Following the inauguration of President Barack Obama on January 20, 2009, I wrote a gracEmail urging Americans of all parties to unite behind him so far as their convictions allow, but especially to pray for him and all others in positions of power. Nearly 60 of you responded, most affirming the basic message. I also mentioned in passing that I did not support “the gay agenda.” (I have since deleted that phrase.) Five readers questioned the use of that phrase. One person denounced my “hate message” and “poison-pen gay-bashing notes,” called me an “idiot” and warned of “a special place in hell for fraudulent Christians like [me].”
Other readers were more persuasive, including one devout Christian in his twenties, who is pouring out his life in sacrificial ministry to troubled youths on the streets. “I think much caution and humility is necessary before we assign an agenda to a group,” this friend wrote, “especially one the church has so terribly marginalized while ignoring so many other sins that got much more page space in Scripture.” He urged me not to assume “that those who experience same-sex attraction have an insidious plan to ruin our families and churches,” noting that it is easy to become so “caught up in the political fight” that we forget about the “vast majority” of gay people who wish only to live quiet and peaceful lives.
This friend was right, and I wrote him back and said so. Upon reflection, I recall that gay friends and acquaintances over the years almost always have been kind and sensitive individuals — certainly not people pursuing an agenda or carrying on a crusade. My undefined reference to “the gay agenda” was overbroad and unfair. With that clearly stated, in the next gracEmail I will explain what I meant by the phrase “the gay agenda.”