|Conservative Christians Circling ¨sexual sin¨|
¨In the light (or should I say "dark") of the Republican's stand against repealing "Don't Ask, Don't Tell" we need to understand the wider context of the fight that pits human rights against the conservative Christians who have taken over the Republican Party.
If there is one thing all Christians should have learned by now it's that we -- of all people -- should never, ever cast aspersions on anyone else's sex life!
When it comes to pointing the finger over sexual "sin" the worldwide Christian community -- from the halls of the Vatican, to some Evangelical conservative "home church" established in somebody's basement two minutes ago -- is in the morally compromised position of a sometime violent habitual rapist criticizing a shoplifter for stealing a candy bar.
We're not talking about "a few bad apples," but the whole edifice of religion top to bottom.
I look at these issues from an inside perspective. My late father, Francis Schaeffer, was a key Evangelical founder and leader of the American Religious Right. I grew up in a home where we knew all the key actors in the anti-gay Evangelical/Far Right "cause". I changed my mind and I changed my politics. I explain why I quit the evangelical movement in my book Crazy for God -- How I Grew Up As One Of The Elect, Helped Found The Religious Right, And Lived To Take All (Or Almost All) Of It Back.
Speaking of rapists, an impartial inquiry into child abuse at Catholic institutions in Ireland found that the top church leaders knew that sexual abuse was endemic in boys' and girls' institutions. A nine-year government inquiry investigated a sixty-year period when more than 35,000 children were placed in a network of "reformatories," "industrial schools" and "workhouses." All of them suffered physical and/or sexual abuse that more than two thousand witnesses confirmed to the commission. They were placing children in these camps until the 1980s. Physical and emotional abuse was a built-in deliberate feature of these institutions for young men and women. The inquiry proved that child rape defines Irish Catholicism as surely as the sign of the cross once did.
|Anglican and Member of Parliament, David ¨Kill the Gays¨ Bahati, UGANDA|
Closer to home the Family (or The Fellowship) ran a residential "ministry" specializing in housing and indoctrinating members of Congress in their Washington DC, C-Street residence. Several Family members -- Nevada Senator John Ensign, South Carolina Governor Mark Sanford and former Representative Chip Pickering of Mississippi -- were all found guilty of adultery. This fact would be meaningless to anyone but their wives, except for the fact that all three also defined their political careers by loudly advertising their so-called Christian family values. Sanford admitted to an affair with a woman in Argentina. Ensign admitted that his family paid $96,000 in hush money to his former mistress and her family. Pickering is said to have conducted his adulterous affair, within the walls of the Family's C-Street complex.
Then there was George Rekers, who played an important role in many of the most extreme Evangelical assaults on gay people's rights. His career started in 1982 with his publishing a homophobic "textbook" Growing Up Straight: What Families Should Know About Homosexuality. Rekers was a co-founder with James Dobson of the gay-bashing Family Research Council. In 2010 Rekers was found to be "in a class by himself" when it came to sexual hypocrisy (as New York Times columnist Frank Rich noted). A Baptist minister with a bent for "curing" homosexuality, sixty-year-old Rekers was caught by a Miami New Times reporter with a twenty-year-old male escort at Miami International Airport. The "couple" was returning from a ten-day trip to London. Rekers only mistake, he told Christianity Today magazine, was to hire a "travel assistant" without proper vetting. Rekers said, "[my assistant] did let me share the gospel of Jesus Christ ... read it all HERE
· Thanks to Frank Schaeffer, sidebar
· Thanks to The Huffington Post, sidebar
· Thanks to Flickr Photosharing