In the fall of 2005, Joel Hunter, the senior pastor of a 12,000-member megachurch in central Florida, signed on to the Evangelical Climate Initiative—a landmark public statement acknowledging that human actions were causing the Earth to warm. The central message—“creation care,” as it became known—was that the biblical commandment to protect God’s creation was relevant to modern-day environmental issues. Soon, Hunter had distributed 20,000 creation care pamphlets to pastors around the country, and his parishioners were sifting through garbage to see how much trash his church produced.
My old friend (and antagonist on gay marriage) Rod Dreher has a new blog at the outstanding new web-magazine of the John Templeton Foundation, which goes by the supremely Templetonian title of Big Questions Online (BQO).
When the New York Times published an article about how roughly 50 percent of same-sex marriages and relationships in the San Francisco area are “open marriages” in which both partners consent to each other having sex with other people, I assumed it would cause a stir and that I’d be motivated to write a response. Oddly, though, the article seemed to generate little attention.
Die-hard social conservatives in the United States often explain that their ideology is merely a result of taking at face value the words of the Bible. So, it's an interesting inversion to see the folks at Conservapedia literally re-editing the latter to better conform with the former. A few of the guidelines they intend to follow: 1. Framework against Liberal Bias: providing a strong framework that enables a thought-for-thought translation without corruption by liberal bias 4.
Rod Dreher, a genuine social and religious conservative whose disagreements with President Obama are more profound and more numerous than those of most Republicans, has nonetheless had enough: Watching the school-speech insanity blow up on the right, a friend who has been deeply involved for decades at the top of Republican politics, e-mailed to say that she was done. The conservative movement is hurtling off a cliff – and she was bailing out. Take me with you, said I. And that was before last week's "You lie!" infamy.... Despite what Sam Tanenhaus says, conservatism is not dead.
Rod Dreher has posted a further response in the discussion of gay marriage and the legitimacy of homosexuality that I wrote about earlier this week. Andrew and Damon will no doubt have responses of their own, but I did want to highlight a couple of portions of Dreher's post.
For any who haven't been following it, Damon Linker, Rod Dreher, and Andrew Sullivan have been conducting an interesting discussion of why it is that gay marriage and the legitimization of homosexuality generally are non-negotiable lines in the sand for so many social conservatives. Damon's initial post is here; Rod has responses here and here; Damon has a response to those responses here; and Andrew sums up his view here.
Rod Dreher has now written two responses to this post of mine, on what I called his (and, more broadly, the social conservative right's) "fixation" with homosexuality -- and in particular with the possibility that being gay may come to be widely accepted in American life.
I like and respect Rod Dreher. We've known each other for a long time and gone through some spiritual trials together. And for the past few years I've read his Crunchy Con blog nearly every day, appreciating his honesty and learning from his fresh take on a wide range of social, cultural, and economic issues. But there's one thing about Rod -- and many other social conservatives -- that I just don't get.