Christianity Today, a publication whose editorial board believes committed gay and lesbian couples are “destructive to society,” published an article all about how Christians should expect non-Christians to share their morals.
As if the rest of us would ever stoop that low.
The argument, by Daniel Darling and Andrew T. Walker of the Southern Baptist Convention-affiliated Ethics and Religious Liberty Commission, essentially says Christian morality is amazing, so Christians should always push for others to agree with them. I don’t have a problem with that part of the argument. All of us think we’re right about everything; we should try to persuade others to our side.
But look at what happens when the authors give an example of what they’re talking about:
Imagine we took the same approach with a different issue — say, crime — that some do with marriage and family policy. What if our approach toward murder or theft was as laissez-faire? Why should we expect our neighbors not to murder? Why should we think non-Christians will act like believers and obey the sixth commandment? But if the home of one of these advocates were broken into by an unbelieving neighbor, they would call upon the local, God-ordained authorities, and accusing the thief of violating a fundamental principle of justice that all of our consciences know to be true: It is unjust to steal. Stealing is a violation not only of God’s revealed law, but also of the basic concept of justice that is written on the heart of every person. If our unbelieving neighbor steals from us, we don’t excuse their behavior because they don’t follow a Christian code of ethics. We simply expect them not to steal.
That’s a silly comparison, though. Crime is objectively wrong. It hurts innocent people. Even kids know that. We can make rational arguments against theft and violence without ever once referring to the Bible.
You can’t do that with marriage equality. Take away the Bible and you got nothing.
That’s not the only issue where evangelical morality is just an oxymoron.
Weapon control? They’re opposed to tighter gun restrictions.
LGBT rights? They’re obviously opposed to gay marriage, and they even combat anti-discrimination and anti-bullying laws.
Sex before marriage? You’re all shameless hussies if you even think about sex outside of marriage.
Abortions? If Evangelicals had it their way, you wouldn’t be allowed to get one unless the mother’s life was in danger. Even with rape victims, they get into controversies over whether it’s “legitimate” or not.
Death penalty? They were official for it until just a week ago. Their current position is that they could go either way. Pro-life my ass.
That’s what evangelical leadership on morality looks like. If a guy like Mike Huckabee is your standard-bearer on ethics, I want nothing to do with it.
I’m not doubting that Christians want other people to act like them. I’m just saying that the rest of us shouldn’t bother.
if anything, evangelicals should be thanking us for opposing their majorities so often and forcing them to eventually rethink their positions on these issues, making them seem far more inclusive and tolerant than they really are. Give it a few years, for example, and they’ll be in support of marriage equality.
If Christians want the rest of us to share their morality, all they need to do is convince us using strong arguments. The reason they haven’t persuaded us is because, on so many issues, all they have are Bible verses that have no effect outside their bubble. Hell, younger evangelicals are already parting ways with their parents’ opinions on many of these issues, which suggests Christian morals will come to mean something very different a decade or two from now.
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