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Jan 16 2013

More signs of the times

When preacher Rick Warren was picked to give the prayer at the 2008 inauguration of Barack Obama, there were protests about his anti gay views but not enough to have the invitation withdrawn. This year the inaugural committee picked preacher Louie Giglio to give the benediction on January 20th but when videos surfaced that he too had preached anti-gay messages in the past and protests again erupted, he withdrew from the proceedings, likely because he would have been disinvited anyway.

In his statement, Giglio did not disavow his past opposition to homosexuality but merely said that “this issue has not been in the range of my priorities in the past fifteen years.” His reported replacement is a Hispanic Episcopal priest from a church near the White House that is deemed to be ‘gay friendly’.

I suspect that the reason Giglio has changed his priorities and dropped vigorous anti-gay preaching is because he is smart enough to see that times are changing. Except for the real bigots, any evangelical preacher who seeks to broaden his or her base is likely to go silent on the gay issue as a precursor to slowly accepting it later as they realize they are on the losing side, especially when it comes to young people. One sees signs of such changes in attitudes everywhere. For example, surveys show that the numbers of Americans who view homosexuality as a sin is dropping precipitously, now down to a little over one-third of the population. Being anti-gay is no way for an ambitious preacher to increase market share in a crowded field.

Is it any wonder that even the Mormon church, which poured money and people in 2008 into fighting for Proposition 8 that defined marriage in California as only between a man and a woman, and was stung by being viewed as bigots as a result of the backlash from their actions, is beginning to thaw in its attitude towards gays? There was even a well-attended Gay Pride parade in Salt Lake City this year.

Although the Mormon church has still a long way to go, I would not be surprised if their prophet is seriously thinking about the desirability of having a revelation concerning this.

6 comments

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  1. 1
    baal

    One reason I almost respect the Eastern Orthodox Church is that they are entirely stuck several centuries in the past. Modernity has come and gone and yet they preserve in their brand of inanity. However, this allows them to suggest that they are the ‘right’ ones since they have preserved the religion of the past. When you’re too flexible, you’re open to a claim that you’re doing nothing more than wishy – washy say anything to fill the pews (being self contradictory doesn’t help your claim to divine ‘Truth’ much either, aka rolling Revelation). If god is so big and huge and worship-worthy you’d kind of hope for a bit more consistency in what exactly counts as the ‘right’ worship.

  2. 2
    dano

    Odd, you say that as if you believe this is the case everywhere. My church in MN preaches that marriage is between a man and a woman and some how over the past 10 years we have grown from 5,000 members to over 16,000 with over 34,000 on Christmas alone…you know the day Christ was born.

  3. 3
    naturalcynic

    Odd, you say that as if you believe this is the case everywhere. My church in MN preaches that marriage is between a man and a woman and some how over the past 10 years we have grown from 5,000 members to over 16,000 with over 34,000 on Christmas alone…you know the day Christ was born.

    So, how many members were poached from the other churches in the area?

  4. 4
    Improbable Joe, bearer of the Official SpokesGuitar

    dano,

    Do you understand that anecdotes aren’t evidence? Like naturalcynic points out, the growth of your church isn’t even indicative of the growth of Christianity in your town. For all we know the growth in your church is due to closings and consolidations of other churches, and there are actually fewer total Christians in your area.

  5. 5
    dano

    Natural & Joe, you bring up great questions that I do not have the answer. I can only say that for my last church in the Twin Cities area we had growth of roughly 5%/year & my new church has extremely high growth probably in the 10-20%/year. We just filled out a survey a few weeks ago reagarding our backgrounds but I do not have access to the results. I was merely giving you an example for my specific church that is seeing an extremely high growth rate.

    Cheers

  6. 6
    Vote for Pedro

    you know the day Christ was born

    Nonsense. Everyone knows he was born in the spring. The shepherds would only be out in their fields at night if it was lambing time.

    “You know, the day Christ was born early xians stole wholesale from the Romans?” There, fixed that for you (including grammar).

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