So the new thing today is to publicly support same-sex marriage. Hillary Clinton just did; Rob Bell just did.
Here’s what Bell was quoted as saying in the Huffington Post:
In response to a question regarding same-sex marriage, Bell said, “I am for marriage. I am for fidelity. I am for love, whether it’s a man and woman, a woman and a woman, a man and a man. I think the ship has sailed and I think the church needs — I think this is the world we are living in and we need to affirm people wherever they are.”
Bell went on to say that while it used to be fair to equate evangelicals with social conservatism, that assumption no longer holds true. More pointedly, he said, “I think we are witnessing the death of a particular subculture that doesn’t work. I think there is a very narrow, politically intertwined, culturally ghettoized, Evangelical subculture that was told “we’re gonna change the thing” and they haven’t. And they actually have turned away lots of people. And i think that when you’re in a part of a subculture that is dying, you make a lot more noise because it’s very painful. You sort of die or you adapt. And if you adapt, it means you have to come face to face with some of the ways we’ve talked about God, which don’t actually shape people into more loving, compassionate people. And we have supported policies and ways of viewing the world that are actually destructive. And we’ve done it in the name of God and we need to repent.”
I’m sorry to hear this for the sake of Bell’s soul. I hope that he repents and turns to the truth.
With that said and meant, this shift is altogether unsurprising. The new mark of being culturally acceptable is affirming homosexuality as virtuous (not merely okay, but virtuous, even exemplary). This is the litmus test. I don’t think many of us expected that it would so quickly fill this role, but it has. The mark of being a progressive, kind, socially courageous person today is simply this: affirming same-sex marriage. There are other cardinal virtues of a contemporary au courant identity, but this is the lodestar, the one that hangs one’s personal moon.