Christian Conservatives and the LGBTQ Community in a Pluralistic World


Conservative Christians and the LGBTQ community are seldom bedfellows with a common cause. The former often lashes out publicly against the latter with the latter occasionally lashing back. The debate over gay marriage is a bitter source of conflict between these two groups. Nevertheless, the persistent presence of conservative religionists is unlikely to abate in the near future. How will this conflict continue to shape up in the coming decades, and how might it be resolved in a way amenable to both communities? In this paper, I will attempt to negotiate a path for peace in modern secular society between conservative Christians and the LGBTQ community. First, I will argue that religion and sexuality are both constructs, which are more similar than dissimilar. Second, I will appropriate the work of Stephen Prothero and Alfred Stepan to argue that while each religion is irreconcilably different from the other, it is still possible for multiple religious constructs to exist and thrive with equal rights in the same society. This will allow me to demonstrate how a society might overcome the impasse between multiple and opposing religious and sexual constructs by embracing a pluralism that allows all constructs to grow and thrive in the midst of disagreement. Finally, using the writings of John Howard Yoder and Stanley Hauerwas, I will suggest that the conservative Christian community should divest itself from seeking cultural hegemony in this multi-construct world.

Author Information
Matthew Brake, George Mason University, USA

Paper Information
Conference: NACAH2014
Stream: Humanities - Religion

This paper is part of the NACAH2014 Conference Proceedings (View)
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Posted by James Alexander Gordon