Friday, March 29, 2013
Why the Church Fears Gay Marriage
In the not-so-distant future, gays will be able to marry in any courthouse and many progressive churches across the land. Hold outs, like the Catholics, we be able to deny gay ceremonies within their church. The gay rights wave will likely have enough momentum to brand this as the kind of discrimination that is no longer allowed outside of the umbrella of religious freedom. While a popular reception hall owned by a Catholic businessman will not be able to turn away paying homosexual newlyweds anymore than an office can stop a woman’s progress up the corporate ladder on account of her gender, a church can refuse to wed gays as easily as they can prohibit women from going into the priesthood. Religious freedom trumps discrimination in the eyes of the law, but in public opinion? That’s a different story. As the exceptions for the Church’s otherwise illegal actions continue to mount, I see their congregations continuing to shrink and their leadership continuing to bend. Eventually, a Pope will finally agree to give his blessing to gay marriage, overruling biblical text as they’ve done in the past.
At this point, the church will be two-fold weaker. The delay in their decision will have diluted their numbers and the decision itself will have diluted their relevance. There will be the usual sects that break off to maintain their conservative (read backward) views, but they will become the mocked fringe in a culture that has moved on. Outside of the self-hatred of closeted religious homosexuals, I think fear of this scenario is the central cause of the disproportionate outrage over gay marriage. They don’t fear for the souls of gay sinners so much as for their own lost legitimacy.