Falwell’s Gay Admirer

As you may know by now, a pretty big brouhaha has broken out over the announcement that Ezra Klein’s new journalistic enterprise (informally known as “Project X”) had hired Brandon Ambrosino as a writing fellow. I have to admit ignorance of Ambrosiono’s slender oevre; I seemed to have missed his guerrilla appearances across the MSM and opinion magazines defending all sorts of dubious propositions (being gay is a “choice,” opposing LGBT equality is not homophobia, Jerry Fallwell was misunderstood).

LGBT folk are upset for obvious and understandable reasons–as, I suspect, are an awful lot of people with vastly better resumes–including women and minorities in short supply at Project X–who couldn’t get a toehold there.

But this comment from Gabriel Arana’s piece on the hire at the Prospect, which is based in part on conversations with Klein, raised a particular concern of mine which I suspected upon hearing about Ambrosino’s background:

Klein told me he found Ambrosino’s background as a gay Christian compelling and is trying to cultivate “ideological diversity” as well as gender and racial diversity at Vox.

It kind of makes me crazy when someone appears to assume that only Christian conservatives are authentic religious voices, and that finding a gay conservative evangelical Christian strikes some sort of “balance.” It’s the same mindset that seems to have led the President of the United States to conduct his “religious outreach” mostly among conservative evangelicals who are minority folk or who have some other reasons for playing nice with Democrats. Obama really ought to know better, and so should Ezra: there are these people called mainline or liberal Christians around, too, and if you are trying to give Christians a voice in progressive venues, you might want to start with them instead of always looking for an unconventional conservative.

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Ed Kilgore

Ed Kilgore is a political columnist for New York and managing editor at the Democratic Strategist website. He was a contributing writer at the Washington Monthly from January 2012 until November 2015, and was the principal contributor to the Political Animal blog.