Governor Mike Huckabee is reported to have offered The New Yorker a comment about same-sex marriage that seems guaranteed to offend many readers. As Chris Wallace reported on Fox News last night, the Governor, given a hypothetical choice between having "a torrid affair" with either Nancy Pelosi or Helen Thomas (his own hypothetical), would consider the gay option as preferable.
If what Wallace reported is true (my copy of The New Yorker has not arrived on my Kindle as of this writing), we can count on choruses of outrage from a variety of corners.
Gays, of course, will be offended by the flippant manner in which he dismissed their concerns.
Liberals will object to his having had a joke at the expense of Nancy Pelosi and Helen Thomas.
Most readers will find his comments crude and thoughtless (the "ick" factor).
But what about Christians? Mike Huckabee has endeared himself to many in the evangelical community. Will they defend his remarks, even though he is reported to have said that, if Nancy Pelosi and Helen Thomas were his only female options, well, then he might consider gay marriage as a possibility?
Let's hope not. The reason for opposing gay marriage is much more cogent and considerate than the apparently flip comments of Governor Huckabee. Christians have both prudential and Biblical arguments against gay marriage, none of which require condemning gay people or trashing others we just don't like.
But the fact that this type of comment is reported so often in the media - whether true or untrue, in context or out - is a primary reason why so many people are beginning to dislike Christians and their faith. You would think that in talking with a secular media outlet a believer would try very hard to be wise as a serpent and harmless as a dove, keeping his speech gracious and edifying, and speaking gently and reverently about those whose views he opposes. However, that seems almost never to happen.
If the world chooses to stay away from Church in droves, it won't be because the Gospel is not as lovely, powerful, and gloriously transforming as ever it has been. It will most likely be because the "earthen vessels" in whom this precious jewel has been deposited are thoughtless, mean-spirited, and afflicted with an advanced case of foot-in-mouth disease.