Wednesday, August 30, 2017

Tony Perkins and James Dobson among signers of "The Nashville Statement"

The Nashville Statement, which was made public on Tuesday,  is largely anti-gay and anti-trans. In fact, it is almost entirely anti-gay and anti-transgender, mixed with Evangelical Christian sanctimony. The homophobia and transphobia is quite repetitive within the screed.

The statement was written by the Counsel of Biblical Manhood and Womanhood. In 2015 CBMW received $232 thousand in contributions and had an operating loss of $44 thousand. Its president is Owen Strachan who is an associate professor of Christian theology at Midwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in Kansas City, MO. It's a form of contagion.

From the preamble, we are going to Hell in a hand-basket — The end is nigh:
By and large the spirit of our age no longer discerns or delights in the beauty of God’s design for human life. Many deny that God created human beings for his glory, and that his good purposes for us include our personal and physical design as male and female. It is common to think that human identity as male and female is not part of God’s beautiful plan, but is, rather, an expression of an individual’s autonomous preferences.
From there we get the expected; do not be gay, do not be transgender and do not enter into a  gay marriage. The self-righteous pablum is presented in couplets expressing what they affirm and what they deny, The authors perceived a need to express themselves regarding intersex people, or eunuchs, or, … something:
Article 6
WE AFFIRM that those born with a physical disorder of sex development are created in the image of God and have dignity and worth equal to all other image-bearers. They are acknowledged by our Lord Jesus in his words about “eunuchs who were born that way from their mother's womb.” With all others they are welcome as faithful followers of Jesus Christ and should embrace their biological sex insofar as it may be known.
WE DENY that ambiguities related to a person’s biological sex render one incapable of living a fruitful life in joyful obedience to Christ.
The authors are extremely repetitious. This summarizes their view of human sexuality:
Article 10
WE AFFIRM that it is sinful to approve of homosexual immorality or transgenderism and that such approval constitutes an essential departure from Christian faithfulness and witness.
WE DENY that the approval of homosexual immorality or transgenderism is a matter of moral indifference about which otherwise faithful Christians should agree to disagree.
Oh pronouns!
Article 11
WE AFFIRM our duty to speak the truth in love at all times, including when we speak to or about one another as male or female.
WE DENY any obligation to speak in such ways that dishonor God’s design of his image- bearers as male and female.
If they choose to be unconscionable boors they are correct. They have no obligation to behave politely. They can skip the “love” bullshit. It is an act of extreme hate to refer to a transgender woman as a man. It is also uncivil. They are capable of the compromise. They choose to demonstrate their disapproval. Isn't that what it is always about? Conservative Evangelical Christians are in the shame business. That is their principal lever for obtaining doctrinal conformity. Restrict their ability to shame people and they get mightily upset.

There are a total of 14 pieces to this thing. It's a free country. If people find salvation through the worship of Ben & Jerry's Cherry Garcia that's fine with me.
  • It becomes a problem if, through force of law, they want me to be compelled to eat the ice cream. 
  • When people who prefer granola bars and non-fat yogurt are discriminated against, it's a problem.
  • It becomes another problem when they loudly publicize their view (opposed to medical science) that the consumption of Cherry Garcia by children will help them develop muscular bodies. 
  • When doctors who are adherents more than they are physicians pen non-peer-reviewed articles praising the benefits of large doses of fat and sugar, it's a problem.
  • When adults who know better cite those doctors to make a case for their version of Nirvana, it's a problem.
  • When they try to impose that diet on school cafeterias and curricula it becomes a bigger problem. 
  • When they become hysterical over a teacher's lesson plan which includes an explanation of calories and the importance of protein, it's a problem.
  • When they show up en masse at school board meetings insisting that Cherry Garcia should be taught alongside knowledge of the four basic food groups, it's a problem.
  • When, in spite of prevailing laws, they refuse to serve people who will not guarantee to consume some B&J, it's a problem.
  • When they claim that the First Amendment gives them the right to impose their beliefs on everyone else, it's a problem.
Unlike a predecessor, the Manhattan Declaration (with calls for civil disobedience), the Nashville Statement is a call to the faithful. Less objectionable it nonetheless asks people to embrace willful ignorance about human sexuality. Many will. Most people will not. Those who will have louder, more annoying, voices.

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