Parting Glances: A beard in time …

By |2018-10-24T15:44:23-04:00October 24th, 2018|Opinions, Parting Glances|

There are shared similarities between high-visibility personalities Pastor Joel Osteen and Republican Vice President Mike Pence.
First off, each shepherds a flock of religious followers. Mike’s, however, is basically evangelical and/or fundamentalist. Osteen’s tends to be New Age, Power of Positive Thinking, Prosperity Gospel and devotees of his seven bestseller books, read by a goodly number of his weekly 7 million American TV followers.
Osteen’s Lakewood Church attendees average 45,000 each Sunday. Twenty million viewers in 200 countries see his TV programs monthly. His worth: $56,508,500 (Pence: $2,000,000).
Needless to say, Pense’s followers number millions more than Osteen’s, but whether or not many of Pence’s “lost sheep,” so to speak, can read is another question. After all, 81 percent of evangelicals voted for Trump.
Another similarity been Pence and Osteen is that each is rarely, if ever, to be seen in public without his respective — overly attentive, smiling wholeheartedly — hand-holding, back-patting, supportive wife.
See Mike or see Joel, Karen or Victoria can’t be far behind (usually without said gluteus medius ever being shown in public).
Joel and his wife and Lakewood co-pastor Victoria have been married since 1987, with two children. Mike and Karen, since 1985, three grown children.
Looks are everything as the saying goes. (There are exceptions: Trump, Mitch “Droopy Face” McConnell.) And as far as male looks go, Pence and Osteen in their youth must have been real beauties. Stunning, in gay lingo.
Having seen my fair share of such good looks among the young in my day, I think I’m qualified to speak on the topic. I, too, was a “looker” as a teenager. A few even thought I just might be gay!
In our looks conscious culture if you’re attractive you’re bound to get hit on, and if your looks are slightly effeminate, overly pretty, in no way butch, or football hero type, you’re likely to be considered, well, you know where this is headed …
I’m not saying either Mike Pence or Joel is gay. Bi, perhaps. That is: they like Catholics as well as Protestants. It’s just that each probably had to deal with that suspected gay possibility as they grew into manhood, and felt a need to reassure others — and perhaps, more importantly — themselves that they were, that they are, straight.
There are several sites to Google on Mikey Pence, and the possibility that he went through varying, unfortunately media questionable sessions of reparative therapy to eliminate his purported homosexual tendencies. Where there’s a hint pf political patchouli, there’s a strongly scented possibility.
Getting hit on again and again, either overtly or covertly, by innuendo or insult, might have contributive to a perceived need on Pence’s and Joel’s part for public reassurance. A need to deflect the opinions of others.
Hey! See my wife! She’s with me 24/7. Doesn’t that tell you I’m straight? 24/7!
It’s a variation of what was once called the Beard Syndrome: a woman whose regular public appearance with a man — an important business executive, a movie star (say Rock Hudson), a flamboyant TV musician (Liberace) — served to squelch rumors about the guy in question’s sexuality.
And, just in passing, perhaps it’s no stretch of the imagination to say that the biggest beard of all time — up until these troubled and costly times for the Roman Catholic Church — is the BVM, Blessed Virgin Mary!
Many a gay man has gone into the priesthood, because marriage is not an RC prerequisite. After all, celibacy means there’s no wife to inherit a priest’s property, title, or spiritual insurance for the afterlife.
Unlike both Mike Pence and Joel Osteen! Their present-day, respective spouses, Karen and Vicky — unless they divorce — stand to inherit thousands and thousands of dollars, as well astronomical valuable property collateral.
That’s what the Prosperity Gospel’s all about. (Jesus comes in tax-free dollars from thousands and thousands of religious viewers and readers with no pence, er, common sense.)

About the Author:

Charles Alexander