I want to grab a bit at the end of this Post article on Evangelism after Falwell to point out something that I think plays into the social psychology of some of the more ardent Evangelicals out there:
The group's founder, physician Randy Brinson, said he finds that young evangelicals are intensely interested in practical ways to help their communities and are little swayed by issues such as same-sex marriage.Obviously, the Evangelical parents of the kids in question also went to school with gay people, but the gay people were probably closeted, harassed, kept in line, and, as is so important for minorities, especially in the south, "knew their place". Which was probably to be tossed into lockers by a lot of these Evangelical parents back when they were youngins. Or at the very least, not supported by these Evangelical parents when other kids abused them.
"These kids have gone to school with people who happen to be gay, and they don't see them as a direct threat. They may think that lifestyle is wrong, but they don't see it as something that really affects their daily lives," Brinson said.
And my guess is that a lot of these Evangelical parents know it. Their children are much better off, as is the rising generation of gay kids who have a voice in the great discussion of our culture.
And as a final note; I've said this many times and I'll say it many times more: Evangelicals are required for the kind of social justice movements that have reshaped America over and over again and made us a better nation. Slavery would never have ended; a myriad of workplace safety and labor laws (especially child labor) would never have been enacted; and the civil rights movement would never have brought African Americans a full seat at the American table if it weren't for people of faith rising up to make the persuasive moral case for these changes and many others. Evangelicals don't just need more issues than abortion and gay marriage. American needs for Evangelicals to find their voices on other issues and make those persuasive, compassionate, moral arguments for action on poverty, the environment, racism, and so many other problems that plague us and the world. Come on guys. We can work together and achieve things. Find your voice.