organized: existing on a large scale and involving the systematic coordination of many different elements
hatred: intense dislike, repugnance, or contempt for somebody or something
"I have struggled with homosexuality since I was a 5-year-old boy," "... I can't tell you the number of nights I have cried myself to sleep, begging God to take this away." He described struggling with what he believes is the biblical teaching that homosexuality is an abomination.
Pastor Paul Barnes of Engelwood Colorado, a suberb of Denver delivered those words in a videotaped message delivered to the worshipers attending his church on Sunday. Barnes is married and has two daughters in their 20's.
The Pastor resigned to the church board after the church received a call that led Barnes to confess to having engaged in gay sex.
Two pastors from the Evangelical movement have been outed recently for having sex with other men. Ted Haggard resigned in November after he confessed to having sex with a gay male escort.
What is consistent here is that both Ministers spent much of their lives condemning gays. They demonised gays, lesbians, trans, and bisexual people in all that they preached. They took part as "community leaders" fighting advancements on gay civil rights at every opportunity.
It’s not a surprise that they vilified gays, the number one target of the social conservative Christian right, and it’s not a surprise that they were gay. What better place to hide than within the ranks of those that would oppress you. That is where the sad stories of these two men are really told.
"I have struggled with homosexuality since I was a 5-year-old boy," said Barnes to his former flock. Society has, often led by religion going to great lengths to force gays to stay in the closet for fear of retribution, their safety and self hatred. Statements like this one are not uncommon. In my own experience encountering gay men coming out of the closet this is consistent; feelings of self hate, betrayal of loved ones.
The Evangelical messaging on the "dangers" of homosexuality or same-sex marriage is really about keeping the pews full of scared and thus devoted money giving sap suckers. If you impose some rules that affect only a few but apply to straights as well, then you have the makings of a waterfall of money every Sunday.
Now I don't mean to be disrespectful of the people in the pews, no they are being conned by some of the best shysters in the business going back to the days of the snake oil merchants back in the day.
How many televangelists have got into trouble over the last 25 years? I don't have to tell you how many because you know them all. You have seen their tear stained faces as they apologize on national TV, beg forgiveness and you know what happens, they get it.
Repentance, prayer and rehabilitation for those tempted over to the dark side is the prescription for Ted Haggard and likely for Paul Barnes as it has been for thousands and thousands of gay men in the past. It almost never works but the church leadership has to continue the facade in order to keep the money coming in. If they fail it’s the work of Satan.
It’s a recipe for individual insanity, to a life destroyed, millions of times over the last 3o years since the assault on gays began in ernest. It shouldn't surprise you that the United States is the most homophobic westernised country in the world. The Land of Free is only free for those that accept the mold created by a few very wealthy god soothsayers, you know them, James Dobson, Jerry Falwel, Pat Buchanan and then oven baked by faithful local preachers every day.
Some of you make think I am wrong. Years of experience tells me all I need to know, from the day in grade 10 I read in the dictionary homosexuals were perverts, to a medical guide that said I should be treated, to counseling gay men in their 40's leaving marriages after years of trying to "turn" straight, often with a family. I have seen the harm of religion; I have seen the pain and suffering in these men's faces, held them in my arms as they cry uncontrollably.
I refuse to condemn Ted Haggard and Paul Barnes. They are but small pawns in the efforts to keep people filling the pews and coffers of religion. Would their lives been different if they were not raised to hate themselves? Would they have lived a life filled with always looking over their shoulder, looking back to see if they are being watched, living a double life.
The Church purports to be supportive of the family and in many ways they do help while they destroy others. The effects are clear. Sons and daughters shunned by their parents, siblings , friends and community. Is it any wonder many gays marry, start a family? In the end the church creates many victims. The women married to these gay men, often having spent ten, fifteen, or twenty years together believe they have their partner for the rest of their life.
These women are victims too. Their perfect life is over. Worse they are touched by what is shunned by others, there is little help for them. This often adds to the guilt of the men that leave, no longer capable of living a lie. Who created this situation? The Church.
How did I make it? My Mother tells me she knew I was different from other boys when I was three, not that she understood at the time I was gay. My parents didn't go to church.
Now that's not the only reason I made it, but I bet its a major contributing factor, consider also that they accepted people for who they were, they loved their children unconditionally and no church leader like James Dobson was going to tell them their son evil because he was gay.