Gays and the Myth of the Christian Minority

This article is by Myisha Cherry

Lately the term “Christian minority” has been floating out of the mouths of politicians and political pundits alike. The term refers to Christians who oppose homosexuality and who are subsequently labeled as bigots because of it. Senator Tim Scott (R-S.C.) at a Tea Party conference last year noted, “The greatest minority under assault today are Christians.” Recently, CNN published an article, “When Christians Become the Hated Minority,” where writer John Blake quotes the identification by Peter Spriggs, spokesman for The Family Research Council, of a new victim: Christians who believe the Bible condemns homosexuality but are afraid to voice this belief for fear of public backlash.

Is there any truth to the “Christian minority” label? I argue that it is a myth.

The label “minority” is not used in numerical terms to refer to the amount of people who hold these beliefs but instead refer to the victimization and the condemnation of those voices that hold the belief that God condemns homosexuality. Members of the “Christian minority” reference this fact by noting that when NBA player Jason Collins recently announced he was gay, he was praised, but when ESPN reporter Chris Broussard announced his theological views about Jason’s “lifestyle,” Broussard’s perspective was largely publicly condemned.  My issue with the implications of oppression associated with a “Christian minority” label is that the title carries a claim of persecution and victimization, which is not only exaggerated but also misleading.

Let’s face it: None of the members of the “Christian minority” are committing suicide for fear of being outed, bullied or rejected by society or their loved ones. They are not denied federal benefits granted to others. They do not have to make announcements (most often not once, but again and again) about their sexuality to family, friends or the general public. They are allowed to marry the person they love in the state they live in. If people see their relationships on TV, they do not describe their affection as disgusting. “Christian minorities” can walk down the street and embrace their partners without fear of being attacked. They can also sit on National TV and condemn others for what is done in the privacy of the bedroom with the belief that their own sexual lives are sanctified by God.  Even while some “Christian minorities” admit of having unfounded fear they may lose their jobs over their unexpressed religious beliefs, in 29 states you can be fired for being gay. That is a reality and the law. This doesn’t sound like persecution of the “Christian minority” to me but more like beneficiaries of social privilege.

What makes the use of the term “Christian minority” so odd is the simultaneous presence of other religious groups whose faith traditions do not agree with homosexuality. However, these groups are not labeled as bigots. Why not? Well, it is all about how you say things and what you say. One of the reasons people are up in arms about the “Christian minority’s” claims is because of the arrogance and damnable public rhetoric it comes in. It is loud, bold, judgmental and peppered with a self-righteous fire and brimstone theme that can be easily recognized for what it is no matter how much it is followed by phrases such as “God loves the sinner, but hate the sin.”

Take for example again Chris Broussard’s view that homosexuals are not only in open rebellion to God but that one who proclaims to be homosexual is not a Christian. That is not only a pretty bold and untrue claim (one that a seminary course in biblical scholarship and sexuality, not to mention a man in the mirror moment of humility, would challenge him not to state so literally), but it places the “Christian minority” in the hallowed position of being one who with certainty knows what God likes, who is “God like,” and who is and is not on God’s team. If bigotry is intolerance, than this indeed is it. It is hatred wrapped in the name of God and expressed as religious belief.

SS Serge and Bacchus were martyred in 303 and who were joined in a rite in the church. They are regarded as ‘gay icons’ for this reason. It is not correct to assume that the church has always been against marriage equality.

Lastly, we must be careful with the term “Christian minority.” The term seems to imply that all Christians hold this view but are just afraid to say it for fear of persecution. But not all Christians believe that homosexuality is a sin. Not all Christians believe those who practice homosexuality are not really Christians. Instead, members of the “Christian minority” seem to hold conservative and/or certain fundamentalist or literal views that may be different from how other Christians interpret the Bible and God’s nature.

Remember, once again, that this term “minority” does not refer to the amount of people who hold such views but for the persecution they face for their views. I believe what is being called victimization of the “Christian minority” is really a challenge to their outspoken religious views. People are critically challenging the popular Christian faith as opposed to blindly accepting the words of pastors and popular culture figures such as sports writers as truth just because passages of the Bible support their claims. I think this is a good thing.

Nothing is more exciting in these times than the emergence of critical thinking, Socratic dialogue, and rational objections to traditional or popular theological and political rhetoric within the political process. Those of us who value these things have been in the proverbial closet for too long.


12 thoughts on “Gays and the Myth of the Christian Minority

  1. I know a man who counsels young gays coming out – he says that people are stupid if they think it is about sex as they are mostly seeking affection, and everyone is in need of and worthy of affection.

    It is when pure carnal gratification is the purpose of any peccadillo that it is sinful and antichrist and heteros can be just as sick if not more so than any homos.

    Sex is either an expression of lust resulting in the release of tension or an expression of love which climaxes in a release of tension, and of course the generation of LIFE.

    It is either the gratification of lust or the expression of relationship – it can be either so it is amoral in and of itself – like a gun – you can shoot a tin can, your dinner or your neighbor. Your ‘gun’ does not make the judgment call.

    People, especially the feminine variety, are prone to subconsciously engender tension to require release – this is not love but lust and those who are given to creating tension are also given to contention – whenceforth come wars and fightings among you, come they not from your lusts which wage war in your members? All warring comes from the internal struggle of the flesh vs the Spirit, the internal contention.

    What is largely overlooked about Romans 1 and 2 is that the it is not about God bagging gays. Paul writes plainly that it is about people lusting after the flesh, and that has very little to do with whether one is “gay” or not.

    The judgment God abandons them to is theirs, not His, as they KNOW GOD but do not acknowledge Him as God, they having preferred their own pretensions, so God ABANDONS THEM to their lusts and to defile themselves with themselves.

    They reject God as Creator and so they reap in their flesh the wages of sin which is death. Paul then lists a plethora of sins and says that we are foolish to judge others as we will revert to the same estate, that of rejecting God’s grace and of being under judgment, not realizing that it is God’s intention to bless us.

    What is also largely overlooked is Ephesians – “For this reason a man shall leave his mother and father and shall cleave to his wife and become one flesh – this bespeaks the mystery of Christ and His Bride. God took the woman out of the man to bring them back together as one.

    You can equivocate over that and the fact that the folks of Romans 1 were bound under judgment all you like, but you cannot change what the book says, and it is plain that the marriage which is the reflection of the The Bride and her Husband, Jesus, is axiomatic of a male female relationship, and that the state of Christian marriage is a reflection of the condition of the Bride.

    Those who are eunuchs by nature should keep themselves pure but lets face it, if the hetero Xians can’t keep it in their pants, what example does this provide, and if they are getting rogered by reprobate priests what sort of example is that?

    How you can fit a homosexual relationship into the framework of the mystery of Christ and His Bride must take an interesting convolution of logic. Probably the same convolution to condemn and cast people into some place called Hel (sic).

    If God loves everyone he loves gays too, if He intends to save everyone that includes gays, pedophiles, politicians, car salesmen – everyone – because in Christ there is no distinction, there is no Jew (suck that up you Sionistas) or Greek, no bond or free, no male nor female, no straight or gay, for all are ONE IN HIM. Its the bottom line which counts.

    He is the INTENTION and the CONSUMMATION and He shall restore all things both in heaven and in the earth from the head – people are born gay, they are also born sinners…it is the legacy of the first Adam, but eh Last Adam is the LIFE GIVING SPIRIT. If you do not “see” a Savior who died for ALL, who gave His Life for ALL, then you will exhibit partiality and pursue preferences instead of following Jesus and will never truly lay down your own life for all.

    You cannot lay down your life for ALL until you can comprehend how Jesus laid His life down for all. We become what we behold.

    This thought occurred to me, “I became what I judged, because I judged what I became.”

    But if a man should judge himself, he should not come under judgment.

    Judge not, lest you be judged, for with the measure that you measure out, it shall be measured back to you, good measure, pressed down, shaken together and running over, shall men give into your bosom.”

  2. Yes, another Huffington Post contribution. The Rainbow Rag of Liberal Philosophy.

    I hope Christians become the vast majority. Of course, the way the mostly liberal media and academia portray Christians you would think we are in the minority, and that homosexuals in the majority.

    In fact there are far more Christians or Christians sympathisers in the US (which is the focus of the article) and Australia than thee are homosexuals.

    The push for so-called ‘equal’ marriage is a fairly recent development. Ten years ago gays weren’t that interested in the family unit, nor in becoming a homo-patriarcal or homo-matriarchal clan. They just wanted equal rights. having achieved this, the next ‘bus-stop’ along the way was child adoption, and then marriage. Slowly, slowly catchee monkey.

    The generally accepted, but oft hidden, fact is that most male homosexuals have multiple partners and it is very rare for couples to remain in stable relationships. Men have a much stronger sex drive than women on a more consistent basis, and different requirements for sexual relations, so two men cohabiting becomes less likely than two women cohabiting.

    The notion that they are ‘just like’ heterosexual marriage partners isn’t borne out by either logic or necessity. It does happen, obviously, in certain cases, but it is not as frequent s with heterosexual partnerships and marriages.

    So it may be marriage in ceremonial terms, but wll not be in terms of the traditional unit and expectation.

    Christians in the US and Australia are, in fact, according to demographic statistics, in the majority, or, conservatively, around 50-60% of the population, although the actual figures that show up are around 71%.

    The homosexual population is less that 5%, although, in the US, at least, it is growing, probably because the incoming youth are less certain of what their own sexuality should be than ten or twenty years ago, and more will experiment with bisexual relations, and some be convinced they are either one or the other. They may even develop sexual relationships with same sex friends on the basis of there being fewer taboos about same sex cohabitation than there was twenty years ago. These things are relative.

    However, she it comes to minorities, the gay community is below 5% of the population, and yet we have a constant stream of articles, programs, and issue after issue regarding their rights and aspirations, so much so that the general public has been pummelled into submission over issues which, from a Christian standpoint, should never arise, marriage being one of them.

    The Huffington Post article, on fact, focusses not on the general Christian view, which the writer did not even take the time to research, but on the opinion of one person, Chris Broussard, who gave a response on a TV program.

    Poor journalism.

  3. I hope Christians become the vast majority.

    Why?

    So we can be like the religious Right in the US?

    Praise the Lord and pass the ammunition.

  4. Why do we have to wait for people to end up dead, or at leased, end up in hospital before we RESPOND?

  5. I have found that people in church are less tolerant of the Bible and those who believe it than non-believers.

    People in the LGBT community are more willing to engage with a Bible basher and have a decent conversation than hand-wringing liberals in church are.

    Someone said to me “how dare you say what you think the Bible says about homosexuality!”

    He then went on to exclaim that we should implement the whole levitical law etc. When I mentioned Romans … it’s as if Paul was a raving madman in everythin he said apart from the reference in Galatians regarding “No male, nor female, no jew nor greek, no slave nor free” etc.

    It all comes down to what you believe about the Bible. Is it true? Is it truly the Word of God?

    Or do we accept what Rob Bell says “every word has multiple meanings” … which is what Deconstruction is.

    If there are multiple meanings then there is no single true meaning. Relativism and Syncretism, here we come.

    Welcome to the one world religion. Is your god female? Cool. Is she Gay affirming? Cool. Is she accepting and loving everyone? Excellent? Do you have a Holy Book? The bits you like from the Bible? That’s just so Post-Modern!

    What’s her Name? Jesus? That’s great! That’s what everyone calls their god!

    Shalom

  6. Only a debased mind like Bones’ would link the gun-lobby NRA with US evangelicals and come up with something akin to… well… Islamic militancy, for which there is no comparison in modern times amongst bona fide Christians!

    I’ll have to ask Bones, though it is slightly off topic, how many militant atrocities have come out of the NRA in recent times? An I’m not talking about psychopathic nutters who have bought, stolen or borrowed rifles and revolvers from relatives, the black market, or gun stores. I’m talking card carrying NRA members who have a license to safely bear arms and shoot for sport or fun in controlled environments.

    And, alongside this, how many evangelical Christians, in modern times, have committed the same kind of atrocities we are seeing almost daily from militant Islam around the world?

    In both cases, the answer is next to nil.

    Which just about slams his theory into dust before he even gets one step further.

    Mr Negative worries about nothing as usual.

    By the way, I am personally against gun ownership on any level, since there is only one reason for owning a gun, and it’s not to support the trigger-making industry. If people want to participate in gun sports there’s no reason why they shouldn’t have weapons stored at a facility which is licensed for such activities.

  7. The other thing, connected to Bones’ ill-concieved claims, is the subject, here, which is Christian recognition of marital gaydom.

    Is he suggesting that this imaginary NRA driven evangelical army is now poised to set upon his gay friends? That appears to be the implication.

    Yet, what we actually see, is a strong and well articulated debate, a democratic process, and, despite a polarised politic, peaceful demonstrations and non-violent causal approaches from both sides. The only actual pressure is political.

    In Bones’ mind, though, bad things only happen amongst the Christians, and good things happen amongst everyone else.

    Thing is, facts reveal that where there is Sharia, gays are not allowed to freely cohabit, have any rights or adopt. They are hung.

  8. Why is there a mention of Serge and Bacchus?

    from the wiki:
    Legend [edit]
    The saints’ story is told in the Greek text known as The Passion of Sergius and Bacchus. The story is ostensibly set during the reign of Roman Emperor Galerius (305 to 311), though it contains a number of contradictions and anachronisms that make dating difficult. The work itself may date to the mid-5th century.[2]

    Historicity [edit]
    The Passion, replete with supernatural occurrences and historical anachronisms, has been dismissed as an unreliable historical source. The work has been dated to mid-5th century, and there is no other evidence for the cult of Sergius and Bacchus before about 425, over a century after they are said to have died. As such there is considerable doubt about their historicity.[2]

    There is no firm evidence for Sergius and Bacchus’ schola gentilium having been used by Galerius or any other emperor before Constantine I, and given that persecution of Christians had begun in the army considerably before the overall persecutions of the early 4th century, it is very unlikely that even secret Christians could have risen through the ranks of the imperial bodyguard. Finally, there is no evidence to support the existence of monks, such as the ones said in the Passion to have recovered Bacchus’ body, living near the Euphrates during the 4th century.[2]

    Instead, the Italian scholar Pio Franchi de Cavalieri has argued that The Passion of Sergius and Bacchus was based on an earlier lost passion of Juventinus and Maximinus, two saints martyred under Emperor Julian the Apostate in 363. He noted especially that the punishment of being paraded around in women’s clothes reflected the treatment of Christian soldiers by Julian. Historian David Woods further notes that Zosimus’ Historia Nova includes a description of Julian punishing cavalry deserters in just such a manner, further strengthening the argument that the author of The Passion of Sergius and Bacchus took material from the stories of martyrs of Julian’s time rather than that of Galerius.[2]

    Woods argues that the tradition of the saints’ martyrdom is a later development that became attached to otherwise obscure relics in the 5th century, and that the Passion is a fiction composed after their cult had become popular. He concludes that “the martyrs Sergius and Bacchus did not exist as such“.[2]

    The religious rite of “brother making” they were said to have entered into … from the wiki:
    Adelphopoiesis, or adelphopoiia from the Greek ἀδελφοποίησις, derived from ἀδελφός (adelphos) “brother” and ποιέω (poieō) “I make”, literally “brother-making” is a ceremony practiced at one time by various Christian churches to unite together two people of the same sex (normally men). Similar blood brotherhood rituals were practiced by other cultures, including American Indians, ancient Chinese as well as Germanic and Scandinavian peoples.

    Thesis
    The purpose of the adelphopoiesis ceremonies has been made controversial by Boswell’s 1994 study, whose interpretations continue circulating today in popular discussions of the history of same-sex attraction, despite the subsequent rejection of his historical approach by many academics in the field of Christianity in Late Antiquity in the wake of a series of critical reviews in the scholarly journal Traditio (a Roman Catholic publication) in 1997 (vol 52). Boswell himself denied that adelphopoiesis should be properly translated as “homosexual marriage,” and decried such a translation as “tendentiously slanted”.[2] The Orthodox Church regards the ceremony as purely spiritual and indicating brotherhood.[1]

    Criticism of BoswellThe historicity of Boswell’s interpretation of the ceremony is contested by the Greek Orthodox Church, which sees the rite as a rite of familial adoption, as the term adelphopoiesis literally means “brother making”.[5] Other historians, including Robin Darling Young (herself a participant in an adelphopoiesis ceremony)[6] and Brent Shaw, have also criticized Boswell’s methodology and conclusions. [7]

    Archimandrite Ephrem Lash criticized Boswell’s book in the February 1995 issue of Sourozh. According to Ephrem, Boswell mistranslates, misinterprets, and tendentiously organizes texts, and his “knowledge of Orthodox liturgiology is, in effect, non-existent.”[8] With regard to Boswell’s central claim to have found evidence for the use of wedding crowns in the rite for making brothers, Ephrem notes that what the relevant text says, “somewhat literally translated,” is this: “It is inadmissible for a monk to receive [anadochos is a standard Greek word for ‘godparent’] children from holy baptism, or to hold marriage crowns or to make brother-makings.[9] 150:124]” In other words, “monks are forbidden to do the following: 1. To act as godfathers at baptisms, 2. To act as supporters of bridal couples, 3. To enter into brotherly unions. These are, of course, the natural consequences of a monk’s having given up all ties of earthly relationships.”[10] Turning back to Boswell’s thesis, Ephrem writes, “What does Boswell make of this? Here is his paraphrase of the text given above: ‘monks must also not select boys at baptism and make such unions with them’. There is absolutely nothing in the text to suggest that the three prohibitions are linked in the way Boswell implies, nor that the ‘children’ are ‘boys’ – the Greek has the neuter, paidia. In short, this first piece of evidence for the use of crowns in the ceremony of brother-making is not evidence for anything, except Boswell’s ignorance, not to mention the prurient suggestion that Byzantine monks went round selecting suitable boys at baptism so as to ‘marry’ them later on.”[10]

    In other words, this idea of of two men becoming romantically united by a church blessing and becoming martyred in 303AD is not only based on faulty scholarship by John Boswell and refuted by many other scholars, but Serge and Bacchus may never even have existed! But they are now Gay Icons.

  9. “I hope Christians become the vast majority.”

    Nigeria arrests dozens as anti-gay law comes into force

    Legislation outlaws same-sex marriages with 14-year jail penalty and up to 10 years for membership of gay rights organisations

    Dozens of gay men are reported to have been arrested across northern Nigeria as police begin to enforce punitive new laws that criminalise same-sex marriages and membership of gay rights organisations.

    The legislation, condemned by the US secretary of state, John Kerry, and human rights groups in Europe, has come into force shortly after the Ugandan parliament passed an Anti-Homosexuality Act.

    Last week Nigeria’s president, Goodluck Jonathan, signed the Same Sex Marriage Prohibition Act, which provides penalties of up to 14 years in jail for a gay marriage and up to 10 years’ imprisonment for membership or encouragement of gay clubs, societies and organisations.

    His spokesman, Reuben Abati, said: “This is a law that is in line with the people’s cultural and religious inclination. So it is a law that is a reflection of the beliefs and orientation of Nigerian people … Nigerians are pleased with it.”

    http://www.theguardian.com/world/2014/jan/14/nigeria-arrests-dozens-anti-gay-law

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