This is the one hundred and sixty-fourth installment in The Sounds of Fundamentalism series. This is a series that I would like readers to help me with. If you know of a video clip that shows the crazy, cantankerous, or contradictory side of Evangelical Christianity, please send me an email with the name or link to the video. Please do not leave suggestions in the comment section. Let’s have some fun!
Today’s Sound of Fundamentalism is an Anchored North video detailing a woman’s conversion from lesbianism. While the young woman in the video desperately wants to believe that the Evangelical God, by his oh-so-awesome grace, has delivered her from the “sin” of homosexuality, when in fact all that has happened is that she has allowed a few Bible verses to corrupt her thinking and scare her straight.
Most of us probably know someone in the LGBTQ community. Even fundamentalist evangelicals probably know someone, perhaps at work or at school, or perhaps even someone in their church who is struggling with how to reconcile the teachings of their religion with their true sexual identity. Evangelicals pay a lot of attention to other people’s sex lives, and there are rules surrounding “proper” expression of sexual activity. Basically, here are the rules – sex is only to be practiced between a married man and woman (and some sects teach that it is only for the purpose of reproduction). Everything outside that narrow definition is a sin, a choice, and forbidden. (Please read, Are Evangelicals Fundamentalists?.)
Here are specific statements I learned while I was in evangelical Christianity.
Being gay is a result of a homosexual male molesting an underage boy. This was a common theme I heard, that boys were molested by homosexual men and then the boys would “turn gay” through learned behavior. The concept was that the boys would not have become gay on their own, but because they were forced to engage in homosexual acts with an adult male, then they started to like it or thought it was normal and continued engaging in homosexual activity throughout their lives.
This concept is wrong on so many levels. First, of course, is the concept that homosexual males are all pedophiles seeking out converts. During the late 1970s and early 1980s, I remember the evangelical adults having quite an uproar over the group NAMBLA (North American Man Boy Love Association). Evangelical adults believed that the existence and activity of NAMBLA proved that homosexual men were preying on people’s young sons in order to convert them to homosexuality. In fact, NAMBLA was a fringe homosexual group that was denounced by the majority of the homosexual community, and it later disbanded in the mid-1990s.
Another reason this concept is wrong is that it assumes that homosexuality is merely a learned behavior. There is no acknowledgement that people are born homosexual or heterosexual or bisexual or anywhere on the evangelical sexual spectrum.
Homosexuality is a choice. I heard a lot of evangelical people talking about homosexuality as a choice – that people choose whether they are going to be gay or straight. Their thought was that people were tempted to try sex with someone of the same gender, and that the sin clouded their vision of “God’s plan” for human sex. If someone were truly repentant of their sin of homosexuality and prayed for God’s forgiveness and guidance, then they could overcome the desire to have sex with someone of the same gender – in essence, “praying away the gay.”
Homosexuals should remain celibate for life. For the few evangelicals who might concede that maybe homosexuals were born that way (not because God made a mistake, but because something went wrong during gestation to cause someone to be born with gay tendencies), homosexuals should never have sex. I suppose this makes sense if your belief is that God only approves of sex between a married man and woman (for the purpose of reproduction); then all other sex is sin. This concept made it a little more palatable for Christians to “love the sinner but hate the sin.” As long as the person wasn’t having sex, then the Christians could pretend that he wasn’t really gay after all. And maybe God was curing homosexuals of their sinful, lustful desires.
(I had a huge argument with my mother about this one time. She became more involved in evangelical Christianity as she grew older, and she bought into the idea that homosexuality was a sin and an abomination. She believed, as her Independent Fundamentalist Baptist (IFB) church taught, that homosexuals should remain celibate through life. She also had a problem with the idea that homosexuals were born that way. Our fight occurred when she said these things, and I couldn’t take it anymore. I asked her if she liked men or women, and she said, “you know I like men.” I asked her what if she was told that her liking men was a sin, that God ordained that she should like women. She said, “I would never like women.” I reaffirmed that in our hypothetical scenario liking men was a sin, so what was she supposed to do, as God ordained that she could only have God-approved sex with women, and she said, “Well, I don’t know.” I asked her if she thought it was right that because she liked men, and God did not approve of her having sex with men, if that meant that she MUST remain celibate for life? She got flustered and kept repeating that homosexuality is a sin. She did not like this argument, and she never brought up homosexuality again).
Lesbians were rarely, if ever, mentioned. I only heard evangelical Christians talking about homosexual men. I don’t know if it was just that they did not want to acknowledge that lesbians existed. Most white cisgendered heterosexual males I know find woman-on-woman sex tremendously arousing, so maybe these repressed evangelical Christian men secretly hoped to encounter women having sex with each other. Maybe they didn’t consider it “real sex” because a penis wasn’t involved. Maybe they just thought women didn’t have sex drives so therefore lesbian sex doesn’t actually happen except in pornography. Maybe evangelical Christian males only felt threatened by homosexual men because they feared being lusted after by homosexual men. I don’t have the answer to this question.
HIV and AIDS are God’s punishment for homosexual activity. While most people were careful not to necessarily utter this comment so succinctly, many evangelicals would dance around this idea. They would try to couch it in terms of “bad consequences can happen as a result of sin.” I heard many people say that they would not donate money towards HIV/AIDS research because they didn’t want to promote more homosexual activity. This is the same type of faulty reasoning in which parents do not want sexual education in schools because teaching kids about sex and sexual safety would promote kids having sex. But what can be expected from people who believe that all sex outside married sex between a man and woman (for the purpose of procreation) is sin? To them, participating in sex outside that strict parameter is sin, and sin has dire consequences (for the wages of sin is death – Romans 6:23). In their minds, it all makes sense: sin = death.
My experience is that people who aren’t bound by any religious exhortations about sexuality get to know people as individuals and are only concerned about the person’s sexuality if there is some sort of attraction between the parties involved. It seems that the people most concerned with other people’s sexual orientation are the ones bound by their religion’s rules. When I went to college and was shedding evangelical Christianity, I became friends with several homosexual men. One friend was the son of a Baptist minister, and his father cut him off until he “stopped being gay” (which of course never happened). Another friend came out during our friendship, and he said that he was afraid which friends were going to accept him and which were going to condemn him. Through the years, I have befriended many gay people, both male and female, and I work in the fragrance industry which draws a higher percentage of gay employees than some other industries do. People are just people regardless of their gender identity or sexual orientation. Everyone wants to be treated with respect. Everyone wants to be loved and to find someone to love.
One of my gay friends put it well. He said, “I would never have chosen to be gay, it’s just who I am. Growing up in an era in which gay people suffered discrimination, were called horrible names, told that we were making a choice or that we were automatic pedophiles, that we were thrusting our “lifestyle” on others, that we were breaking down the concept of the nuclear family or of moral society, why would I have ever chosen this?”
Franklin “Frank” Raddish, pastor of Capitol Hill Independent Baptist Ministries and a staunch defender of Roy Moore, had this to say about women, LGBTQ people and pedophile:
More women are sexual predators than men. Women are chasing young boys up and down the road, but we don’t hear about that because it’s not PC.
These people aren’t the good neighbor next door, they’re out to target young children. They must recruit their heritage. As many of them will die from AIDS, the only way they can keep their numbers is to recruit. Pedophiles and men dressing like ladies, their objective is recruitment of children.
The pedophiles will be here tomorrow. The men who dress like women will be here. The world wants to educate our children to be tolerant of homosexuals. The homosexuals can’t grow in number unless they recruit. How do they recruit? They sodomize. That’s the only way.
Warning! This post contains snark and cursing. You have been warned. Now ignore this warning and enjoy!
This post could also be titled, Why Pastor Shane Idleman Hates LBGTQ People but Loves Shrimp and Pork Chops.
Evangelicals are fond of saying that they are Bible-believers; that they believe every word of the Protestant Bible is true, straight from the mouth of God. Shane Idleman, pastor of Westside Christian Fellowship in Leona Valley, California, is one such Evangelical. According to Idleman, the Bible is the inspired, inerrant, infallible Word of God. As a sold-out, on-fire, sanctified follower of Jesus, Idleman purports to believe and practice all the teachings of the Bible. However, much like ALL Evangelicals, Idleman is a hypocrite, choosing instead to select some verses to believe, while ignoring others. Evangelicals are what I call Buffet Christians®. Buffets offer all sort of food, giving diners an opportunity to eat foods they like and skip those they don’t like. So it is with Idleman and Company. There are hundreds and hundreds of commands, teachings, laws, and precepts in the Bible. I actually set out one time to write down all the commands found in the Bible. I developed paralysis in my left hand from writing, so much so that I had to stop. This exercise taught me that the commands of God can wear a person out, especially if you take each of them literally and diligently attempt to live your life according to what they say.
Recently, Idleman wrote a post for Charisma News titled 10 Things You Need to Know About the LGBT Agenda. Idleman, as most Evangelical pastors are wont, has an obsession with human sexuality — especially unmarried/LGBTQ people. Idleman has frequent compulsive urges to write and preach about sex, so much so that it makes me wonder about what is hiding in the deepest, darkest corners of his closet. Idleman has convinced himself, along with his disciples, that preaching at/against LGBTQ people is an act of LOVE. That’s right, LOVE! Much like child molesters who convince their victims that being sexually violated is an act of love, Idleman has convinced himself that verbally attacking gays is his way of showing them how much he loves them. Imagine for a moment a husband who beats his wife every day, and when he is finished with his physical assault he smiles and says, Honey, I love you. Absurd, right? So it is when Idleman harangues LGBTQ people. When called out on his hateful speech, Idleman is puzzled. Referencing a recent speaking engagement at a local community college that was protested by gay activists, Idleman wrote “My wife and I were perplexed—when did a message of love become a message of hate? We love the LGBT community….”
In Idleman’s aforementioned post, he lists ten things everyone should know about the LGBTQ agenda. None of his ten things, by the way, mentions civil rights and equal protection under the law, except to deny that such arguments are valid. Idleman’s “loving” solution for same-sex attraction is, in this order: Jesus, non-sexual singleness, or heterosexual marriage. Why? Because the B-I-B-L-E — yes, that’s the book for me — says so. Idleman writes:
3. The Creator made His plan obvious. Jesus said that since the beginning of creation, God created them male and female in order that they would be joined together and become one flesh—to be fruitful and to multiply. He adds, “What therefore God has joined together, let not man put asunder” (Mark 10:9). Males and females were created purposely and are complementary by design.
5. There is no scriptural support for homosexuality. Some argue, “The Bible is not an ethical textbook—culture changes and so does truth.” Not so. Not one moral law that God gave is obsolete, from adultery to fornication to homosexuality. Things that were harmful then are harmful now. They are never painted in a positive light. They caused deep pain then as they do now. Some have even suggested that Naomi and Ruth and Jonathan and David had same-sex relationships. This gives the phrase “grasping for the wind” new meaning. This is exegesis in its purest form—reading things into the text that are not there.
Some parents change their view when they find their son or daughter in an LGBT lifestyle; confused, they “accept” the lifestyle, but feelings are not a gauge for truth. Instead, offer hope and remind them that we all struggle with something. If a child sins in the area of anger, infidelity or addiction, we don’t change the Scriptures to fit their behavior; we offer hope in the midst of the struggle. Why should homosexuality or transgenderism be any different? No matter how many laws are passed in favor of gay marriage, it will not change God’s mind. Times change; truth does not.
6. The Bible is crystal-clear on the issue of sexual sin. As a famous teacher once said of the Bible, “If the plain sense makes good sense seek no other sense lest it result in nonsense.” I cringe every time I hear misguided statements in an attempt to support homosexuality, such as misinterpreting “abandoning natural relations” in Romans 1:26-28. Or that the sin of Sodom and Gomorrah was only neglecting the poor. Or that Corinthians is outdated and Leviticus is talking about rape. Indeed, neglecting the poor is/was a sin, but it was not the only sin. In addition to rampant homosexuality, they were drunkards, gluttons, covetous, profane and wicked. The context of Sodom and Gomorrah’s destruction was much more than neglecting the poor: “they were haughty and committed abominations.” (See Ezekiel 16 and Jude 1:5-8.) Additionally, early church fathers, as well as creeds and confessions and Reformers, all echoed the same truth.
Idleman appeals to the Bible (and history) as his final authority. God has spoken, now shut the hell up and get back to having Evangelical-approved, missionary-position, married heterosexual intercourse that hopefully brings a lot of new potential Christians into the world. According to Idleman’s bio:
Today, as we continually drift away in a current of moral decline and relativism, many believe that the battle is too advanced and that we cannot make a difference. Shane, however, believes that we can, and offers his books as contributions to that commitment. He stresses: “If we encourage truth, yet fail to relate to our culture, the church can seem formal and dead. This fact fuels the postmodern movement. But when truth is sacrificed for the sake of relating to the culture, as we see today, the very foundation is destroyed. Truth, the foundational beliefs clearly outlined in Scripture, must remain unmoved and unchanged. Times change, but truth does not!” (emphasis mine)
The “foundational beliefs clearly outlined in Scripture, must remain unmoved and unchanged. Times change, but truth does not!” Sounds like Idleman is a committed, true-blue, one hundred percent Jesus-all-the-time Bible believer. Yet, right after saying the unalterable, eternal, unchanging Bible condemns adultery/fornication/homosexuality, Idleman writes:
7. God can advise against eating shellfish as well as homosexuality. Although the dietary laws of the Old Testament do not apply today, they are still beneficial. For example, we now know why things like pork and shellfish were forbidden—they are unhealthy. God’s wisdom is sound and purposeful in guiding relationships as well.
Idleman says the dietary laws found in the Bible DO NOT APPLY TODAY! Shades of outrage, man! Is Idleman saying that some parts of the Bible are no longer applicable (binding, in force)? I thought the big man upstairs said, I am the Lord Thy God and I change not. I thought the Bible said of Jesus — who is also the big man upstairs (figure that one out) — that he was the SAMEyesterday, today, and forever. I thought Jesus said in Matthew 5:17,18:
Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfil. For verily I say unto you, Till heaven and earth pass, one jot or one tittle shall in no wise pass from the law, till all be fulfilled.
Have the heavens and earth passed away? Has Jesus returned to earth and made a new heaven and earth? No! So this means that God’s law — all of it — is still valid and in force. This means that Pastor Shane Idleman, along with all of his Evangelical colleagues, are double-minded hypocrites. And we all know what the Bible says about double-mindedness: A double-minded man is unstable in all his ways (James 1:8)
Shane Idleman despises LGBTQ people, despite saying otherwise. His behavior tells the truth about the man. Idleman is preoccupied with who does it with whom, when, where, why, and how. This makes me wonder if Idleman is afflicted with a malady commonly found among the species Evangelicus preacherus homoerectcus — sex addiction. Evangelical men, taught that women are Jezebel’s out to fuck them, are known for being unable to withstand even the slightest bit of exposure to female flesh. Let a woman’s cleavage, legs, or erect nipples show, and Evangelical men are reduced to dogs running wild, sniffing for bitches in heat. These poor weak and helpless men, already aroused by worldly slutty women, can’t even surf the world-wide web without being accosted by scantily (boner-producing) clad women.
Instead of owning their sexuality and acting like normal, healthy humans, Evangelical men such as the good pastor, condemn, attack, and rail against those who “cause” them to lust. Perhaps Idleman should practice — in totality — the teachings of Jesus; you know the verified words of the son of God found in red in the Bible. Jesus told his lustful followers how to cure their horniness:
Wherefore if thy hand or thy foot offend thee, cut them off, and cast them from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life halt or maimed, rather than having two hands or two feet to be cast into everlasting fire. And if thine eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: it is better for thee to enter into life with one eye, rather than having two eyes to be cast into hell fire. (Matthew 18:8,9)
Have a problem with lust? Pluck out your eye. Still have a problem with lust? Pluck out your other eye. Have a problem with masturbation? Cut off your hand. Have a problem typing youporn.com (I did not make this a link lest any of the Idlemans of the world reading this post be tempted to click, look, and masturbate) into your internet browser? Cut off your other hand. Why not take Jesus’ words to their logical conclusion? Have a problem with anything related to sex? Cut off your penis. Still have lustful thoughts? Get a lobotomy. How far are you willing to go to show your loving devotion and commitment to Jesus?
Idleman hates the very idea of LGBTQ people having sex because the very idea of man-on-man sex disgusts him. Many gay haters loathe the very thought of two men doing it (though far fewer of them have the same loathing for woman-on-woman sex). Other gay haters preach against homosexuality, same-sex marriage, and the LGBTQ agenda, because, — deep down in their heart-of-hearts where the Holy Spirit supposedly lives — they have gay inclinations — à la Ted Haggard. Instead of admitting and acting upon their same-sex/bisexual attractions, Evangelical men of God holler and scream, hoping to use their sermons and blog posts as distractions from the real issue — their unBiblical sexuality
I have no idea what Shane Idleman is or isn’t sexually. I do know, however, that he is a buffet Christian, choosing what Bible verses to believe and not believe. Another word for this behavior is hypocrite. If Idleman can pick and choose which verses to believe, why can’t the rest of us?
It is reported commonly that there is fornication among you, and such fornication as is not so much as named among the Gentiles, that one should have his father’s wife. And ye are puffed up, and have not rather mourned, that he that hath done this deed might be taken away from among you. For I verily, as absent in body, but present in spirit, have judged already, as though I were present, concerning him that hath so done this deed, In the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, when ye are gathered together, and my spirit, with the power of our Lord Jesus Christ, To deliver such an one unto Satan for the destruction of the flesh, that the spirit may be saved in the day of the Lord Jesus. (The Apostle Paul to the Church at Corinth, I Corinthians 5:1-5)
Earlier this year, Evangelical Kim Higginbotham, a member of the Karns Church of Christ in Knoxville, Tennessee, wrote a blog post detailing her decision to give her wayward, sinful, Jesus-hating son over to the devil. Higginbotham wrote:
It has been said that in marriage, the pain and stress of divorce is greater than even the pain of losing a spouse to death. I believe the same can be said of breaking ties with your child. Unless one has experienced this kind of loss and grief, they cannot fully understand the depth of pain experienced by a parent.
Someone may ask, “Why would anyone break ties with her own child?” The answer is, “loyalty to Jesus.” Being a disciple of Jesus demands our relationship to him be greater than our relationship to our own family, even our own children (Matthew 10:37).
I pray that you never have to make such a sacrifice, but I also pray that you love the Lord enough to choose Him over your children. This is where we find ourselves. This is our life. Our oldest son has turned his back on the Lord, and in spite of all our attempts, he refuses to repent. Consequently, our relationship has changed. It cannot remain the same and be loyal to Jesus (2 Thessalonians 3:6,14-15; 1 Corinthians 5:1-13). Our contact with our son is now limited to attempts at restoration. We have no fellowship. We used to share holidays, regular phone calls and texts, family events, etc. but now, all that is gone. Our son has completely turned his back on everything he ever believed. He has no respect for the Lord or His church. He has chosen a life of sin rather than the hope of salvation. And because of his rebellion against God, we as parents must make a choice. Do we overlook his practice of sin and maintain our relationship, or do we withdraw ourselves from him as the Lord instructs?
I believe that the blood of Christ is more important that the physical flesh and blood that I share with my son. Unfortunately, my husband and I know the pain of “giving our child to the Devil.” Those words are sharp, shocking and grim, just as Paul intended them to be when he wrote them (1 Corinthians 5:5). Perhaps I am writing this is for myself more than for those who are reading. I have not seen my son in nearly two and a half years now and there are days that the pain is just as fresh as ever. Until now, I have kept this pain inside and shared with only a couple of my closest friends. I am not sure that a day has gone by that I have not shed tears. Sometimes it is a single tear and other days are gut wrenching cries of despair. I have pulled into my driveway with tears blinding my eyes, only to find myself literally screaming and wailing in grief. I’m devastated by our loss; his loss.
I feel desperation and hopelessness. I’m scared. What probably began as harmless flirtation with sin has now become a quicksand that pulls my son deeper and deeper toward Hell. Sometimes I feel jealous of other parents who have close, loving relationships with all their grown children. I feel embarrassed by what my son has done.
The fact is, I don’t know this person that I once thought I knew so well. Was I blind to things that I should have seen? I believed our relationship was so close. I adored this child. Was the love our son expressed to us all a lie? How does one go from being a respectful obedient child to flagrantly disregarding everything we taught him and everything that we stand for?
Mother’s day and Father’s day are so hard. While we used to receive the most precious cards and notes of love and appreciation, now any correspondence from him are filled with anger, blame, hateful words. Even worse are the sarcastic and blasphemous words used toward his heavenly Father.
Self evaluation, guilt, despair, fear….I have felt all these emotions. Who is a perfect parent? Who doesn’t have something that they would change if they could go back. Even so, I know that we were good parents. We loved our son, spent time with him, encouraged him, and taught him God’s word.
I don’t know what the future holds for our son or our family. What I do know is that God is faithful (2 Thessalonians 3:3). He will do what is right (Genesis 18:25). He will reward those who diligently seek him (Hebrews 11:6). More than I could have ever understood before, I long for the promises of heaven, namely that God will wipe away every tear…there will be no more death, sorrow, crying, or pain (Revelation 21:4).
Heaven will be a place of great reunion with those who have gone on before. There is an old hymn that invites everyone to “come to the feast”. I just wish we didn’t have an empty chair at our table.
More than a few readers of this blog know the pain of having a child choose a path that is harmful to them. Higginbotham refuses to name her son’s sin, saying that the particulars don’t matter; that she would have turned her son over to Satan regardless of the sin. I know she wants to desperately convince herself (and others) that she is an equal opportunity banishment parent, but the “feel” of her article suggests to me that her son’s “sin” is sexual in nature — perhaps he is an out-of-the closet homosexual. (My “feel” was correct. According to Tim Rymel, Higginbotham wrote her diatribe on the day of her gay’s son’s wedding.) Regardless of the specifics, whatever the sin, it was worthy of her son being cast of out the family. Of course, Higginbotham puts the blame squarely on her son. He’s the one who sinned. He’s the one who chose to live a life contrary to Higginbotham’s interpretation of a bronze age religious text — the inspired, inerrant, infallible Christian Bible. He’s the one who loved the wrong person. He’s the one who married the wrong person. IT IS ALL HIS FAULT! screams Karen Higginbotham.
Higginbotham’s post is a sad reminder of the fact that many Christians, when forced to choose, will choose Jesus over their family. Zealots willing to abandon family members over slights to their beliefs find justification for their anti-human behavior in the Bible:
If any man come to me, and hate not his father, and mother, and wife, and children, and brethren, and sisters, yea, and his own life also, he cannot be my disciple. (Luke 14:26)
Think not that I am come to send peace on earth: I came not to send peace, but a sword. For I am come to set a man at variance against his father, and the daughter against her mother, and the daughter in law against her mother in law. He that loveth father or mother more than me is not worthy of me: and he that loveth son or daughter more than me is not worthy of me. (Matthew 10:34-37)
My oldest son went through a divorce a year ago. While the reasons for his divorce are many and his alone to tell, one reason I can share is that his ex-wife loved Jesus more than she loved her husband. If forced to choose between her husband and Jesus, the big-hunka-love Jesus wins hands down. A lot of Christians think similarly. Jesus is the Alpha and Omega, the first and the last. He is the one true God, the savior of the world. He is, metaphorically speaking, better in bed than any flesh and blood person could ever be. Jesus is the perfect boyfriend, husband, and friend. No one can measure up to Jesus. Thus, when the Karen Higginbothams of the world find their love for Jesus challenged by maternal instinct and familial connection, they cast aside Satan’s temptation and run into the safe embrace of the man with all the moves, Jesus, the Christ.
Sharon Hambrick, a Christian woman who blogs at Sharon’s View, had this to say about Higginbotham’s banishment of her gay son:
Recently I became aware of a Christian mother who is bemoaning the loss of her son to the quicksand of sin that is taking him inexorably to Hell. Turns out he’s gay and Mom cannot even deal. In fact, she used the occasion of his supergay wedding to release a blog post in which she details her agony. You see, son’s gayness means she can never ever see him again. Because Jesus.
Jesus says (apparently) if your kid goes all gay on you, you have to yell at him all the time, or at the very least litter the house with “Gay Blade” Chick tracts when he comes over. Which he doesn’t. Because Chick tracts are gross and porny.
“I pray,” this mom says to her readers, “that you never have to make such a sacrifice, but I also pray that you love the Lord enough to choose Him over your children. This is where we find ourselves. This is our life.”
It’s their life not to be pleasant to this adult man who happens to be gay. No, they must lob Gospel bombs at him. Also, crying a lot is required. All the time and everywhere, but most especially it’s necessary to publish a hate-piece about his gayness on his wedding day. Awkward!
Speaking of choosing your children over Jesus, what does that even mean? Does that mean we won’t hang with our kids if they take to drinking? Or will we turn our backs if they are preggers-sans-marriage? What if they embezzle? What if they speed? Of course not, you judgy thing you! Not just any sin will do. It’s just the creepy gay sins that break the ties that bind, amirite?
Cuz, seriously, gay sex is so gay, she can’t even.
“In spite of our all our attempts, he refuses to repent.” What this means is simply, “He won’t stop being gay, so we’ve washed our hands of him,” which allusion doesn’t pull up images of Pontius Pilate with her, no one knows why.
I wonder if this dear lady has read any of the literature. Any of the testimonies of tormented gay kids who strive with all their hearts to please God, who beg God to make them straight, toggle the hetero-switch, fix them. No one gets fixed. Gay people stay gay same as hetero people stay hetero and bi people stay bi. You is who you is, all your parents’ “attempts” (translate: screaming, hauling you to pastoral counseling, various invasive therapies) notwithstanding.
What Mom should do here, of course, is realize that her son is an adult, adult enough that one of the 50 states granted him and his husband a marriage license, and she should treat him like any other adult with whom she comes in contact: with civility and pleasantness. There’s no need to be super-duper-closies, but by the same token there’s no need to vomit your sobbing broken heart all over the internet on your son’s wedding day. Why not just send a card?
“We have no fellowship,” Mom continues. “Fellowship” is a churchy word that indicates hanging out. They used to hang out. Now they don’t. Cuz son is too gay for words. They don’t even text! He’s so gay she can’t even trade emojis with him!
“Now any correspondence from him are filled with anger, blame, hateful words. Even worse are the sarcastic and blasphemous words used toward his heavenly Father.” Aside from your syntax freaking me out (is correspondence plural?), I have an inkling of an idea why he might be angry. For starters, he was the perfect child—he sang harmony with you in the kitchen, for crying out loud—and you tossed him out for being who he is.
You’re the loser here, you realize that, right? You missed his wedding, and you’re going to miss his children, his successes, his hopes, his dreams. He would have participated in your family memories if you’d been kind, but you weren’t kind. You decided God didn’t want you to be kind. You decided Satan was at your beck and call to “take over” the life of the son you birthed out of your own body, and you made the call.
I mean, seriously. What kind of spiritual clout do you imagine you have: “Yo, Satan, my son is gay. Can you whack him around a little?” Seems Satan is a little too busy these days to deal with your son, or maybe he’s waiting til after the honeymoon. And anyway, why are Christian people talking to Satan? What is up with that?
“Self-evaluation, guilt, despair, fear . . . I know we were good parents. We loved our son, spent time with him, encouraged him, and taught him God’s word.” Yeah, sure, and good job, Mom! But this isn’t about you. I think we’ve covered that.
“I don’t know what the future holds for our son or our family.” Oh, but I do. He’s going to be fine, and you’re going to be fine, and what is keeping you from being fine together is your insistence on being separate, on being unwilling to talk, on hating his gayness so much that you refuse to see the sweet, caring son who adored you and sang harmony with you in the kitchen.
Your belief that God wants you never to see your son again unless he stops being gay (he won’t), is what keeps you from peeling those potatoes with him ever again. Keeps you from hearing that infectious laugh. Keeps you from making those memories.
The empty place at your table is there because you haven’t invited him to sit there, and frankly you don’t get to now. Unless you put out two chairs and say, “Come, both of you. We love you and want you in our lives.”
Many of us raised in Evangelical churches were told by our pastors that the family of God (the church) was more important than our flesh and blood families. We were told that our church families would stick by us through thick and thin, unlike our non-Christian family members who distanced themselves from us over our resolute, unwavering stand on the Word of God. Sinners are the problem, not us, we were told. Chosen by God, Christians are lights in darkness, voices that shout to the rooftops and mountains the good news — Jesus Saves! What former Evangelicals learned, however, was that their church family’s love was contingent on them believing the right things and living life a certain way. Break this pact, and your church family will divorce you quicker than it took uber-righteous Karen and Steven Higginbotham to throw their gay son into the gutter.
I walked away from Christianity almost nine years ago. In doing so, I lost most of the relationships I had with Christian friends, family members, and colleagues in the ministry. I quickly learned that the people who were going to be there for me no matter what were my wife, children, and a handful of dear friends. Sadly, in Higginbotham’s son’s case, not only did he lose his connection to the church of his youth, he also lost his relationship with his Christian family. In other words, he was thrown overboard, coming to rest on a barren, forsaken island. The good news is that instead accepting that this was how things had to be for him, Higginbotham’s son forged new relationships with people who love him just as he is. And that’s the key, isn’t it? Loving people as they are. Accepting differences. Learning that there are boundaries in relationships; one of which is that who has sex with whom, where, when, and how is not our business.
Karen Higginbotham has set her house on fire, and she blames her son for having to do so. If only he had met a nice Evangelical church girl and married her, all would be well. But, no, he is gay, so he is to blame for all the familial turmoil. Until Higginbotham realizes that she, not her son, is the arsonist, there is little that can be done to repair the parent-son relationship. Until Higginbotham is willing to admit that she is wrong, she will remain estranged from her son. Such an admission would mean her admitting that what Karns Church of Christ and her minister husband believe and teach is wrong. Rare is the Evangelical who is willing to admit that her beliefs are harmful. The Bible is what stands between Higginbotham and her son. If she truly loves her son, she will tell Jesus to return the Bible to the dusty back catalog shelves of the library. The Bible’s teachings on sexuality are out of date and out of touch with modern understandings of gender and sexuality. Gays are here to stay. Out of the closet, they have no intention of returning to a closet that is every bit as dark and void of love as Karen Higginbotham’s mind.
It’s up to Higginbotham to repair the broken relationship with her son. I hope she will do so. If not, it looks like Higginbotham’s son is willing to say goodbye to Mom and Dad, choosing to embrace and love those who have the capacity to love him for what he is, and not what they want him to be.
Higginbotham’s husband, Steve, is a preacher at the Karns Church of Christ. You can read his sermon on homosexuality here.
Words within [ ] belong to chief snarkologist Bruce Almighty.
I called Disney to book our vacation on the same day that the director, and some of the cast, of the live action version “Beauty and the Beast” announced that the movie would have an ‘exclusively gay moment’.
You should also know that we’ve been waiting for the live action “Beauty and the Beast” for months. If you follow me on Instagram, then you know that I have a princess obsessed little girl on my hands. She is a Disney character every day, and literally talks about last years trip every single day. As I’m typing this, she’s sitting on the sofa in her Belle dress. However, our plans to see the live action “Beauty and the Beast” as a family were brought to a screeching halt when we found out the news that Lefou had ‘feelings’ [GAY! GAY! GAY!] for Gaston in the new movie.
So, if you’re following me, we’ve officially come to the conclusion that we won’t be seeing the live action version of “Beauty and the Beast” and we’ve cancelled our $6000 Disney World Vacation [Good. You should give the money to Jesus, anyway. Think of all the souls that could be saved for 6K].
I know what you’re thinking, if you boycott all the things that support an agenda you don’t agree with, you’d have nothing. So let’s be clear, I’m not going to boycott Disney because they support something I don’t [Yes, you are]. Despite their unofficial “Gay Days” that have gone on since the 90’s(?). I know that Disney aired a lesbian couple on the popular television show Good Luck Charlie in 2014. I know that the LGBT community pleaded for Elsa to make the ‘turn’ too.
There comes a point where you have to take a stand for the things you believe in, this is my stand If we’re being honest, there’s a lot of things we’ve stopped doing. We don’t even bother with rated R movies, because I hate the language, and the near pornographic scenes. I’ve walked out, or turned off, many PG-13 movies for the same reason. I refuse to use the regular bathrooms at Target and if the family room has a line, then we leave. [I hope you have a strong bladder.] Some of the most popular shows (Scandal, How to Get Away with Murder, Quantico, This Is Us, Greys Anatomy, The Good Wife, etc.), most of which air on ABC, a Disney owned network, I quit watching them all when they revealed exclusively LGBT characters [but I’m not a homophobe]. We cut our cable years ago because we refused to pay for things we weren’t able to watch. Even the commercials make me cringe. [I am starting to think your post is all about LOOK AT ME!! I don’t so this, I don’t do that, and if people really love Jesus they will live their lives JUST LIKE ME!]
I’m not paying for simple entertainment that doesn’t accurately align with my personal beliefs [Fine. Turn off the TV]. Furthermore, since the news about “Beauty and the Beast” has come out- no pun intended- Disney is having to answer more and more for their LGBT agenda. You’ll see that the Disney XD show “Star v.s. the Forces of Evil” aired an episode this year where the lead characters are surrounded by others who take to kissing their neighbor during a boy band concert, many of which are the same sexual orientation. This move made Disney’s first LGBT moment in a kids animation. Last fall, the creators of “Moana” mentioned in an interview with a liberal media source that they wouldn’t rule out an LGBT Disney princess. Director Ron Clements said, “It seems like the possibilities are pretty open at this point.” WHAT?! [Yes, like blacks, Hispanics, heterosexuals, and Fundamentalist Christian mommies, LGBTQ people are a part of our society. They are not deviants that need to be closeted. Personally, I am offended by Christian Mommies’ homophobic bigotry. I don’t want her blog to be on the internet. Remove it NOW before I suffer any further. Or, I can just not visit her site.Each to their own, right? ]
Disney isn’t just aiming their efforts towards parent’s of Disney-aged children anymore. They are pointing a desperate finger at the innocence of our youth [Innocent? I thought children were wicked, vile sinners in need of salvation. I thought children come forth into the world speaking lies. Evidently, God doesn’t think your child or any other child is innocent.] Disney is targeting our youth like they’re aiming at big game on a corporate hunting trip. They are banking on corrupting the purity of a child’s mind for the 1%. They are no longer making watching a choice, but by forcing it to become mainstream, Disney is telling the conservative family, the Christian public, that they’re views hold no worth.[Your views have worth, but you want your views to be valued above all others. You want your views to be the only views in town.] In jest, they’re subtly encouraging you to conform your ways. (Mark 13:22)
At this point, Disney is proudly looming over your morals and values and eerily cackling like a villain in one of their own classic fairy tales.[If Disney can corrupt your morals, what does that say about YOU?]
Next Disney will be talking about teen sex and abortions in efforts to normalize these issues to children as well. I guess you can pretty much tell that I’m pro-life and believe that sex isn’t appropriate outside of marriage. It really shouldn’t be surprising. [No, it’s not, but your moral beliefs are yours and yours alone. Just because you think premarital sex is a “sin” doesn’t mean everyone else (not married) must refrain from enjoying a roll in the hay. ]
Brooke is a 23-year-old, Fundamentalist pastor’ wife. She married her preacher man at age 18. Her life trajectory speaks volumes. I can only hope that she will, in time, rethink her life and her homophobic reaction to LGBTQ people. Doing so will require her to abandon the Bible and her Fundamentalist beliefs. True, lasting change is hard, but Brooke can experience change if she will learn to see people as people without first viewing them through the anti-human pages of the Christian Bible. The B-I-B-L-E is the problem. Brooke doesn’t see it, of course. She thinks of herself, as I did as a pastor, as a wonderful, loving, kind human being. And she, like I was, probably is all of those things. But she is also hateful and bigoted, allowing fear instead of love to direct her thoughts, feelings, and actions.
Here’s what Brooke had to say in her defense on Facebook: (link no longer active)
ThisModestMom.com continues to be on and off line as we propagate to another server who can host the influx in views that it is receiving.
HuffPo asked me to respond in regards to the story they ran, here is my response:
“There is no denying that the majority of reactions to my post have made me out to be a person filled with hate and disgust. Most of the responses I have received have been nothing short of vile and extremely crude. I’ve received death threats, ill wishes in regards to my family and those who affiliate with me (regardless of their views), and a number of other malicious attacks. Even through this, my views have not changed. I have never seen such contempt and hostility come from a group of people before. This is not acceptable, no matter who is on the receiving end.
Despite the alarming amount of obscene responses, there has also been an overwhelming amount of support from people on both sides. I’ve read emails from people who identify as LGBTQ and, even though they disagree, commended my courage and stance. I’ve received comments from people who admit to being afraid to stand up simply because of the reaction that I received. People that have civilly voiced their opinion of what I said, yet also sent apologies and sympathies for the backlash that I have had to endure.
I’ve fed the hungry, clothed the poor, and served the needy- all with no inquiry to their chosen political party, religious beliefs, or sexual identity. People are different and that is life, and that is okay. We can be kind and loving, but we do not have to agree and we do not have be accepting. Despite the difference in opinions of people all over the world, the beauty comes when we can realize that we may not agree, but we can still be compassionate. But love and compassion do not mean approval. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) But make no mistake, He also came to reprove the world of sin (John 16:8.) On a daily basis, I come in contact with things that I don’t agree with, I cannot be sheltered by that. Disney’s choice made me feel forced to react. I have a right to not be entertained by ways that don’t align with my religious convictions. This does not make me malevolent.
Know that whoever you are and however you identify, I have only compassion for you. We may not be fighting for the same things, we may not be fighting together, but know that we are each passionate for our own causes. Because of this I cannot be silent.”
Mark Anthony Escalera writes for the Defending Contending (link no longer active) blog. Recently, Escalera wrote a post about how right he was/is about LGBT people. He concluded his masturbatory self-adulation with this:
Oh yes, one more thing. Just forget about this article. It really is nothing more than the deluded thoughts of man who is nothing more than a bigoted crackpot. In fact, he probably still believes that the Word of God is good for all that pertains to life and godliness (2 Peter 1:3). As crazy as it sounds, he probably even believes that GOD DOES NOT CHANGE and that JUDGMENT IS COMING!
I am glad that Escalera sees himself as a deluded, bigoted crackpot. Rarely are Christian Fundamentalists as self-aware as Escalera is in the aforementioned quote. Of course, he was being sarcastic, but sarcasm often reveals the true nature of a man’s heart. Kudos to Escalera for seeing himself as he is.
Escalera’s post is titled LGBT is coming for YOUR Children. (link no longer active) In I TOLD YOU SO fashion, Escalera stated:
When I began writing at Defending Contending over 8 years ago, I continued shouting the warnings that these days were coming. I shouted like a madman just as I have for years in the ministry that the sins of Sodom and Gomorrah were coming. I warned about the LGBT movement over and over. I argued with passion that they would NEVER be content to just destroy the Biblical pattern of marriage which was established by God as being between one man and one woman until death.
I was very vocal that the LGBT movement hated God and would strive diligently to destroy true Biblical Christianity. I also told you that they would infiltrate every aspect of government, the military, commerce, and down to the school system. Most have ignored me. Many mocked me. I have received more hate email than I care to have ever read.
In addition, I told you that they had a homosexual agenda. Their agenda has been detailed at great length that can be found with a simple search using any search engine.
Yet Christians closed their eyes. Pastors refused to take a stand. Churches capitulated to the enemy. It started simply enough by making comments like, “Well, what they do behind closed doors is not really anybody’s business.” But the LGBT movement was NEVER going to be content with that. “Don’t Ask, Don’t Tell” was not good enough for those who support this very small, but vitriolic and violent segment of the population who wanted complete openness to practice their abominations.
A year ago, Escalera wrote a post about the LGBT community “stealing” the rainbow. Here’s what he had to say:
After the flood, God created a rainbow to be His seal in the heavens. It was a declaration to show the mercy and longsuffering of God. The rainbow was His picture to a depraved world that while He would never again destroy the world with a flood, He would be coming again. The next time He comes, there will be no rainbows. There will only be fire and total destruction of ALL that stand opposed to Him.
The true rainbow is made up of 7 different primary colors of a spectrum. It is a beautiful reminder of the wonder that God long holds up His wrath and judgment against the wickedness of this world. Seven in the Bible indicates perfection and completion.
However, Satan perverted that sign and it is now used around the world as a symbol of “gay pride.” It has only 6 colors. Six in the Bible is the number of man. This “rainbow” is not a true rainbow, but is a symbol of perversion, debauchery, sodomy, lust, pedophilia, and bestiality – just to name a few. The one below is a perversion, and for the record, the White House KNEW what was coming and this was done deliberately. Read Psalm 2 for the conclusion….
In a post titled Mark Anthony Escalera Follows Dorothy Over the Rainbow Over Gay Pride Flag, I easily and quickly dismantled Escalera’s argument. Here we are a year later and Escalera once again has a hard-on over yet another LGBT offense. What is this offense, you ask? Why it is a web video series titled “Queer Kid Stuff.” According to the video creator’s website, the videos are meant to teach three to seven year old children about what it means to be LGBT. The goal, according to the producer’s website, is to “eliminate stigma by properly educating future generations through entertaining video content.”
Here is the first video, titled What Does Gay Mean?
There is also an activity page that goes along with the video. You can check it out here.
I suspect many readers — myself included — likely think that this video is inappropriate for children ages three to seven. I am sure that the producer means well, wanting to put an end to LGBT stereotypes and misinformation, but children of this age don’t need to be sexually educated beyond what they receive at home. If the target audience was ages ten and up, I would likely not object to such children being taught what the word gay means. I highly doubt that any public school district will use these videos to “teach” preschool and first grade students about what it means to be gay.
Escalera, a homophobic conspiracy theorist, is certain that the goal of LGBT people is to abuse, rape, and sodomize children. Escalera must be confused, because most of the sexual violence against children that I read about is being perpetrated by Christians. Day in and day out newspapers publish reports about pastors, priests, deacons, evangelists, missionaries, and evangelists abusing, raping, and sodomizing children.
Escalera can’t be bothered by facts. He KNOWS that LGBT people and their supporters are out to destroy Western civilization. Escalera sees the LGBT community winning court battles which grant them equal rights and protection under the law and it scares the heterosexual right out of him. Same-sex marriage! Transgender bathroom use! Gay Pride! What’s next?, Escalera wonders. Treating LGBT people with love, kindness, and respect? Allowing them to have the same rights as heterosexuals? Perish the thought!
Escalera is right about one thing. There is a battle going on over who will teach and influence children. In a Fox News report about the Queer Kid Stuff videos, Sean Ryan, communications director of the pro-family organization Mass Resistance, based in Waltham, Massachusetts stated:
It is easily conceivable that videos such as these will be sanctioned eventually by local school boards and implemented in preschool and prekindergarten classes. Activists are trying to force these topics on younger and younger children because that is the only way their movement wins. Rational adults don’t buy into the so-called ‘Queer Theory’ or transgenderism. Unfortunately, children are a soft target for homosexual activists as they are malleable and still learning about the world.
Yes, children are indeed a soft target, and that is why Evangelicals, Mormons, and conservative Catholics aggressively indoctrinate them in Fundamentalist beliefs, knowing that the sooner they turn children into ignorant homophobic bigots the better. Evangelicals in particular spend significant time and money on evangelizing children and teaching them the “right” way to view the world. Early on, Evangelical children are reminded by pastors, teachers, and parents that God created Adam and Eve, not Adam and Steve. While most Evangelical churches and pastors are not as vitriolic as Independent Fundamentalist Baptist preacher Steven Anderson or Westboro Baptist Church, these bastions of Fundamentalism certainly do all they can to ensure that their children grow up to be good Christian heterosexuals.
Escalera wants to continue minting compliant, obedient Jesus-loving, sin-hating, Bible-believing, LGBT-hating heterosexual Christians. Secularists and humanists, however, think religion — particularly Evangelicalism — is a bankrupt ideology that is impeding progress and civil rights and promoting hatred and intolerance. The future of the human race hangs in the balance. Escalera rightly senses that things are not going his way and this scares him. He simply cannot bear the thought of living in a world where people love and respect one another regardless of their religion, skin color, gender, or sexual identity. I suspect he wants to live in country where Evangelical Sharia law forces LGBT people back into the closet. And for those who fail to return to the darkness and shame of the closet? Arrest and prosecution, perhaps even death. In a November 6, 2015 post titled LGBT — Choice or Genes, (link no longer active) Escalera stated:
The science aspect of this question is rather simple. There is no “gay” gene. There never has been a “gay” gene. There never will be a “gay” gene. Modern scientists will strive in vain to find that which undermines and countermands the Word of God. The reason is because modern culture hates everything about God. It hates the Bible with a passion because it points out the sin nature that is found in every man, woman, and child who has ever lived. Modern culture wants to think that man is getting better and better. Because of this thought process, it demands that all must conform equally to whatever is considered to be the acceptable norm.
There was a time when acts such as lesbianism and homosexuality were punishable as crimes, and we do not have to go all the way back to the Old Testament to find that such behavior has long been considered an abomination. However, if the only guide we had to what is acceptable behavior, we can go all the way back to creation to find that God made them male and female. Ultimately, the final authority belongs to God. He created marriage to be between one man and one woman, but sin has destroyed all of that. God created marriage to produce and populate the earth and to care for His creation, but sin has destroyed all of that.
While people such as myself see the LGBT battles of the last few years to be signs of progress, Escalera sees things differently: (link no longer active)
What is next? Polygamy? Many false religions already allow for this and it will not be long before they will demand equal protection for their lifestyle. The polygamists of Utah and Colorado used to be a very quiet group who worked diligently to stay under the radar of the authorities. Now, television and movies have promoted this lifestyle as being acceptable. Judges are already throwing out cases that involve polygamy and it will not be long before polygamy will no longer be a crime, but will be openly acceptable behavior from any who choose to have more than one husband or one wife.
What else is coming? Bestiality? Lowering the age of consent to accommodate the agenda of the LGBT community? Yep, all of the above and even worse will be coming because our societies in the west are on a cliff-face headed straight for hell. If you doubt that the LGBT community has an agenda, then you are living like an ostrich with your head in the sand.
The Roman Empire was destroyed from within by its debauchery. Rome became a place where biblical Christianity was mocked while allowing polygamy, slavery, and the selling of boys and girls for whatever perversions were needed to satisfy a person’s lust was on offer. Our society will also soon be there because it hates God, but God will not be mocked. Neither will His judgment be withheld forever.
Millions of Americans thinks just like Escalera. Little can be done for them. Their minds have been ruined by too much drinking of one hundred proof Fundamentalism. The best we can do is pass laws that promote tolerance, respect, and equal protection under the law, knowing that younger Americans are far more progressive and tolerant than their parents and grandparents. Outside of doing these things, we must patiently wait for enlightenment to choke the life of the Mark Anthony Escaleras of the world. Things seem bleak at times, but I do believe better days are just beyond the horizon. Evangelicals are the Wicked Witch of the West in The Wizard of Oz. We all remember the scene when she met her ignoble end….I’m melting, I’m melting. Evangelicalism is melting, and will one day be no more. I doubt that I will live long enough to see it, but I do hope my grandchildren will witness the whimpering death of the beliefs that once caused great harm to millions of people.