[His announcement] says that values like introspection, compassion, and justice support, rather than oppose, equality for LGBT people. We can interpret Leviticus, Romans, and Corinthians ten ways from Sunday. But what we can’t ignore are the calls to justice and compassion.
Rachel Held Evans calls on evangelicals to change their tactics:
When asked by The Barna Group what words or phrases best describe Christianity, the top response among Americans ages 16-29 was "antihomosexual." For a staggering 91 percent of non-Christians, this was the first word that came to their mind when asked about the Christian faith. The same was true for 80 percent of young churchgoers. (The next most common negative images? : "judgmental," "hypocritical," and "too involved in politics.") … So my question for those evangelicals leading the charge in the culture wars is this: Is it worth it?
Nicholas Beaudrot shakes his head:
The once near-universal brand of American Christianity is being associated with an ever-shrinking size of the American public. Like Burger King and Axe Body Spray, you may wake up one day and find that the overwhelming majority of the public has simply tuned out everything you have to say. Now, it's always possible that the leaders of the major American churches may want it this way. But for those who don't, the window of opportunity where people might be willing to consider a more relevant form of modern Christianity is closing.
Ed Kilgore reminds us that Obama's former church supports marriage equality:
So Obama has pretty strong authority for saying there’s no conflict between his faith and support for same-sex marriage. Indeed, he’s now removed the conflict, so I would hope that conservatives who are forever demanding respect for their own religious motives for thinking the way they do will show Obama a little respect in exchange. But I’m not holding my breath.
Jonathan D. Fitzgerald surveys the reaction on the Christian right.
(Photo of the Washington National Cathedral by Laura Padgett)