Before I write about the pragmatic approach to the homosexual debate I want to mention two issues that cloud the 'moral atmosphere' - two issues that get in the way of the real issue. These are militance and sensationalism. So for this post: militance.
For some reason the homosexual debate leads to militant behaviour. We've all seem images of protests by the American right-wing Christians who stand with 'God hates gays' banners at inappropriate places. Fortunately, that seems to be absent from the South African Christian arena. On the other hand, I have observed a high level of militance in South Africa from the 'pro-homosexual faction'. I don't mean physical violence, but rather an attempt to force agreement by vehemence, harsh words and protests. Is it possible that we will soon see banners saying 'God hates homophobes' or even, 'God hates the church'? For me - I have a straight forward reaction 'the more you shout at me, the less I listen'. The people who comment on this blog do so with love and gentleness and I have all the time in the world for them. But others who seem to rant just turn me right off.
We also see a strange militance in the gay community in general. I imagine that its origins are historical and due to pressures created when society was oppressive of homosexual people. But now things like Gay Pride seem a bit over the top. Steve Hayes makes the point that for people to say on one hand that what they do in their own bedroom is their own business to then have ostentatious parades seems a little odd. This is not about rights - let anyone parade - but about the impression that one wants to create. Like it or not, the Gay movement comes across as cultish and whether intentional or not the impression is given that they want to proselytise. To what though? What is this strange thing? What is on the agenda actually - whether conscious or unconscious?
At the end of the day the actions of Johan Strydom (against the NG Church in Moreleta Park) and now Ecclesia de Lange in the Methodist Church come across as intentionally confrontational. Is this their goal? The message that I am hearing is that they want to bring the church to its knees (as in crippling, not praying!) Where are their priorities?
I know that this is seriously difficult debate, but militance and confrontational behaviour cloud the issue and I don't believe that they are helpful in bringing about some sort of reconciliation and cooperation.