Unaware that their cause had been lost, a small number of Japanese soldiers deep in the jungles of the Philippines continued waging guerrilla warfare against an imaginary enemy years after World War II had ended.
Via dropped pamphlets, newspapers left everywhere, and even relatives at the jungle's edge hollering at them through bullhorns, the diehard soldiers got the news the war had ended. They just didn't believe it.
It's as obvious as a stunning rainbow in the sky that within, say, 10 years, any church or denomination still fighting against the marriage of gay couples and the ordination of gay clergy will be like those recalcitrant Japanese soldiers living amongst the mangrove trees of Lubang Island long after everyone else has accepted peace as a fact and adjusted to the new world order.
And that's 10 years tops. At the rate things are changing now, I wouldn't be surprised if by Thursday the Pope was a drag queen.
OK, I'd be a little surprised.
OK, fine: the Pope (despite the full-length resplendent robes and the tiara-on-testosterone headdress) will never be a queen. But as surely as the cessation of gunfire and your cousin screaming at you through a bullhorn, "Come out! It's over! Stop embarrassing me!" means the war you were fighting has ended, men and women of the gay and lesbian persuasion will 'ere long be fully welcomed into every American Protestant church, where a great many of them will step up and assume their usual place in the pulpit.
It took longer for some Christians than others to understand that the Bible does not, in fact, sanction slavery.
It took longer for some Christians than others to understand that the Bible does not, in fact, forbid women's civil rights.
And now it's taking longer for some Christians than others to understand that the Bible does not, in fact, decree that moments into their afterlife anyone who dies an unrepentant homosexual is immediately issued a one-way ticket on the Hell Crosstown Express.
Here's the headlines-making Gallup Poll released a couple of weeks back:
Don't you wish that green line was the U.S. economy? Well it's not. It's the percentage of the population that believes same-sex marriage should be legal.
Want a tip for improving your economy? Invest in same-sex wedding cake toppers.
"The blue hairs" is a phrase sometimes used by Christian publishers to refer to the conservative Christians who own the Christian bookstores in which the publishers want and need to sell their books. One of the massive factors that for a great many years has kept Christian book authors and publishers from coming out and saying what they privately believe about same-sex couples and Christianity is that they literally cannot afford to offend the ever-vigilant blue hairs. Should the blue hairs take offense to something in your book -- which they do vet for orthodoxy -- then no book sales for you!
Well, Christian publishers and authors can stop worrying now. Today, the blue-haired lady has either died, gone out of business, or changed her mind. Today's blue-haired lady takes yoga classes. Today, the blue-haired lady has a gay grandchild or nephew whom she loves with all her heart.
The Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), the Episcopal Church, the Evangelical Lutheran Church, and the United Church of Christ now favor the ordination of gay and lesbian clergy.
Science continues to affirm homosexuality as inborn (not that anyone who's ever actually known a gay person doubts it).
The biblical scholarship supporting the idea that Paul never wrote a word proscribing natural homosexuality is at least as credible and persuasive as the scholarship (if not typical Bible translations) claiming that he did.
Young people -- Christians very definitely included -- fail to understand why the church makes such a big deal, or any deal at all, about gays and lesbians.
The bottom line on the whole gay/Christianity issue is that, in an astonishingly short period of time (yay Internet!), we have reached Ye Oldyee Tipping Poiynte. And that seesaw will only continue to further tip in the direction it is now. Which (let's face it) is to the left.
And I won't deny that works for me personally. For verily am I already just ever so slightly weary of calling into the jungle through a bullhorn for the deeply confused, bizarrely obdurate combatants in there to come forward and step out into the open: to enjoy the sunshine, to relax, to get a hug, to finally be at peace with an enemy who isn't even there.
To finally and once again see not just trees, but the whole beautiful forest.
Read the Wikipedia entry on Hirro Onoda, the last of the Japanese soldiers fighting WWII -- or of any soldier anywhere, ever, I would think -- to surrender. Or, you can read what I consider one of my greatest online finds ever: Badass of the Week: Hiroo Onoda.