This is what rapidly changing attitudes and a shift toward acceptance and equality across the country, and even in Texas, will (potentially) do to the stridently anti-gay religious right.
The San Antonio-Express News is out with a story this week about the Alamo City’s efforts to pass a non-discrimination ordinance that, among other things, says businesses can’t tell prospective patrons to take their business elsewhere simply because they’re gay or lesbian.
You can read the story here. Sorry, but it is behind a paywall.
The story notes two things we think are interesting and telling.
First, the city’s smaller churches have opposed the proposed ordinance. But Catholic leaders and San Antonio’s larger evangelical congregations have been somewhat mum on the matter. Writes the Express-News:
There’s a reason for that silence, some observers said: No single topic in recent years has so polarized congregations and entire denominations as same-sex attraction.
Even conservative pastors worry about its potential for discord in their own flocks — or about being called homophobes for making religious arguments against gay marriage in the public arena.
Next thing of note is the reporter’s attempt to get comment from San Antonio’s largest congregations, including Cornerstone Church and Oak Hills Church. Both passed.
That’s interesting because Cornerstone Church is the home of Pastor John Hagee. Not long ago, Hagee was blaming gays and lesbians for Hurricane Katrina, comments that contributed to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., telling Hagee to take back the endorsement of his presidential bid. Fast-forward to today and, at least on this issue, on his home turf, and in this story, Hagee went silent.
Does this mean that Hagee is moderating his views on the LGBTQ community? Not likely, we think. He could very well be using every single one of his Sunday sermons to blame gays for everything from that fender-bender you saw on your commute this morning to the Spurs losing game 6 to the Heat.
One thing is for sure, though. In a few short years he went from the intolerant rhetoric of blaming Adam and Steve for the worst natural disaster to strike this country to “no comment” when approached by a reporter. And that is, um … progress?