I am still working slowly on the materials for an extended Gay Catechism, which I announced last spring. But since that time, the amazing window of light opened for same-gender marriage, and the election, with all its promise and problems, slammed down upon us. Obama is ready to change America (read: undo most of what Bush had done?), but now Proposition 8 has to be fought all over again in the court and the culture.
But the need for the Gay Catechism still tugs at me. I continue to meet people who are surprised that I am a church pastor and openly gay. Last week we got an extended “hate message” on the church answering service, although the lady who recorded her anti-gay sermon into the telephone probably didnt think she was being hateful. Every time an LGBT person gets slammed with such stunning and ignorant rejection, however, it is harder to believe that there is anything redeeming about the Christian faith.
What disturbs me most is that the culture war, and the legal war, have very few “front lines.” The lawyers, ours and theirs, prepare their briefs. People sign onto Amicus briefs without ever meeting the authors. Funds are raised by the tens of millions on both sides of them marriage issue, and the demagogues like Dobson and Robertson continue to raise hundreds of millions of dollars from sourpuss Christians who think that we are trying to destroy their faith and their nation, and must be stopped. (As if these two guys in their late 70s are going to save America from homosexuality.)
But on our side, now the blogs and start-up web sites are mounting a powerful campaign to overturn Proposition 8. Even if the California Supreme Court doesnt see it our way when it finally hears the consolidated cases in March 2009, the battle will be on to reverse Proposition 8 on the 2010 ballot. But either date is a long time to wait to have my marriage recognized.
Where would the “front lines” be? Direct one-on-one conversation with those who disagree. Carls work friend who lives in a conservative neighborhood did march across the street to talk to a neighbor with a “Yes on 8″ yard sign, and talked him in to understanding our point of view. Thats a front line. But the lady who left the cranky, self-righteous phone message is no warrior. She didnt give a name or number because she doesnt want to listen to our side of the argument. Oh, well.
But now my work on the Gay Catechism has slowed (you can check out some of these materials at www.gaycatechism.net), in part because I have too much passion to fight on all fronts. The sudden movement to stop/block/overturn/invalidate Proposition 8 fired me up again last week to launch the site www.NoOn8Church.org (or www.NoOnH8Church.org). There I am trying to assembly all things godly and strategic in the righteous battle to get ride of this discriminatory law. The site is brand-new, but you will find things like God Talk, Why Yes Won, Whats Next, Money|Politics, Headlines, and Issues & Ideas, including Can I Still Get Married?, Legal Issues, Stop “Protecting” Marriage, etc.
I guess for now the web site is my own, and our churchs, “front line.”
Pastor Dan Hooper, Los Angeles