With rapidly increasing popular support for legal r ecognition of same – sex relationships. either in full marriage or as civil unions, and for protection of LGBT individuals from discrimination and violence, many religious groups are coming to reconsider their own traditional hostility:
Some Christians shift on gays
“This is a new season,” declares Exodus International President Alan Chambers,who has shut down his controversial gay-to-straight conversion ministry and apologized for the hurt the program inflicted. In the weeks following Chambers’ bombshell, the Supreme Court has issued rulings accelerating this change of season for gay rights in America, and same-sex marriage advocates are gearing up for new drives in Hawaii, Illinois, New Jersey and Oregon.
For conservative Christians, the people who have fought gay rights the hardest and have wagered a good deal of their religion’s credibility in the process, these latest developments accentuate a predicament that seems to grow worse by the day — along with, we can hope, a chance to pivot toward a more winsome way to engage a rapidly changing culture.
The good news: They need look no further than the Bible, and a growing number in their own ranks, for a way to navigate this new terrain.
Consider what Chambers said last month when he rocked the opening of his group’s conference with the announcement that Exodus would exist no more. In the ashes of the country’s oldest and largest “pray away the gay” Christian ministry, he is launching a new organization. “Our goals,” he says, “are to reduce fear and come alongside churches to become safe (and) welcoming communities.”
The evangelicals and conservative Catholics most aggrieved by the advance of gay rights might find it helpful to follow Chambers’ lead. If there’s anything to fear, it’s the damage that the fear-based anti-gay culture war will wreak on Christianity’s good standing.
Read more at USA Today