TIME asks the question, "Will Gay Marriage Pit Church Against Church?":
The fight over gay marriage may be far from over, but already some conservative Christian leaders are looking beyond the courtroom dramas and the legislative infighting. The trouble they see is not just an America where general support for gay marriage will have driven a wedge between churches and the world, but between churches themselves.
"More than anything else, these developments may signal the fact that those who, on biblical grounds, are led by conscience to reject same-sex marriage, really will be exposed as a moral minority," the Rev. Albert Mohler, president of the Southern Baptist Theological Seminary and a staunch defender of traditional definition of marriage, told TIME recently. "If so, it will expose a great divide over the authority of the Bible among many Christian churches and denominations — perhaps in a way exceeding any other issue."
Ever since Jesus told followers to "render unto Caesar what is Caesar's," preachers have been warning about a clash between "the world" and "the church." But now Mohler is predicting something more, a clash between churches themselves.
So while both men are calling for courage and compassion among their flocks, it's not clear yet whether their message that homosexuals are sinners by definition is resonating beyond their staunchest supporters. Of course, that may be just fine with both men, who see in the future a kind of purifying ordeal that will sort out the true church from the others.
Perhaps in light of the Pew Forum Study (previous article on The Lead), alliances will no longer be denominational but issue driven. Is that the message of post-denominational Christianity?
Meanwhile in Iowa, this is playing itself out in church and courthouse. Read about it here.
And in the UK, Anglican Mainstream has organized a Sex in the City conference promoting the discredited idea that gays and lesbians can change their sexual orientation. Read more here with links to the event and stories on the protests.
The Washington Post is reporting a re-thinking of marriage equality by the Republican party.
It was only five years ago that opposition to gay marriage was so strong that Republicans explicitly turned to the issue as a way to energize conservative voters. Yet today, as the party contemplates the task of rebuilding itself, some Republicans say the issue of gay marriage may be turning into more of a hindrance than a help.
Read it here.