Media Go Ga-Ga for Gay Christians

HuffPo hails the ‘stunning resurgence’ of progressive Christians.

If the mainstream media is talking about a religious book, you can bet it’s either about “Jesus’ wife” or how Mary wasn’t a virgin or something else entirely off base from traditional Christianity. Well a new book which claims the Bible actually supports homosexuality is getting heavy press from the liberal media. Of course because it’s praising progressive outlier Christianity,it’s exactly the kind of religion the media want to promote as “mainstream.”

Over the past few weeks the media has been gushing over 24-year-old Matthew Vines’ “God and the Gay Christian: The Biblical Case in Support of Same-Sex Relationships.” The book has prompted the media to question endlessly, will Christians finally accept homosexuality into the church? The Daily Beast’s Jay Michaelson pondered, “The marriage equality fight is all but won. Will the future of marriage be boring as hell, or a Bible-thumper’s idea of Sodom and Gomorrah?” 

USA Today’s Kirsten Powers wrote June 3,“Could there be a future where most American Christians support same-sex relationships? If so, it will be due to the emergence of conservative Christians who say orthodox believers can support life-long, monogamous gay relationships without undermining their commitment to biblical authority.” Her piece that was reposted in The Washington Post’s Religion section June 4. 

Powers used Vines’ comparison of the church’s view on gays to it’s evolution on slavery and the solar system.  She quotes from Vines’ book: “Christians did not change their minds about (the sun revolving around the Earth) because they lost respect for … the authority of Scripture. They changed their minds because they were confronted with evidence their predecessors had never considered.” Yet whatever “evidence” there is for the Bible suddenly approving of homosexuality won’t be found in the USA Today piece. Or the Bible. 

Paul Brandeis Raushenbush, Executive Religion Editor for The Huffington Post, similarly praised the “progressive Christian” in a blog post, “The Stunning Resurgence of Progressive Christianity,” June 4.  Raushenbush cited various religious progressive groups as a basis for “the mainstream media” now having plenty of “powerful progressive voices” to speak for all Christians.

In this, Raushenbush is surely correct, but it’s not a new phenomenon and it’s largely a one-sided affair. The media has plenty of left-wing takes on religion – from their disappointment that the Pope is indeed Catholic to hyping apostate nuns to fawning over a pastor who eschews the “hypocrisy, homophobia and sexism in her fundamentalist upbringing.” As a matter of fact, a book by prominent conservative columnist and radio host Michael Brown addressed the very same issue as Vines, but “Can You Be Gay and Christian?” has been completely ignored in the mainstream media. 

Of course not all Vines’ media was positive. Charisma News and The Christian Post both featured Biblical scholars debunking the 20-year-old author’s interpretation of Scripture. Funny how the mainstream newspapers couldn’t find any scholars to disagree with Vines liberal theology. 

Certainly Christian organizations and churches of all stripes are grappling with how to address the cultural shift of gay rights and gay marriage. Yet the media rarely highlights the constant affirmation of the traditional understanding of sexuality coming from prominent pastors and respected theologians.  Instead the media praises the outliers of progressive Christianity, whether it be a young man who wrote a book on how the Bible is pro-gay or God-fearing celebrities who are also gay activists; or liberal Biblical scholars who go against fundamental Christianity in just about every way. If the church is changing it’s views on homosexuality, it won’t be because the Bible has changed, but because the liberal media has dominated the conversation on the topic.

— Kristine Marsh is Staff Writer for MRC Culture at the Media Research Center. Follow Kristine Marsh on Twitter.