I submit that today, in the State of Rhode Island, we are faced with a challenge to our baptismal promises to renounce the modern day evil works of Satan and confess our belief in Christ and His holy Catholic Church…This challenge takes the form of an attempt to grant to same sex couples that recognition reserved for the oldest and the only institution God created in His own image: Man as male and female united in marriage.
The evil modern day works of Satan.
NOM claims they’re not anti-gay. They’ve complained about unjust accusations of hatred. I have to ask:
If it’s not hatred to say your opponents are working to advance the cause of Satan, then what is?
That’s not a rhetorical question. I really want to know where NOM sees the line between civil discourse and hatred. I want them to make it clear.
To me, this is hate. I don’t care that it’s based on religious belief — anyone who’s studied history knows that religious passion can inspire hatred, and vice versa. And I don’t even want to shut him down — “hate speech” isn’t a crime in this country and I hope it never is.
But we still need to denounce it when we hear it — shine the light of truth on it and call it out for what it is.
The good and gentle Bishop’s statement has a few more problems: He repeats the lie that God destroyed Sodom and Gomorrah for the sin of homosexuality, when every Bible reader knows the prophet Ezekial said:
Now this was the sin of your sister Sodom: She and her daughters were arrogant, overfed and unconcerned; they did not help the poor and needy. They were haughty and did detestable things before me. Therefore I did away with them as you have seen.
Jesus extends this condemnation of arrogance and inhospitability when he tells his disciples:
Whatever town or village you enter, search for some worthy person there and stay at his house until you leave. As you enter the home, give it your greeting. If the home is deserving, let your peace rest on it; if it is not, let your peace return to you. If anyone will not welcome you or listen to your words, leave that home or town and shake the dust off your feet. Truly I tell you, it will be more bearable for Sodom and Gomorrah on the day of judgment than for that town.
Anyone who reads the story can tell you it’s not about commited same-sex relationships but about the violent gang rape of two men/angels, which surely we can all oppose. Evans’ lie about this Bible story makes it all the more ironic when he tells his parishoners:
Remember the title Jesus gave Satan: “The father of lies.”
There’s more. Evans tell his flock:
In this battle, there is no neutrality, no demilitarized zone.
Is this just a case of awful timing? I don’t think for one moment he meant this as anything but a metaphor (a literal interpretation would leave him open to charges of incitement to violence, a criminal offense that long predates hate crime legislation). But Evans gave this sermon two days ago, on Sunday, January 9. Given our current turmoil over the limits of rhetoric, along with the long and very real history of anti-gay violence in America, shouldn’t a spiritual leader be in the vanguard of those pulling back from such speech?
But leave aside his unfortunate phrasing. This man is lying about the Bible and saying that gays are doing the work of Satan. And NOM is spreading the message.
I have to ask again — if that’s not hate, what is?