Editor's Note: I have noticed over the last couple years a toning down of the level of anti-gay rhetoric from many in the evangelical community. Certainly, the Supreme Court decision affirming same-sex marriage is a major reason for this. But reading the new book by Robert D. Jones on "The End of White Christian America" I learned the name of David Gushee who has written an important book calling for an end to the contempt Christians have had for sexual minorities. I went to his website and found this video. It is an outstanding statement. I think it has been having a big impact on many, especially younger folks, who understand themselves as evangelicals.
In November 2014 Dr. Gushee spoke at the Reformation Project in Washington D.C. Here is a video of his moving speech calling for the Church to end the teaching of contempt toward LGBT people. Source.
On his website the following is said:
Human Rights and Torture
For three years Dr. Gushee served as the President of Evangelicals for Human Rights (EHR) which supported and partnered with the National Religious Campaign Against Torture (NRCAT). These efforts continued for several more years in his work with the New Evangelical Partnership for the Common Good. These groups pressed for full respect for human rights in U.S. counterterrorism policy and zero tolerance for torture. Dr. Gushee, along with 17 other scholars, was the principal drafter of An Evangelical Declaration Against Torture. Dr. Gushee’s work on the torture issue culminated in his involvement in the national Detainee Task Force of the Constitution Project, which released its report in April 2013. Today he serves on the Board of Advisors of the Center for Victims of Torture.
Dr. Gushee believes the death penalty should be abolished. He has spoken and written frequently about the issue. Recently he strongly endorsed this important new book by Shane Claiborne.
Evangelical-Progressive Dialogue and Common Ground Activism
Working in partnership with Third Way and other contexts, Dr. Gushee has been involved in numerous Evangelical-Progressive dialogue efforts to move toward creative common ground policy measures in contested "culture wars" arenas including LGBT rights, abortion reduction, and immigration. He supports comprehensive immigration reform, gun safety legislation, health care reform, common sense abortion reduction strategies, global women’s rights and health advances, and LGBT employment rights and relationship recognition within the context of religious liberty protections.
Dr. Gushee has published 21 books and many hundreds of essays, book chapters, articles, reviews, and opinion pieces.
Probably his most widely noted books before Fall 2014 were Righteous Gentiles of the Holocaust (Fortress, 1994/Paragon House, 2003), Kingdom Ethics (IVP, 2003), The Future of Faith in American Politics (Baylor, 2008), a devotional work with his wife Jeanie called Yours is the Day, Lord, Yours is the Night (Thomas Nelson, 2012), and the broadly endorsed Sacredness of Human Life (Eerdmans, 2013), which interrogates what it has meant, and proposes what it should mean, to say that human life is sacred. It is his most ambitious and demanding scholarly project to date, and was nominated for the prestigious Grawemeyer Award.