By Rev. Stephen Parelli, Executive Director of Other Sheep
Posted: Monday Morning, August 9, 2010
Thiruvananthapuram (Trivandrum), Kerala, India
On Wednesday, August 4, US District Court Judge Vaughn Walker ruled to overturn California’s Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage.
Evangelical political activist Chuck Colson told BreakPoint listeners, “I have warned you for months that our religious freedoms are imperiled. Well, Armageddon may be close at hand if a new court decision holds up.”
No doubt, for Chuck Colson, the Bible story of the fire of judgment that rained down upon Sodom and Gomorrah is a kind of “Armageddon” against any society that would tolerate homosexuals. It appears that Colson believes the ultimate God-defying act of society is marriage equality. Hence, according to Colson, “Armageddon may be close at hand” because of Walker's ruling to overturn California’s Proposition 8 ban on same-sex marriage
Colson’s view is completely in opposition to evangelical “ex-gay” leaders – Christian counselors who advocate that Christian homosexuals can and should change. As early as 1993, “ex-gay” counselors and authors Bob Davies and Lori Rentzel, commenting on the story of Sodom and Gomorrah in their book Coming Out of Homosexuality: New Freedom for Men & Women, wrote: “Pro-gay theologians are correct in saying that this passage (Gen. 19, Sodom and Gomorrah) does not provide a strong argument against prohibiting all homosexual acts” [page 184].
Colson is at odds with his own evangelical counterparts who lead in counseling evangelical gay Christians to leave their “life style” of homosexuality. Colson’s Old Testament Armageddon is not a story of God’s abhorrence of marriage equality as he supposes, but a story of violence, abuse, assault and inhospitality. “Ex-gay” leaders like Davies and Rentzel have rightly distanced themselves from any claims that Sodom and Gomorrah “provide[s] a strong argument against prohibiting all homosexual acts.”
Obviously, Colson’s Armageddon as God’s hatred for marriage equality is misnamed. Love between two consenting adults is not the content of the story of Sodom and Gomorrah. Any serious reader can easily discern that much. The city of Sodom has been misrepresented for centuries in the West by both religious and secular leaders by the use of its name to demean, condemn and discriminate against same-sex love. Certainly, “sodomy” so-called, applied to marriage equality, is a violent misuse of the sacred text.
Colson needs to check-in with his fellow evangelicals who are proponents of the “ex-gay” movement. Evidently, they decided more than fifteen years ago that the story of Sodom and Gomorrah has nothing to do with same-sex sex between two consenting adults. So where’s Colson’s Armageddon? Well, it isn’t coming on the heels of loving, committed same-sex couples in California who choose to marry.
[Note: The author of this article has written a paper explaining why he does not support the evangelical "ex-gay" movement.]