Many friends of mine are upset about a recent anti-LGBT screed called the Nashville Declaration. I don’t begrudge their anger; yet I wish they would take a break from the issuance of indignant counter-screeds to ponder some of the upside resources offered by this piece.
I urge this because the “Declaration,” and its sponsor, the “Council on Biblical Manhood & Womanhood” (the Bibs, for short), look way overdue for a new approach: lampooning.
I mean, at the least, the Bibs deserve a Career Achievement Award from LGBT groups.
After all, when their Council was organized, public support for same sex marriage was barely above zilch —
— now it’s around 70 percent & still rising (yes, despite the current debacle in Washington). Coincidence?
Furthermore, the Bibs, who are joined like a bad haircut to the Southern Baptist Convention, also deserve a plaque for a key role in shrinking the SBC’s membership by a third since it came on the scene. (Yes, a third of SBC Baptists have since decamped.) A Carolina Quaker wag summed it up this way: “That’s not a church extension program, it’s a church extinction program.”
Surely the Freedom from Religion Society would sign on to this, with its growing youth affiliate, the National Committee of Nones, Dones & Having Funs.
(No wonder Nashville’s mayor immediately rejected the Bibs’ Declaration. Theology aside–
— she saw it as a drag on tourism, more like a tired rerun from the Bland Old Opry.)
And not least, there’s the Bibs’ theology, chronically misspelled as Complementarianism. Misled by the typos, they say it means women are to “complement” men by deferring & submitting (& by pretending LGBTs don’t exist).
But of course, what their theologians really meant was Complimentarianism, which shows what a difference the right “i” can make.
This much more nuanced and profound doctrine is built on repeating two Great Commandments —
First: “Darling, you look fabulous!” And,
Second: “That outfit does NOT make your ass look fat!”
(There is some dispute over a third: “Jesus, this must be the best wine in all of Cana!” But that’s another story.)
How much more peaceful will our world be when the Bibs finally get their “i” versus “e” issue worked out? Shouldn’t we help them at every chance?
And isn’t there more mileage for us, their truest friends, to be made by subjecting their self-parodying pronouncements to the corrosive force of the laugh test? There are many more ways here just waiting to be tried out.
I’m sure the Bibs’ Alpha Leader will take it all like a man.
Or maybe — because you never really know these days, like a woman.