I'm certainly glad that Richard Mouw is calling for civility. I'm also glad that he asks us to “start some of our conversations again from the beginning”. So here are a few places we might start – Where does this incivility originate? Who is more responsible for the uncivil tone? How does being civil help if your message is bigoted at it's core? Should we continue to respect someones convictions just because they are religious? Is it a virtue to believe beyond the evidence? Is “the bible tells me so” a good argument in the 21st century? How can we be moral if we are dishonest with the evidence? Is there anything more able to undermine our humanity and compassion than religious conviction?
The first fact, the fundamental truth, the starting point for any honest (and therefore moral) conversation about gay rights is that sexual orientation is not something we choose. Once we acknowledge that fact, all arguments against gays being granted equal rights under the law ring hollow. Simply stating that “homosexuality is a sin” , no matter how civilly you do it, is not being honest, and therefore not moral.
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