Thinking back this morning to Kaya Oakes's post-Obergefell essay last November: as she points out, anti-LGBT right-wing Christians have really lost the battle to exclude LGBT people from the circle of humanity and the church. But the more they recognize the futility of continuing this losing battle, the angrier — and more exclusionary — they become.
If this is the Christianity they want, perhaps it is time for that Christianity to die, because it has very little to do with the person who started it.
But somehow many of the major historic churches aren't seeing this point, are they? They aren't seeing how divorced their response to a long-despised segment of the human community is from Jesus and the good news he proclaimed to all the world, are they?
Think about it: at both the Synod on the Family and Primates 2016, two major Christian churches permitted themselves to be held hostage — as global churches — by a contingent of their leaders who have announced that the church will stand or fall on the question of how it chooses to deal with LGBT human beings. It will stand on excluding LGBT people from the circle of humanity. Those promoting this stance have in fact gone further and announced that they will rend the communion of the church if it even dares to discuss the full inclusion of LGBT people in church and society.
And the leaders of both churches have permitted this bullying group of leaders to carry the day, to define the gospel for the entire church, and to hold the entire church hostage with their homophobia (and their misogyny, since these same leaders promote the subjugation of women to men as part of the same divine plan that, in their view, excludes LGBT people from the circle of humanity).
What kind of authentically Christian church does this to a segment of the human community — builds its very unity, its very self-definition, around the need to announce to a targeted, denigrated group of human beings that they are unwelcome and unwanted, that they are the enemy of the church and its gospel?
Michael Curry, presiding bishop of the Episcopal Church, USA: "I believe that the exclusion or segregation of anybody is not the way of God."
And as The Guardian's editorial response to what Primates 2016 have just done — the response is to the primates' decision to build the union of the Anglican Communion on the backs of LGBT human beings — notes, all this smoke and mirrors to defend a definition of marriage that we ourselves, the (presumably heterosexual) people crafting this definition and this exclusionary agreement, do not even uphold and practice: the Episcopal Church is being disciplined because it does not, the primates claim, adhere to the definition of marriage as the "lifelong union between a man and a woman."
The Guardian's take on this claim:
[T]he falsity of it all is shown by the hyperbolic language of this primates' final document: the communique speaks of marriage as a "lifelong union between a man and a woman", when no one seriously expects the Anglican churches to denounce divorce. Straight people are judged by different rules: the essence of discrimination.
"Straight people are judged by different rules: the essence of discrimination." And: "If this is the Christianity they want, perhaps it is time for that Christianity to die, because it has very little to do with the person who started it."
Much to think about here, isn't there?