Despite comments made only a few years ago denouncing homosexual acts, the Dalai Lama has now come out in favor of gay marriage. It seems like an incredible coincidence; after 2,500 years of Buddhism, he just reaches the conclusion now, when it happens to be such a popular position to hold? And at the same time that the Supreme Court found a constitutional right to gay marriage in our 228-year-old Constitution, too!
Now, Buddhism has always had a fairly hands-off approach to marriage, oftentimes regarding it as a mere social convention. But that hasn’t stopped plenty of leaders in the community, including the current Dalai Lama himself, from denouncing “sexual immorality”.
You know what would really have been something? If the Dalai Lama had come out in favor of gay marriage in 1980. Or hell, in 2008, when Barack Obama and Hillary Clinton were both against it, holding views considered totally unacceptable by the left today.
Likewise with the Episcopal Church (though they’re certainly not the only ones), recently having voted to celebrate same-sex marriage ceremonies in the Church. Christian teaching on the subject is not nearly as noncommittal as it is in Buddhism. You know what would be incredible? If they could find just a handful of orthodox Christian thinkers from the past 2,000 years who could credibly be said to support gay marriage in the Church. Then that’d really be something. You know, like a decent argument.
To be fair, there are many issues which rightly become fashionable or at least acceptable after a certain point in time and then everyone gets on the bandwagon. The civil rights struggles of the ’60s, for instance. That’s good; sometimes we want people to do the right thing, and then we worry about their motivations later. But the difference is that in the past people who suddenly changed their minds when it became politically expedient were seen as just that – opportunists.