Article Title:Monologues of the Echo Chamber
Author or Credit:Craig Young
Published on:17th February 2016 - 11:41 am
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Story ID:17911
Text:Having skimmed over the latest conservative Christian 'antigay' literature, I must conclude that the loss of the marriage equality debate to the US LGBT community has had some traumatic consequences for the US Christian Right, and by implication, its satellites. Before the US marriage equality debate concluded when the US Supreme Court handed down its Obergefell versus Hodges decision in June 2015, the dominant mode of antigay propaganda was the equally repetitious and dead end medieval and 'modern' conservative Catholic appropriation of Aristotle within the work of Saints Augustine and Thomas Aquinas, a pre-scientific and pre-modern confection that was no match for the rigour of empirical evidence-based scientific analysis utilised by our communities. Now, with the obvious failure of 'natural law' anti-gay theory, the fundamentalist Protestants seem to have reasserted themselves, judging by the current anti-gay "polemic" output- and returned to an old cliche. It is also a meaningless cliche, for, ironically, the return is to two staples of fundamentalist Protestant anti-gay rhetoric. One is the sola scriptura perspective, which posits that the Bible is some sort of master narrative and that its content is the literal truth, as interpreted by fundamentalist Protestant theologians and ministers, called "heremeneutics" within biblical and wider literary criticism. Fine, and they're entitled to freedom of speech, worship, assembly, doctrine and broad areas of religious practice, given that is the baseline of religious pluralism and meaningful religious freedom, within the context of their specific sects. They are not obliged to marry same-sex couples or ordain LGBT individuals. Where they go wrong is when they try to infringe the rights and freedoms of others by venturing outside their denominational and doctrinal enclaves. The other is the charlatanry of the 'reparative therapy' arena, whose pseudo-scientific provenance is visibly wilting both within and outside the United States, let alone New Zealand, where Exodus Ministries New Zealand may or may not exist, somewhere in Manurewa, New Zealand's sole surviving 'ex-gay' organisation. In other words, they're conducting a monologue to other conservative Christians, strained through the hermeneutic framework of their fundamentalist doctrinal and theological perspective, and twisting and distorting mainstream scientific practice and procedures to reflect their initial subjective anti-gay biases. In effect, this is all they can do now. Outside the Southern United States and backward African satrapies, no-one else is listening to them. In Canada, Australia, the United States and United Kingdom, moves are afoot to insure that the chicanery and pseudoscience of 'reparative therapy' is not abused to harm vulnerable LGBT minors. About the only exception to this rule is by fundamentalist Southern Baptist polemicist R.Albert Mohler, declaring 'we cannot be silent.""We cannot shut up," even when we have nothing meaningful or effective to say anymore, is more like it. How much longer can they keep us this unconvincing pretence? Not Recommended: Denny Burk:Transforming Homosexuality: What the Bible Says About Sexual Orientation and Change: Phillipsburg: Presbyterian and Reformed: 2015. J.Alan Branch:Born This Way? Homosexuality, Science and the Scriptures:Wooster: Weaver: 2016. S. David Fortson and Rollin Gramms (ed)Unchanging Witness: Consistent Christian Teaching on Homosexuality in Scripture and Tradition:Nashville: Bradford and Holman Academic: 2016. R.Albert Mohler:We Cannot Be Silent: Speaking Truth to a Culture Redefining Sex, Marriage and the Very Meaning of Right and Wrong:Nashville: Nelson: 2015. Craig Young - 17th February 2016    
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