Religion and Politics

Watch Out for Weaponized Jesus

Part 3: The Gospel Coalition and “polite” discrimination

Eric Sentell
Backyard Church
Published in
5 min readMay 29, 2024


Photo by Mercedes Mehling on Unsplash

Polite discrimination is discrimination.

People used to argue against gay marriage based on blatant homophobia. Legalizing gay marriage, supposedly, would lead society down a slippery slope to widespread polygamy, incest, and bestiality. When those arguments failed, anti-LGBTQ activists shifted to “defending their freedom” to refuse services to people with different beliefs — not as discrimination but for their own personal integrity.

The effect, of course, is discriminatory. Some people must meet specific conditions to buy goods or services that others do not have to meet. Yet the discrimination can be hard to see through the haze of “free speech” and “freedom of religion.”

Even the language of God’s grace can be used to defend LGBTQ discrimination, as seen in the essay, “Why Gentile Inclusion Doesn’t Affirm Same-Sex Marriage,” recently published on The Gospel Coalition website.

In this essay, Rebecca McGlaughlin adopts a polite, reasonable tone and uses the language of God’s love, forgiveness, and cleansing. This tone and language conceal the discriminatory heart of her argument: to access her faith community, LGBTQ Christians must…