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Will the Christian Right Hang Itself With Its Own Homophobia?

When teenagers, even many Christian teenagers, look at the Christian right's homophobia these days, it makes no sense to them. It just looks ugly.

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But each of  these issues, for one reason or another, is harder than gay bashing to hang around the neck of Conservative Christians. The linkage is less direct or more convoluted, or simply less visible. Some of these problems—like maternal mortality or the ever growing number of hungry children or the ever shrinking number of even hungrier animals—are complicated. Religious fundamentalism is mixed with a host of other causal factors, and the solutions are even more tangled. Some problems, like shoddy creationist textbooks and shiny creationist museums, are isolated in specific communities and so seem not to touch us, even though in the end they do. 

Gay rights, though, is everywhere, because gay people are everywhere. They surprise us as  Honey Boo Boo’s Uncle Poodle or Dick Cheney’s daughter, Mary, who, by the way,  got married this fall. They show up as my best friend, Meilin, at Wheaton College (the Illinois one of Billy Graham fame) or as my younger brother, David, or as the beloved but wildly effeminate son of a Mormon client who would rather stop loving her religion than stop loving her child. They show up as your neighbor or niece or even your grandmother, if only you are listening.  Sexual orientation has no regard for politics, social class, or religion. 

Valerie Tarico is a psychologist and writer in Seattle, Washington and the founder of Wisdom Commons. She is the author of "Trusting Doubt: A Former Evangelical Looks at Old Beliefs in a New Light" and "Deas and Other Imaginings." Her articles can be found at Awaypoint.Wordpress.com.
 
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