How Gay Marriage Really Came About

It’s a fascinating review of this book:

One of the core insights of From Tolerance to Equality is the way in which the homosexual acceptance movement presented itself as a struggle by an oppressed underdog against social injustice even though the core of its support came from corporations, government bureaucracies, the wealthy, and the powerful in society rather than the working classes and politically marginalized. As similar “social justice” issues get pushed to the fore among evangelicals, this book helps illustrate the way that these movements are far too often a smoke-screen for vested power interests. Are we to believe that it is a mere coincidence that those who push hardest for Christians to conform to modern secular culture arise without fail from upper-middle class, college-credentialled, urban elites who embrace managerial ideologies and culture?


I tell people constantly that the Scripture always assumes as universal that in all ages those with power and wealth oppress the righteous poor. This is why those with power, authority, and wealth are constantly being reminded by God that He will weigh the scales of justice at the judgement to test whether they acted with impartiality and have not been those given to bribes. It is very hard for rich men (upper class college educated urban elites) to enter into the kingdom of heaven.

This was a refreshing read.

We never talk about class, which is to our detriment. I think this may be due to the fact that the socialists have a monopoly on speaking about class oppression. When the working conservative man hears criticism of the wealthy and powerful it can sound an awful lot like socialism. And to your normal evangelical infatuated with the prosperity gospel and in bondage to the love of money nothing could be more odious.

Kuyper, in quoting the apostle James’s rebuke to the rich, said it well:

James 5:1-4. If words as strong as these were not found in the Bible, and if anyone should dare pen them now on his own initiative, people would brand him as a crypto-socialist. For those who hope for money and who would build on the power of money, the Holy Scripture is a despairing book. The Holy Spirit who speaks in Scripture finds much gold and silver to be dangerous rather than desirable, and deems an inheritance of millions not even distantly to be compared with the inheritance which awaits us as saints. This is the witness of the Lord in His Word, therefore I may not represent it otherwise; but then too, let no one reproach me for it, but let him realize that his criticism directly attacks the Bible itself.


Thanks, Jacob. If one reads the history of the legalization of abortion in the US, it’s precisely the same. It was brought about by elites intent on denying God and His Moral Law led in large part by the Jewish atheist Bernard Nathanson (who in the end repented and converted to Roman Catholicism). If one reads the biography of Margaret Sanger, it’s precisely the same. She worked through the elites and mainline religious types to influence the courts which then legalized birth control. One book that is fascinating on this class warfare so hidden in our country is Charles Murray’s Coming Apart. It’s astounding how effective purported social justice movements like BLM and MeToo are at hiding the real oppression the rich carry out across the US documented by Murray so well in this book. Look carefully at his death stats in US vs. Europe.

One other thing: the real division in the church today is not black and white or reformed and arminian or baptist and presbyterian, but rich and poor. Tragically, UK Reformed Baptists and Presbyterians (then followed by the same groups down the same path here in US) decided to forget the working stiffs and go for the gold. If there are few blacks in Reformed churches, poor whites have no better representation. Seriously, Reformed Westerners couldn’t give a … about the souls of the poor, starting with the working stiffs buying cigs and lottery cards in our local convenience store.

What Gospel Coalition guys like the Ortlunds, Sauls, Carson, Duncan, Keller, Ryken, etc. really represent is the Reformed church’s intense aspiration to gain wealth, fame, and power. Follow the money. Always. Love,

PS: To put a fine point on it, these men specialize in milking the rich, and we idolize them for it. It is their special gift and we all wish we had it, too.


Great article.

The phenomenon of identifying primarily with one’s social class isn’t unique to liberals. As Pastor @tbbayly articulated so well, classist thought is endemic to modern Reformedom across the board.

The PCA’s “conservative” wing especially comes to mind. Our pulpits are commonly occupied by men with prestigious seminary degrees, and successful businessmen, councilmen, lawyers, and engineers are marked as being “examples for the flock” based on having “run the race” and ordained as ruling elders.

Children who are raised in such congregations often attend university and join the explicitly “covenant children come first” RUF. They (consciously or subconsciously) seek out clones of themselves, marry someone of the opposite sex who seems “familiar,” and embark on repeating the cycle.

While the conservative and liberal “elites” are distinct in ideology, the two groups share certain behavioral patterns. Perhaps the most significant of which is a propensity to be less than truthful or mince words in exchange for remaining in good standing with the “right people” in their respective circles. Success in modern white-collar America is largely dependent on one’s ability to “climb the ladder” socially, standing at odds with blue-collar America, which is known for valuing “brute-force” and raw work ethic and detesting “fluff.” If upper-class children are not taught the strategies employed by their parents explicitly, they pick up on them intuitively and begin mimicking what they observe.

I can’t help but wonder if the seeming incapability of PCA conservatives to act according to what is biblical and just is linked with our enthrallment with a social system eerily similar to that described by the article’s author in relation to more “mainline” evangelicals: one where vying for the right seats at the right tables is prioritized over getting “dirty.” We like to think of ourselves as “not like those liberals” while we almost exactly parrot their behavior and mannerisms with words like “orthodoxy” and “confessional fidelity” on our lips.


Although some, like Rod Dreher, fear a coming universal soft totalitarianism, I expect the economically downtrodden working class will mostly remain unscathed because they are largely non-persons to the elite. The pinch is going to come to the professional class and those skilled tradesmen and business owners who rise high enough to be noticed. So I expect it will be quite possible to avoid cancellation and compelled participation in woke ideological crusades – but one will need to live an economically precarious life to do so.


A fascinating read, which I want to come back to. What is often apparent on Christian sites like Charismanews (online house journal for Pentecostals and Charismatics), is a lot of resentment at the “elites” who have led America astray over the last century. “Elite resentment” also explains the Evangelical/Fundamentalist split after the war; simply put, the Fundamentalists resented the people who led post-war Evangelicalism, because the latter had visibility and acceptance and they (the Fundamentalists, especially the southern ones) did not. But Fundamentalism, and the working-class Pentecostal milieu I grew up in, has its own headaches.


I’ve certainly ready about Fundamentalism post WWII, but I had never thought about it along class lines. Fascinating observation.

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Any of you who want to read a two-part New Yorker piece that is about the most formative thing I’ve read on the gay movement, send me an email and I’ll attach a copy. Nothing comes close to it in showing the politics as they developed and how AIDS hit the movement broadside. For myself, I think three things caused sodomite marriage. First, for decades, all the rich conservative Christian women had gay interior decorators and hairdressers, and they really liked them. It was like having another girlfriend, but one who wouldn’t make you jealous. Second, when AIDS hit, pity took the world by storm, and Christians began to think it wasn’t nice to oppose or shame or punish people who were dying and whose lovers were dying. Gays exploited this to the max. Third, the conservative church hadn’t been disciplining serial divorces and fornication and other sexual sins for decades, so the selectivity of their wanting to hold the line at “yucky” struck and silenced them. As I said in chapel at Taylor University maybe fifteen years ago, any residual opposition to the homosexualist movement was because of the sin’s yuckiness, not concern for the souls of those in its bondage and any desire to honor God’s Word and Moral Law. Love,


Having spent quite a bit of time in a couple American Fundamentalist circles, and being well aware of some of those headaches, I’ll say this in their favour: they’re not capitulating at every cultural trend that comes their way like so many reformedish circles. They seem remarkably more comfortable being at odds with the world and evidence very little fear of being seen as gauche.


Very interesting article and thread, thanks for these. The points raised in both certainly get at truth that is far-reaching in diagnosing our ailing civilization. So often, cultural developments that are presented in some other way are actually decidedly “a smoke-screen for vested power interests.” In many instances to a very extreme degree. The “fake” runs deep. In today’s world, what doesn’t this phenomenon apply to? Cultural movements regarding sexual ethics, cultural movements regarding “racial” ethics, cultural and societal issues related to medical ethics that are capable of enveloping the lives of everyone for over two years straight in the jurisdiction of all of the planet, changes to the laws that impact the lives or lead to the murder of hundreds of millions, issues of finance/banking and the very basis through which any trade among people can happen, issues of technology and law that impact the very basis through which effective communication and free speech can take place, and just about any other thing that is spoken of by people when they talk about “the news” can and likely is being impacted by this exact type of complex of dynamics. The only question is to what degree. For instance, has anybody heard about this fringe “news” item that I stumbled across? Something about the Ukraine or Russia or something like that. I dunno, I wasn’t really listening. :smile: But seriously, the ways that “these movements are far too often a smoke-screen for vested power interests” applies to that situation are too numerous to even try to broach in these remarks. It applies particularly to the manner in which the subject in question is presented to the public and how the ensuing discussion (or lack thereof) is shaped.

CRT has been mentioned but really the phenomenon the article describes applies much more to the swamp of WO-KE-fe-no-kee than just “social justice’ issues… pushed to the fore among evangelicals" Current debates about “social justice” and the discord that they leave in their wake really are the downstream results of highly intentional actions taken to create destruction. The movements are the results of “weaponization” in about the same way that howitzers are the results of “weaponization” at a munitions factory. The philosophies that led to the movement are built to destroy. If not everybody involved is fully cognizant of this or if many aren’t even aware of it at all is beside the point. It may even mean it’s a particularly diabolically crafted weapon. As with homosexuality or abortion, many in the Christian world seem to be later to sign on to such movements and also (but thankfully not always) behind the curve in exposing the depth of manipulation. A long time ago I heard a radio program where Hank Hannegraff said something to the effect of “In cultural trends, the Christian world tends to buy high and sell low.” It made enough of an impression that I still remember it. Or also,

Additionally, I wonder if anyone here has read this

It’s now behind a paywall so feel free to use the link here for the whole thing - Please understand, I’m truly not bringing it into the discussion for purposes of virus-controversy but because it touches on so many of the points raised in the American Reformer article and those mentioned so far in response. My reasoning in commenting in virus-related threads has been a desire to see meaningful discussions of just this sort of topic, as opposed to statistically-oriented ones only. Whether back-and-forths take place on “data” related to the myriad topics in abortion debates or debates on human sexuality or debates on economics or debates related to justice or science or war or technology is partly secondary to this important issue. Who is shaping the very basis of the debate and what are they trying to accomplish in so doing. It’s so easy to lose the larger view of the battlefield for the trees. Especially when the information landscape is subject to so much manipulation.


E.g. - in New Zealand we used to say (the 1950s) that our Anglican churches were made up of doctors and lawyers, our Presbyterian churches of engineers and accountants, and our Baptist and Pentecostal churches of office workers and factory workers. Things have moved on since then, but historically the Baptists (and even more so the Pentecostals) were on the “outer” of the Christian village.

Another issue is ethnicity. Where the Black Church fits into the pattern of class is a good question, and perhaps worth a discussion on its own.

I agree with the three factors you state here, but I don’t think that the flattening influence of feminism can be understated in popularizing gay “marriage.” Once you’ve ironed out all the differences between men and women in everything else, why not in marriage? And once you’ve ironed out all the differences between men and women in marriage, why not interchange a man for a woman or a woman for a man?


Christopher Caldwell had a chapter in his book The Age of Entitlement that opened up how the activism and legal strategy brought us gay marriage along with other big social changes wrought by the courts.

I see that the author of the review at American Reformer, Benjamin Mabry, got his PhD in political science at LSU. Stephen Wolfe, another writer who is helpful on these kinds of issues also took his PhD from LSU in political science. Wolfe’s dissertation had to do with Protestantism and early American political theory. I bet they knew each other. Small world.

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It is very refreshing to hear these words.


Welcome, brother.

Yes, absolutely. Feminism started by attacking God’s Fatherhood, then man’s, and Christians have almost entirely joined this rebellion against authority even while cavilling at improper use of body parts (only) in full copulation. Evangelicals think sex is meaningless except for body parts. Evangelicals are Tootsiefied.

I was for some years part of a group of executives leading renewal groups in denominations. Good News for United Methodist, and so on, and I represented Presbyterians Pro-Life in the PC(USA), When we met one year hosted by Good News down at Asbury College, the Good News men invited a rich pastor of thousands who had served on their denomination’s sexuality study committee to come and report on his experience. He was quite impressed with himself and reported how wrong the liberals were promoting the gay agenda. Stuff like that with the subtext being we were all God’s angels in our fights, and he certainly was.

I remember sitting there wondering if anyone else saw what seemed clear to me, that with sodominian movements taking over our denominations, we were only reaping the fruit of our own actions casting off the central truth of sexuality decreed by God when He made Adam first, then Eve? We didn’t want sex to carry authority, so why bother with body parts, either?

I put the question to the big man thirty years older, then, and he responded with both anger, irritation, and pomposity that I didn’t really want to go back to the dark ages when men oppressed women, did I?

We can’t abandon male authority and responsibility, which is to say Adam’s federal headship, and then make a show of holding onto other aspects of male and female. Sexuality begins with the order of creation of Adam first, then Eve, and all of us who want to cherry pick which parts of sexuality we’ll deny, hide, or speak only sotto voce, will find we’ve lost before we began to fight. This is complementarians, completely, and it’s a dead end. Love,


Le plus ça change…

Le plus c’est la même chose.