Without Full Acceptance by Christians, Gays Are Demeaned and Hurt – NYTimes.com

One of the fundamental sources of hostility toward gay people is religion. Canonized scriptures believed to be inspired by God millennia ago still carry extraordinary authority for traditional believers.

Traditionally, Judaism, Christianity and Islam all offered powerful condemnations of same-sex activity derived from ancient sacred texts that addressed the subject in very different contexts from our own. The modern gay rights movement is only 50 years old. It has made extraordinary progress in that period, but that’s a blink of an eye compared to the accrued weight of centuries-old religious traditions speaking in God’s name.

But the spectrum has shifted drastically, especially in the West. Now, those who would articulate the most harshly negative attitudes are confined to a shrinking part of most faith communities. Condemnatory sacred texts are being reread in light of broader themes of love and justice.

One of the fundamental sources of hostility toward gay people is religion. Canonized scriptures believed to be inspired by God millennia ago still carry extraordinary authority for traditional believers.Even polite tolerance leaves L.G.B.T. people in a demeaning second-class position.Traditionally, Judaism, Christianity and Islam all offered powerful condemnations of same-sex activity derived from ancient sacred texts that addressed the subject in very different contexts from our own. The modern gay rights movement is only 50 years old. It has made extraordinary progress in that period, but that’s a blink of an eye compared to the accrued weight of centuries-old religious traditions speaking in God’s name. But the spectrum has shifted drastically, especially in the West. Now, those who would articulate the most harshly negative attitudes are confined to a shrinking part of most faith communities. Condemnatory sacred texts are being reread in light of broader themes of love and justice.

Source: David P. Gushee, professor of Christian ethics at Mercer University – NYTimes.com

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