Thursday, December 13, 2012
Dan Savage is Right
... once again.
I've never written to or spoken to Dan Savage. I have spent an awful lot of time arguing with all those dreary troglodytes in the comment threads on Thinking Anglicans and on other Anglican/Episcopal sites. The more I read their sour dismissive tone and their tangled legal and doctrinal arguments trying to defend the indefensible, the more I'm inclined to agree with HL Mencken's definition of puritanism as the haunting fear that someone somewhere is happy. I may be a universalist heretic, but the idea of salvation by doctrinal soundness caused far more harm than good down through history. Just ask Giordano Bruno or John of the Cross, or my Quaker ancestors who got run out of Massachusetts.
I think a major weakness on the part of liberal Christians (and liberals in general) is the inbred imperative to be "nice," and confusing that with the necessary imperative to be fair. As Hendrick Hertzberg pointed out, "niceness is the enemy of fairness." It doesn't help that our enemies are so thin-skinned, that they can dish it out, but they can't take it. Especially for those of us who are gay, they can beat the mother-fucking shit out of us and demand that we face the death penalty, life in prison, and any number of legal penalties (Hello Scott Lively and friends), but if we turn around and kick 'em hard in the shins and call them out on their shit, then they fall down in the street and scream bloody murder. We do have to be fair. We do not have to be nice.
As that very wise and learned Episcopal priest in the Bronx Tobias Haller pointed out, Jesus commanded us to love our enemies. He never said that we shouldn't have any.
Posted by Counterlight at Thursday, December 13, 2012