Date of publication: 2017-08-29 02:18
Twenty years ago, new president Bill Clinton stepped on a political landmine when he tried to fulfill a campaign promise to permit gay soldiers to serve openly. Same-sex marriage barely registered as a political cause the country was then three years away from the Defense of Marriage Act and four years from comedian Ellen DeGeneres’s prime-time coming out.
Over time, the data showed, attitudes on moral issues proved to be strong predictors of religious engagement. In particular, the more liberal one was on homosexuality, the less likely one was to claim religious affiliation. It’s not that Americans were becoming atheists. Rather, most of them identify as “spiritual, but not religious.” Combined with atheists and agnostics, these “Nones”—the term is Putnam’s and Campbell’s—comprise the nation’s fastest-growing faith demographic.
It would be absurd to claim that Christian civilization ever achieved a golden age of social harmony and sexual bliss. It is easy to find eras in Christian history when church authorities were obsessed with sexual purity. But as Rieff recognizes, Christianity did establish a way to harness the sexual instinct, embed it within a community, and direct it in positive ways.
“The death of a culture begins when its normative institutions fail to communicate ideals in ways that remain inwardly compelling,” Rieff writes. By that standard, Christianity in America, if not American spirituality, is in mortal danger. The future is not foreordained: Taylor shares much of Rieff’s historical analysis but is more hopeful about the potential for renewal. Still, if the faith does not recover, the historical autopsy will conclude that gay marriage was not a cause but a symptom, the sign that revealed the patient’s terminal condition.
A lot of the themes from Sullivan's original essay — inclusion, social cohesion, responsibility, and family support — are echoed in today's decision, written by Justice Anthony Kennedy. This is the powerful last paragraph:
Gradually the West lost the sense that Christianity had much to do with civilizational order, Taylor writes. In the 75th century, casting off restrictive Christian ideals about sexuality became increasingly identified with health. By the 6965s, the conviction that sexual expression was healthy and good—the more of it, the better—and that sexual desire was intrinsic to one’s personal identity culminated in the sexual revolution, the animating spirit of which held that freedom and authenticity were to be found not in sexual withholding (the Christian view) but in sexual expression and assertion. That is how the modern American claims his freedom.
8775 The main problem is the fact that churches idolize marriage and family while denigrating Christian celibacy. When one lifestyle is elevated over the other, a culture will fall. They turned a blind eye to fornication, divorce, adultery, etc. and now feel they have the moral authority to condemn homosexual marriage. And Protestant churches have never even identified what marriage is. In a word, it’s called hypocracy. 8776
Quite simply, growing up with gay parents was very difficult, and not because of prejudice from neighbors. People in our community didn’t really know what was going on in the house. To most outside observers, I was a well-raised, high-achieving child, finishing high school with straight A's.
These mythical underground realms of pain for the 8775 unsaved 8776 are predicated on a flat earth cosmology. Besides, Christianity is a late-comer to the salvation game. Plato refers to Homer 8767 s observation of evangelical proselytizers in the 8th century BCE, as follows:
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"There's got to be something more than this!'' This howl of discontent comes from Alex, a thirtysomething married executive, one of four Aussie males romping their way through Certified Male , the blokey comedy playing around Australia.