As the world continues to learn more about coronavirus and its spread, it's vital to stay up-to-date on the latest developments. However, it's also important to make sure that the information being distributed is from credible sources. To that end, Between The Lines has compiled, [...]
I irreverently begin this PG Mary-go-round with a caveat of charity, sprinkled with a modicum of glee. Charity for hypocritical factotums of the religious right who rarely extend that most Christian of virtues to others. And glee . . .
Call it a thigh for a thigh. A tooth for a tooth — with just a whiff of nitrous oxide — laughing gas — on the side.
The glee is occasioned by reports of fundygelical pastors who get their lecherous fingers caught in underage nookie jars. Like Dr. Bob Gray, former pastor of Trinity Baptist Church, Jacksonville, Florida. Two civil suits could cost his church millions.
Such hanky panky has prompted the Southern Baptists to create for its membership churches an online listing of pastoral sex offenders who abuse (or have abused) their positions of spiritual trust. So says Christianity Today’s June news blog.
Biblical nookie jarring’s nothing new. The Bible’s replete with tales of incest (Lot’s crafty daughters), adultery (David “knows” Bathsheba), fetishism (Saul’s counts foreskins), polygamy (Solomon weds 700), spunking (Onan spills seed). Then, too, there’s murder (Cain offs Abel), and human/divine sacrifice on a cosmic scale. It’s hardly role modeling for young/old, straight/gay, sinner and/or saint.
Few read the Bible critically, preferring to memorize John 3:16, Leviticus 18:22, a psalm or beatitude, the comforting Lord’s Prayer — skipping boring listings of who begat who, and ignoring Jehovah’s bloodthirstiness. Most get PG-13 interpretations from Sunday Lessons, or taking the preacher’s word as gospel.
And, as much as the fundygelicals would like us LGBT sinners to believe otherwise, they have their problems with divorce, premature ejaculation, non-repro sex, phobias, rebellious kids, panic attacks, hip hop music, and, heaven forbid, doubt. (A local Michigan Christian monthly lists dozens of shrink ads.)
The caveat: The majority of ministers, pastors, deacons, churchgoers are decent, loving, law-abiding folk. Good neighbors. When it comes down to it they’re no different than us gays. (American Family Association! Focus on the Family! Repent!). Put another way: most lesbians are decent, loving, law-abiding folk. Fun neighbors. No different than religious straights. (AFA! Focus! Be damned!)
Now a scorecard: A June Associated Press story dealing with sexual abuse of minors reported by three insurance companies for a majority of American protestant churches confides: Church Mutual Insurance Co. (clients insured: 96,000; adult or child abuse cases: 200 each of past 15 years; total payout figure not available).
GuideOne Insurance, Co. (clients insured: 45,000; abuse cases: average 160 per year, past two decades; $4 million each of last five years). Brotherhood Mutual Insurance Co. (clients insured: 30,000; abuse cases reported: 73 per year, past 15 years; period payout $7.8 million).
Then, too, there’s fundygelical shame over internet porn viewing by Christian peeping toms. A five-year-old group calling itself XXXChurch.com holds “Porn and Pancake” breakfasts (link sausages anyone?) to get born-again voyeurs to talk about their addictions and online onaning. XXXChurch also passes out Bibles stamped, “Jesus loves porn stars!” at porn industry gatherings. (“Love the bottom. Hate the DVD.” )
“[Our] site offers information on how and where to get help, links to ministry podcasts, ‘accountability’ software that tracks internet sites visited by computer users [God’s pulling your iPod!] and a list of upcoming appearances by members of ‘the X3 crew.'” [X-Men guard your dot.coms!]
A recent Grand Rapids, MI peek-a-booboo prayer breakfast attracted 500 pornicators. October 6, 2006 was actually pegged by some fundygelical churches as Porn Sunday. It’s true. Crisscross Ron Jeremy’s big, er, fun-loving heart. Hosanna! Faith rides in (and out) on many asses.