Faith & Social Justice: In the spirit of Richard Overton and the 17th C. Levellers

Sign of the Times?

As I try to avoid worrying about Republicans allowing the Big Three automakers to die (probably leading to a global depression!) or what happens next in the Illinois scandal, I found this interesting piece of news.

Richard Cizik, for decades the Public Policy head of the U.S. National Association of Evangelicals, has resigned after an interview in which he admitted “shifting” on same-sex marriage. Cizik now says that he supports same-sex civil unions and is reconsidering civil marriage equality!  A recent study by Pew showed that younger evangelicals are also becoming more open to gay rights.  Cizik was previously the target of the Religious Right because of his push for U.S. evangelicals to become concerned about the environment (“creation care”), taking on those Religious Right leaders who believe either that the Second Coming removes all Christian concern for the environment or that global warming is a hoax or both.  Here, again, Cizik seems more representative of younger white evangelicals than most leaders of his generation.  Wow!

I’m sad that Cizik’s voice of sanity will be lost at NAE and hope that he continues to find ways to speak out to his fellow conservative Christians about these vital matters.

December 12, 2008 - Posted by | ecology, evangelicals, fundamentalists, GLBT issues, global warming, homosexuality


  1. I heard the interview on NPR and was pretty surprised that the NAE was saying such things.

    Obviously it was too good to be true, alas.

    Comment by Alan | December 12, 2008

  2. I’m sure that he had no choice in resigning, but this is not only amazing but exciting. I say, good for him!

    Comment by Bob Cornwall | December 12, 2008

  3. Hopefully he goes on to great things; I really liked his calm and reasoned approach. I’m a bit sad for the guy, but I’m sure he knew that what he said would cause a stir. Way to go, Richard!

    Comment by Gene | December 13, 2008

  4. Just out of curiosity, did clergy and church leaders come out against slavery first only to be followed by theologians and biblical scholars later? We could probably count the number of evangelical scholars who support gay marriage on one hand so I’m wondering: if prevailing evangelical opinion shifts towards a more inclusive stance, will it be church leaders like Cizik who lead the way or will it be scholars? Perhaps the shift away from pro-slavery views would give us some clues as to what direction this movement will take as well.

    Comment by haitianministries | December 14, 2008

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