Jim Denison on Biblical Responses to the Popularity of the First Openly Homosexual Presidential Candidate

Democratic presidential candidate South Bend Mayor Pete Buttigieg speaks during the Power of our Pride Town Hall Thursday, Oct. 10, 2019, in Los Angeles. The LGBTQ-focused town hall featured nine 2020 Democratic presidential candidates. (AP Photo/Marcio Jose Sanchez)

Pete Buttigieg has “surged to a 10-point lead in New Hampshire’s first-in-the-nation presidential primary,” according to a poll released yesterday. The New York Times reports that he also holds a “commanding lead” in Iowa’s presidential caucuses.

Buttigieg is a graduate of Harvard and studied at Oxford as a Rhodes scholar. He served in the military in Afghanistan, reportedly speaks eight languages, plays the guitar and piano, and is active in the Episcopal Church. His debate performances have displayed his obvious intelligence and grasp of policy detail. In many ways, he seems an ideal fit for many Democratic voters.

Buttigieg is also gay and is married to his husband, Chasten. An LGBTQ advocacy magazine named him one of fifty “trailblazing individuals who actively ensure society remains moving toward equality, acceptance and dignity for all queer people.” In their view, he is “reshaping politics and driving the religious right crazy in the process.”

HOW OUR SOCIETY HAS CHANGED ON SAME-SEX MARRIAGE

As the leader of a nonpartisan ministry, my purpose today is not to endorse or criticize Mr. Buttigieg as a politician. Rather, it is to note the degree to which his popularity highlights our society’s acceptance of homosexuality.

In 2004, 60 percent of Americans opposed same-sex marriage, while only 31 percent were in favor. Today, the numbers are reversed: 61 percent support same-sex marriage, while 31 percent oppose it.

By contrast, only 32 percent of non-evangelical Americans have “warm feelings” toward white evangelical Christians, the group most identified for its opposition to same-sex marriage.

A recent essay in the Wall Street Journal notes that 44 percent of Americans aged eighteen to twenty-nine say they identify with no religion; one of the reasons most cited by “nones” for their antipathy is that they “don’t like the positions churches take on political/social issues.” The author, a college professor, adds that some of the “issues” his students object to most often have to do with “women’s reproductive rights and non-heteronormative sexuality, especially same-sex marriage and transgender rights.”

A GROUP OF CLERGY PRAYED FOR A PLANNED PARENTHOOD CLINIC

My purpose today is not to debate biblical teachings on same-sex relationships (for more here, please see my article, “How does same-sex marriage affect you?” (PDF) and chapters three and four in my book, The State of Our Nation: 7 Critical Issues).

Rather, I’d like to focus today on the confusion wrought in the culture by the conflicting signals Christians are sending on this issue.

Pete Buttigieg and his husband were married in the Episcopal Church. The Evangelical Lutheran Church of America, the Presbyterian Church USA, and the United Church of Christ are among other American denominations that either endorse or permit same-sex weddings. By contrast, most Baptist, Catholic, Anglican, and Pentecostal churches in America forbid same-sex weddings, as do the Presbyterian Church of America and many Methodist congregations.

As when a group of clergy recently prayed for God to bless a Planned Parenthood abortion clinic, when some churches and ministers endorse what other churches and ministers forbid, we obviously communicate confusing messages to our confused culture.

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Source: Christian Headlines