But it’s nice to see a Christian-in-power speaking some sense about social issues.
(Thanks to everyone for the link.)