Conversations and Living in Sin

Pretty much as long as I’ve been writing about politics (whether columns, blog posts or letters to the local paper), conservatives have quivered with indignation if anyone criticizes them. Over and over, they insist that to say they’re racist/sexist/homophobic or that you’re not going to patronize Chik Fil A because of the owner’s anti-gay views, that’s censorship! Or as one Jewish group put it, gay marriage shouldn’t be legal because if it is, people who oppose it will suffer “moral opprobrium.” Like the Harvard Law student who believed blacks were mentally inferior but didn’t think it was fair to criticize her for that. After all, she feels really, really bad about the evidence inevitably leading her to that conclusion, so it’s not like she’s bigoted or anything!
The latest example of this is libertarian Matt Welch writing about “The Importance of Allowing People to Say That You Can’t Be a Gay Basketball Player and a Christian.” Apparently ESPN’s Chris Broussard responded to basketball player Jason Collins’ coming out by stating “I believe that’s walking in open rebellion to God and to Jesus Christ. So I would not characterize that person as a Christian because I don’t think the Bible would characterize them as a Christian.” (As commenters at the link point out [the link is to alicublog, not directly to Welch]), this is not saying you can’t be a gay basketball player and Christian, it’s saying gays can’t be Christian period). This unsurprisingly earned Broussard a lot of flak, which Welch thinks is a bad thing: “If such comments aren’t expressed, a real conversation can’t be had.”
So if saying that Collins is a fake Christian and that gays are anti-God is “a real conversation,” why is saying Broussard is full of shit not just as much part of the conversation? As the commenters pointed out, the real issue is that it’s not the conversation Welch and Broussard think they should be having, in which Broussard can condemn gays as much as he wants, but he’s not supposed to get condemned back. When they do, it’s exactly the same as people not allowing him to speak.
Broussard talks about Collins “living in unrepentant sin” but as Slacktivist points out, lots of people live in sin. Bankers who foreclose on houses illegally. Jerry Falwell and other Christians who bear false witness against their neighbors for political gain (or Wayne LaPierre of the NRA who’s been lying since 2008 about how Obama’s going to confiscate all our guns). Mitt Romney ripping off workers. Banks using overdraft fees to leech money from customers. Yet somehow nobody refers to those guys as “living in sin.”
In the same post, Slacktivist also has a response to one Baptist leader’s complaint that moral arguments have been “marginalized”in the fight for same-sex marriage: “If he listened, he would understand that moral argument hasn’t been marginalized, it has been marshaled against him. There is a moral argument being made, forcefully and repeatedly, and it is an argument that demonstrates the immorality of Al Mohler and other defenders of inequality.


Filed under Politics

22 responses to “Conversations and Living in Sin

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