How Taiwanese Conservative Christianity Turned Public during the Same-Sex Marriage Controversy and a Secularist Backlash

in Review of Religion and Chinese Society
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An astonishingly large Christian coalition has emerged to protest the legalization of same-sex marriage in Taiwan, an alleged beacon for the promotion of gay rights in Asia. This article investigates how Taiwanese conservative Christianity, which had been politically inactive for decades, has publically mobilized itself since the early 2010s, particularly in reaction to the gay-rights movement. I examine how the shifting role of the state in Taiwan encouraged conservative Christians to stand up and speak against gay-rights issues. Transnational religious networks in East Asia facilitated Taiwanese conservative Christianity’s affiliation with a united and well-organized cross-denominational force targeting gay rights. Lately, religious entrepreneurs have emerged to integrate resources from business, politics, and academia that are necessary for political engagement. All these factors have contributed to this religious movement in the public sphere, a rarity in the Chinese world. I also analyze the ensuing secularist backlash: the anti-gay-rights movement is described as an anti-human-civilization movement in which charismatic leaders, portrayed as evil magicians, utilize a variety of strategies to deceive naive, ignorant believers.

台灣——被西方媒體稱為同志權益促進的亞洲燈塔——近期出現了基督宗教團體為首的強大動員力道,反對同志婚姻合法化。本篇文章探討過去幾十年間對在政治參與上消極的台灣保守基督教,如何自2010年代初期開始,積極投身剬共參與,尤其是在反對同志權益促進的議題上。筆者首先探討台灣國家道德角色的轉變,如何迫使保守基督宗教現身抗議同志權益議題;接著討論東亞的跨國宗教網絡,如何協助台灣保守基督教轉型,形成跨教派、組織精良的反同力量;最後,宗教企業家的出現,整合各領域的資源,有效幫助宗教力量以嶄新方式參與政治。以上因素促成了這個華人世界中罕見的現身剬共領域的宗教運動。在結論之前,筆者同時也分析了宗教運動後續引發的世俗主義者的逆襲:他們如何把這運動刻畫成是反人類文明,而運動中的基督宗教領袖有如邪惡的巫師,運用各種不真實的手法蒙騙天真無知的信徒。 (This article is in English.)


How Taiwanese Conservative Christianity Turned Public during the Same-Sex Marriage Controversy and a Secularist Backlash

in Review of Religion and Chinese Society



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At the end of 2016after the completion of this manuscript a new wave of public engagement among Taiwanese conservative Christians arose in response to another round of legislative attempts by the pro-gay-rights camp. This new phase of the conflict will not be tackled in this article.


J. Michael Cole“A Feast of Hatred,” The Far Eastern Sweet Potato (blog) November 30 2013 http://fareasternpotato.blogspot.tw/2013/11/a-feast-of-hatred.html (accessed July 13 2015).


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