Pat Buchanan: "Homosexual rights" victories will provoke mass civil disobedience among Christians

Buchanan adds: It is impossible for Christians to hate gay people, since the church teaches "love your enemies"

Published April 16, 2013 7:36PM (EDT)

Pat Buchanan weighed in on the Dan Savage-Jeff Chu debate over Christian homophobia in a Tuesday editorial, and, boy, it was a doozy.

Dismissing accusations of homophobia in the Christian community, Buchanan writes (without irony, one assumes):

No true Catholic church can preach that Jesus hates gays. "Love your enemies" is the message of Christ. Hate the sin and love the sinner is taught as gospel truth in Catholic schools.

But the conservative commentator did cede a little ground to Savage's contention that "loving Jesus means hating gay people" for far too many people of faith:

Undeniably, the Christian view, though mislabeled "homophobia," alienates millions... For traditional Christianity's view that homosexual acts are immoral and same-sex marriage an absurdity cannot be reconciled with the view that homosexuality is natural and normal and gay marriage a human right.

But, being Buchanan, he doesn't necessarily see this as a problem. The real problem, he contends, is "the homosexual community" pushing to have its "agenda written into law and fastened onto the nation." A threat, he imagines, that could cause Christians and church leadership to commit acts of mass civil disobedience to resist victories from the "homosexual rights movement":

What happens if the gay rights movement, as it appears it may, succeeds politically on same-sex marriage, but many Christians refuse to recognize such unions and continue to declare that American society has become ungodly and immoral?

Gay rights advocates often compare their cause to the civil rights struggle of half a century ago. But there is a fundamental difference.

When Martin Luther King Jr. called on the nation to "live up to the meaning of its creed," he heard an echo from a thousand pulpits. Treating black folks decently was consistent with what Christians had been taught. Dr. King was pushing against an open door.

Priests and pastors marched for civil rights. Others preached for civil rights. But if the gay rights agenda is imposed, we could have priests and pastors preaching not acceptance but principled rejection.

Can you imagine what that would look like? Well, Buchanan can:

Imagine the situation in America today if priests and pastors were telling congregations they need not obey civil rights laws. They would be denounced as racists. Church tax exemptions would be in peril.

Something akin to this could be in the cards if the homosexual rights movement is victorious -- a public rejection of the new laws by millions and a refusal by many to respect or obey them.

This coming reality, Buchanan concludes, will make current disharmony between Christians and gay Americans look like "squabbles in a day care center" when compared to "what is coming."

By Katie McDonough

Katie McDonough is Salon's politics writer, focusing on gender, sexuality and reproductive justice. Follow her on Twitter @kmcdonovgh or email her at

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Dan Savage Gay Rights Jeff Chu Lgbt Rights