Monday, December 25, 2006

Merry Christmas -- Something From Hullabaloo

And Then What Happened...? [my comments below]

by digby

Via Steve Gilliard I see that some conservative evangelicals have decided to deal with all the closeted homosexuality in their clergy by starting a homo-rehab program:

Recent gay-sex scandals involving evangelical pastors have prompted much soul-searching among conservative Christian leaders.

No one has proposed rethinking the theology that homosexuality is a sin. Instead, there's a growing consensus that the church must do a better job of helping pastors resist all immoral desires, such as a lust for pornography, an addiction to drugs or a lifelong same-sex attraction.

Seminary professors, Christian counselors and veteran clergy say the best way to help pastors fight temptation is to get them talking -- even about their most shameful secrets. They don't want a sordid tell-all from the pulpit each Sunday. But they would like pastors to bare their weaknesses and admit their lapses before a small group of "accountability partners" -- friends committed to listen with empathy, then rebuke or advise as needed.

J. Edgar Hoover liked to keep tabs on all the gays too. And then he owned them.

The thing I don't get about this is that these people are absolutely sure that homosexuality is a choice. But evangelical pastors are obviously not "choosing" to have a hidden gay life. They believe it's sinful and they hate themselves for it. They, of all people, would not "choose" such a thing. It must be such a strong, fundamental question of identity that they are unable to resist it. (Either that or they're just fast-talking religion hustlers who are completely full of shit. There are probably some of both.)

But there is actually some good news in this, I think. Under these peoples' belief system, being gay is one of the worst sins around. Yet they are carving out a moral exception for gay preachers -- the men who are supposed to set the standards and lead the people. Would they allow murderers to keep preaching? Thieves?

It seems to me that they are slowly but surely coming to realize that homosexuality knows no bounds, even among evangelical preachers, Catholic priests and other religious leaders who can't practice what they preach. If so, it's a good step in the right direction, no matter how small. Maybe if some of these people actually have to hear the stories of torment among their own small, elite group they'll get some empathy --- something Jesus Christ thought very highly of, if I'm not mistaken.


I don't know. Evangelicals think God made everyone in His own, heterosexual image. With everyone being straight from the get-go (conception?), one would have to "choose" to live life as a homosexual or to engage in homosexual acts, and it's the Devil that makes people choose it. I don't see that the hard-line evangelicals would ever find homosexuality acceptable unless Christ Himself were to return to Earth and tell them to leave the homos alone (and, before He left Earth, Christ Himself never uttered a word about homosexuality that was actually recorded in the Bible--I guess Christ didn't consider it a problem). But these "Christians" don't look to the teachings of Christ in their relentless crusade against homosexuals.

They'll cut their wayward pastors some slack by putting the blame on the prevailing permissive American culture, which, they insist, has so woefully deviated from that of our Founding Fathers (who, they will always deny, explicitly separated religion from the governance of the country).

If these people believe dinosaurs lived 6,000 years ago (vs. 200 million), I doubt you could convince them there's anything like a gay gene. Science doesn't matter to these geeks. The Bible is all they need. You'll never convince them they need anything more, or that God gave people minds with which to think. To think is to doubt the Biblical word of God. Ignorance is bliss.

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