The Nashville Statement and the Moral Bankruptcy of Evangelicalism

I’m not going to dignify the CBMW’s Nashville Statement with any kind of point by point response, the whole thing is a tiresome rehash of what evangelicals have been saying about LGBT people for years. I already did a point by point breakdown of the SBC’s anti-trans resolution a few years ago, it basically covers the same things I would say here, so consider that my response to the statement itself. What I’d rather talk about is what evangelicals aren’t issuing joint statements condemning, namely, white nationalism. Their silence in the face of the rising tide of fascism and white supremacy in this country is deafening.

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George Takei was wrong about Clarence Thomas

For the record, George Takei’s comments about Clarence Thomas were racist, and, like most people on the left who have been complaining about Thomas’ “dignity” discussion in his Obergefell dissent, missed the point Thomas was making.  Clarence Thomas is a black man who grew up speaking the Gullah dialect in the Jim Crow south. He talks about watching his grandfather struggling to memorize long portions of the King James Bible so he could pass the literacy tests to vote. When Thomas writes about how dignity isn’t something that the government can give or take away, he’s speaking as someone who knows as well as anybody that if black folk in America were relying on the government as the source of dignity they’d be still waiting.  Now, where I disagree with Thomas is that I think that humans have inherent dignity, but that the government either does or doesn’t treat people in a way that respects that dignity that we all have. Thomas isn’t wrong though, just incomplete. I’m no great fan of Clarence Thomas’ jurisprudence. His version of originalism, with its stacks of old dictionaries, refusal to consider anything constitutional if it wouldn’t have been thought of at the time the document was drafted, and steadfast insistence that if you don’t like it you should amend the constitution, is too unwieldy for the modern era. There was no way Thomas was going to vote for marriage equality no matter his personal views about LGBT people. The man is nothing if not consistent in his application of his principles of constitutional interpretation, and this is an issue where he was always going to say that the right approach was to amend the constitution. I think he’s wrong, but that’s a matter for intellectual debate, not name calling.   To call him a clown[…]

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#Ferguson

I haven’t written about the last ten days in Ferguson because I don’t know what I can say that hasn’t already been said.  I’m heartbroken. How many more black people have to die before this country really, truly believes that black lives matter?  Michael Brown mattered. Not because of what he might have become, but because he was a person with intrinsic value and worth. The people who are being attacked and tear gassed in Ferguson matter. Michael Brown deserves justice.

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yoisthisracist: Michelle asked: The game = not racist. The statements on the game = collection of stupid things white racists say. This is depressingly accurate. I can check way too many of these off of the bingo card. Including the Emmett Till one. I’m sure I’d be able to check off the Medgar Evers and Oscar Grant squares too, but after getting the, “Who’s Emmett Till?” response, it was too depressing to bring them up. The cold hard reality is that we still live in a country where racism, and not just the institutional kind, but also the in-your-face, openly bigoted variety, is just beneath the surface ready to bubble up at a moment’s notice.

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Dear Evangelicals: This is why the rest of the world thinks you’re backward bigots (Or, did I just fall through a time warp to 1965?)

It’s 2013, the nation is on the verge of full marriage equality, possibly even as soon as this month, yet over on John Piper’s Desiring God blog, it seems that they’re still trying to convince readers that interracial marriage is not a sin. And not just in the abstract either, but because someone asked Piper the question and he devoted his podcast in response. However, that wasn’t enough, there is a followup with not one, but two posts on interracial marriage. The first from what has to be the world’s most gracious and conciliatory African American woman (I’d be like, “WTF are you even asking this question in 2013???”), and the second on dealing with disapproving family. To comment on the first post, the very fact that in 2013 it’s apparently necessary for a woman to write an exceptionally conciliatory post to convince conservative Christians of the morality and rightness of her marriage to her husband is an exceedingly dark mark on the American church. I don’t care that Loving v. Virginia was in 1967–only 46 years ago–it is a great shame on this country that it took until 1967 for people to be free to marry no matter the race of the person they loved. It’s an even greater shame that it took until the 1990s for more than 50 percent of white Americans to drop moral opposition to interracial marriage. It is an exceedingly great shame that in 2013 the Evangelical church is still discussing this issue as if it is a matter that is up for debate. Can you imagine someone in 2013 feeling the need to convince people that slavery is morally wrong? It’s such a settled issue that we don’t even debate the question any more. Interracial marriage is not and should not be treated as a[…]

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