If you’re feeling really depressed, this will cheer you up.
It’s a long Christianity Today article about how evangelicals can try to flourish in a society where they’ve totally lost the culture wars. For example, achieving their goals might require them being in an environment where gay cooties are on the loose:
Very practically, traditionally minded Christians will need to take up social projects alongside people who support gay marriage. In some cases, they will need to work cooperatively alongside people in gay marriages. Since parents of gay children often find their perspective changed, divisions on this issue lie not only between political and social groups but also within families and churches. Important social goals, including strengthening marriage and families, will need to reach across these barriers.
A Christian pro-family agenda that makes its central mission the reversal of gay marriage will be spectacularly unsuccessful. Evangelicals, in other words, will need to find ways to strengthen a marriage culture in a same-sex-marriage world. This will involve participating in coalitions on a variety of issues—including building safe, healthy, child-friendly communities — with supporters of gay marriage. This is not moral compromise; it is the normal practice of democracy.
Oh, the horror! They might have to work with gay people and their allies who have the same goal of making families stronger! (Even though LGBT activists have long said making marriage equality legal would be good for the institution of marriage.)
The piece also notes that even many younger evangelicals have no problem with gay marriage and that’s not going to change anytime soon.
So what goals can evangelicals work on now? They could try to lower divorce rates, become advocates for abused children, and facilitate adoptions (though that, too, might involve working with gay couples). All that’s great. The authors, Michael Gerson and Peter Wehner, also say that evangelicals can work to “encourage teenagers to delay or abstain from sexual activity,” but that’s hopeless, too. We’ve seen where abstinence-only sex education has gotten us and we know how useless that information is. Kids need comprehensive sex ed that doesn’t involve lying and condescension.
In any case, on one of the most polarizing issues of the past decade, evangelicals took a firm stance against civil rights and love… only to watch much of the country run the hell away from them. Whatever cachet they once enjoyed for being purveyors of morality is now in the toilet.
That sound you hear is a beautiful white flag of surrender waving in the distance.
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