Q & R: Unstable Position
Here's the Q:
I saw you at St Paul's Cathedral and could have submitted my question there...but I chickened out! So, I thought I would see if you might answer it here instead.
Recently on your blog you said that believing that homosexual behaviour is a sin, but still wanting to be an activist for the person is a step in the right direction, however it is "an inherently unstable position over time". I would love you to elaborate on this.
P.S- I really enjoyed your talk at St Paul's and so did my boss! We made a last minute dash to see you, and he now wants to read your books!
Here's the R:
First, thanks for coming to St. Paul's when I was there. I'm glad you enjoyed the evening. I know I did.
Second, I should say that I am glad whenever anybody wants to be more compassionate to anybody. So I sincerely applaud my conservative Catholic and Evangelical sisters and brothers who oppose the scapegoating of gay people that is still too common in their tribes, and who, although they interpret the Bible in the traditional way that ultimately condemns gayness, argue for better treatment of gay people. This is as good as it will get for some people in the short term, and I can applaud for better over worse behavior, even if "better" isn't "ideal."
By "unstable position" I meant that this position (accepting but not affirming) will tend to resolve itself in one of two ways. It will either revert to a more intolerant position, or it will resolve into a more accepting position. The latter is more likely, I think, because a person who holds the "accepting but not affirming" position will be more likely than a "neither accepting nor affirming" position to meet and get to know more gay people. If that's the case, over time positive data will accumulate that causes him to doubt that position - leading to an "accepting and affirming" position. I hope that helps!