Like so many of today’s “progressive” Christian “leaders” who have mastered the fine art of making Happy Christian Sounds whilst never actually articulating—let alone committing to—anything that might in any way alienate anyone, Andrew Marin makes his living dancing around in the middle ground between pretending to say and actually saying that it’s okay to be gay. Like others of his ilk who have discovered the benefits to be had by essentially exploiting the gay issue (and even if your readers don’t yet, you “progressive” Christian bloggers know who you are), Marin trades in the fuzzy, non-committal language that allows Christians to feel better about maintaining their conviction that homosexuality is a sin...Shore ended his post with a simple challenge for Marin: Admit that being gay isn't a sin.
As of this writing Andrew has yet to respond. I’m confident that when/if he does, he won’t say anything beyond how important it is to continue the dialogue, to keep building bridges, to live in hope, to reach out in love, fuzzy, fuzzy, blah, blah, tastes great, less filling.
Of course, Marin can't. One of the principles behind the Marin Foundation is their avoidance of yes/no questions, including whether or not being gay is sinful. But that misses the point of the group. The point of the Marin Foundation is getting people to stop insisting of absolute agreement on these culture war issues and instead develop and nurture relationships despite differences.
The sad truth is that most Christians do believe that being gay is a sin. The GLBT communities will never move forward on any of our legal and political rights if we insist that others believe the way we do. I don't need the majority of Christians to believe that homosexuality isn't a sin. I need them to recognize that they are part of a larger culture where others' legal and political rights are not dependent on their belief about the nature of my family.
Additionally, Christians who believe that being gay is a sin may never have the opportunity to decide differently if they never meet, greet, and learn to love the GLBT people around them.
I feel very comfortable as a married gay Christian dad supporting Andrew Marin and the folks at the Marin Foundation. I've met many of the people involved with the group on multiple occasions and I'm hoping to run into them again in a couple months. I was proud to support Andrew at his surprise 30th birthday party and I was glad to host him and his wife Brenda at our wedding ceremony back in 2010. I trust my substantial gut (as well as my suspicious husband) and both affirm my belief that he is a supportive friend to GLBT people of all stripes.
Personally, I think that Marin should let the subject drop. Every year, critics from the GLBT communities rise up for a while against him and then critics from the conservative Christian communities rise up for a while against him. I'm sure that gets frustrating, but it's to be expected given his organization's mission. Plus, the damage control efforts rarely pacify his critics.