Memo to Evangelicals: Don't Be Surprised by Fiery Trials, Including Intolerance and Name-Calling By Gay Activists

Rob Schwarzwalder is senior vice president of the Family Research Council. | (Family Research Council)

The goals of the LGBT movement are not malleable. They are absolute and aggressive. The bakers, wedding photographers, florists and others throughout the country who have declined to provide services for same-sex weddings, knowing that such provision constitutes tacit endorsement, have become targets of often the vilest of attacks, not to mention legal action and media scorn.

To disagree with the full mainstreaming of homosexuality is to be a social pariah in popular culture, education and even professional life. For even mentioning their support of marriage as solely the union of one man and one woman, sportscasters, restaurateurs, business leaders and other public figures have lost jobs and been forced from their positions. This is a form of fascism.

Some in the gay activist community engage in civil dialog. Jonathan Rauch, an openly gay man, of the Brookings Institution is a case in point: When the talented Brendan Eich, originator of JavaScript, was fired as CEO of Mozilla because he had supported California's Proposition 8 (defining marriage as the union of one man and one woman) financially, Rauch noted that "Both supporters and opponents of gay rights need to be able to speak freely without being punished for their beliefs."

Similarly, prominent same-sex "marriage" advocate Andrew Sullivan, himself homosexual, wrote of the Eich episode, "The whole episode disgusts me – as it should disgust anyone interested in a tolerant and diverse society. If this is the gay rights movement today – hounding our opponents with a fanaticism more like the religious right than anyone else – then count me out."

Regrettably, this kind of civility has not always been present in the activist LGBT community. While a few professing Christians persist in using epithets and simplisms in their attacks on homosexuals in the virtual world and elsewhere, the great majority of Evangelicals condemns these cruel and puerile remarks and dissociate from them.

However, many leading LGBT activists do not want to debate: They want the acquiescence, or at least the silence, of those who oppose their viewpoints. Following the strategy suggested in the book After the Ball, homosexual activists have employed a very deliberate strategy to synonymize principled, faith-based opposition to same-sex marriage and homosexual intimacy with bigotry, hatred, intolerance and ignorance.

When Christians make cheap shots (for example, "God made Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve"), they dehumanize those they are opposing politically and seeking to persuade personally. But such instances are increasingly few and far between. Caricaturing an entire movement – Evangelical Protestantism – because of the excesses of a substantially discredited few – is dishonest.

Some of us in the social conservative movement are used to being called names and having our motives aspersed by gay activists in the so-called blogosphere. Such persons should be shown the same love by Evangelicals as those believers have been shown by their Savior. Yet showing them such love does not mean their public agenda should not be opposed, vigorously, nor that such opposition is loveless.

To those less familiar with the terrain of public abuse, get ready: If they hated Him, they will hate you. The first few waves of attack (you're a bigot, a homophobe, an ignoramus, etc.) because you express publicly (at the neighborhood party, in the office, in your carpool, in your reading group; in putting up a lawn sign for a socially conservative candidate or openly supporting a pro-marriage initiative) your faith in Scripture's view of human sexuality might startle, but don't let them daunt you. Just don't respond in-kind or, in your word-choices or tone, give your opponents any ammunition for an attack.

Biblical teaching, the human conscience and commonsense reason demonstrate that marriage is the covenantal union of two persons of opposite genders for purposes of pro-creation and gender complementarity. The truth must be spoken in love, but it must be spoken. Not to speak it is unloving and cowardly, not to mention unfaithful to the God Evangelicals profess.

Rob Schwarzwalder, Senior Vice-President of the Family Research Council, was a presidential appointee in the George W. Bush administration chief-of-staff for two Members of Congress. He is a longtime member of the Evangelical Theological Society."

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