Robyn Vestal drew my attention to an interesting article by Jay Michaelson from the San Francisco Sentinel, entitled Ten Reasons Why Gay Rights Is a Religious Issue.
After arguing that “Civil rights movements that appeal to religion succeed. Those that do not, fail.” Michaelson proceeds to outline ten religious reasons for embracing gay rights, which are:
- It Is Not Good to Be Alone
- God Loves Us and Does Not Want Us to Harm Ourselves
- Compassion Is Holy
- Justice Is Holy
- Because the Hebrew Bible Doesn’t Say What the Right Says it Does
- Because the New Testament Doesn’t Say What the Right Says it Does
- Evolution of Religious Doctrine Is Healthy
- Curbing Brutishness Is the Point
- Because the Separation of Church and State Helps the Church
- Sexual Diversity Is a Beautiful Part of God’s Creation
Have a read of the article for yourself and tell me what you think.
Personally I think he has a long way to go yet; that some of his detailed arguments and not nearly as strong as some of his paragraph headings, and that he probably needs to differentiate between the more theologically solid and more theologically tenuous arguments, to maximise theological credibility. But I think he has succeeded in identifying where conversations need to happen, and why they need to happen.
Because, like it or not, I think Michaelson is right. If gay lifestyles are to achieve broad acceptance, then religious conservatives need to be convinced along with religious liberals. As a committed Christian, I need to be convinced that it’s Christlike. I think that’s a tough call, but this is the sort of conversation I’d be interested in having.