I spoke with Michael Glatze earlier this evening by phone and we corresponded some by email. First, by email, he gave me some answers to questions about the nature of his religious beliefs. He said:
My religious beliefs are these: Jesus Christ came to take upon Him all of our sins. There is a place called The Kingdom of God. The only way to the Kingdom of God is through Jesus Christ. We must “give up our lives for His sake” and do as He commands, and we become welcomed in the Kingdom of God. Those are my religious beliefs. Most people who are Christian (not fake Christian) know, exactly, what I’m talking about. Other people think it is dogma or jargon.
I followed up the email with a phone call and asked more specifically about his views as well as some of the information posted here. He said he had not met Roy Masters, nor did he think of him as an influence. He didn’t recognize the name as associated with meditation although he said he had been involved in some Buddhist oriented meditative practices. He did confirm a report by commenter Lynn David that he was baptized into the Latter Day Saint church earlier this year.
Regarding the issues surrounding sexuality, he said again that he is now repulsed by the thoughts of sex with a man. I asked if he was assisted by anyone or any ministry and he answered:
No; I did not have any counseling or ministry help. That was not the way God wanted it, for me. For others, that may be the case. For me, it was all on my own, and with God. I spent nights, days, so much time alone, praying and “giving up my will” to His.
One thing that seemed clear to me was that Michael wanted to convey that he has had an encounter with God. He said: “What changed me was the words of Jesus.” He also expressed a zeal to communicate a message that homosexuality is not set for people. I asked him about people who have had different experiences than him and he acknowledged that there are many roads to same sex attraction. However, he is very clear that, in his mind, homosexuality identity is incompatible with his new found faith.
Talking with Michael, I was reminded of David Benkof, founder of the Q Syndicate. David sold the business and decided to leave homosexual relationships for religious reasons (Orthodox Jewish). I remember talking to David quite a bit after his decision. I do not remember him being quite as strident as Michael. In fact, he continued to dialogue with his former colleagues in the gay news world. Last I knew he was still pursuing heterosexuality. In contrast to Michael, I do not think David felt his desires were gone quickly but he made a value based decision to live a different way.
I was not able to ask Michael other questions I wanted to pose. I suspect there are questions readers would want to ask. In the coming days, I hope to pursue other aspects of this story.
UPDATE: 7/5/07 – Michael’s former organization has responded to his recent change of viewpoint on their website.