Yet another anti-gay religious right figure is seriously accused of abusing his authority to get young men to have sex with him. He did not fully deny it this morning. This is not on a par with the Catholic church's abuse of minors, because the men were (just) of legal age. But the now almost constant revelations of gay religious leaders preaching and campaigning against themselves, while finding it impossible to live a life without love and sexual intimacy that is real to them, reveal the tragedy of homophobia, especially in religious life where so many gay people find themselves drawn, and where many do great and important work - but are simultaneously asked to destroy their own psyches and lacerate their own souls. For the record, Ted Haggard has come out in defense of Long.
There is only one way out: to embrace gayness as part of God's creation, to find a way to bless gay relationships, to celebrate the diversity of humankind, and to love one another, instead of hating ourselves. There is in the NYT story a wonderful quote that cries to heaven on this:
“It’s like hot milk now, sitting on the curb, getting sour.”
How much more evidence will we have to absorb before this obvious answer becomes unavoidable? How many lives have to be wrecked before we get beyond this lie?
(Photo: President George W. Bush embraces Bishop Eddie Long during the funeral for Coretta Scott King on February 7, 2006 at the New Birth Missionary Baptist Church in Lithonia, GA. By Ric Feld/AFP/Getty.)