LivePrayer’s Bill Keller really did not need to comment on a tragedy he knows nothing about, but he did.
In a press release out today, Keller used the suicide of 15 year old Jamie Hubley to go on a rant about gays.
Keller blames the victim, Anderson Cooper, Rachel Maddow and Ellen DeGeneres for the suicide, assuming that the boy was in distress because he had come out as gay.
Last Friday, a 15-year-old Ottawa boy Jamie Hubley, committed suicide after documenting his hardships of being “gay.” Liveprayer’s Bill Keller said that while the media wants to demonize anyone who dares call this CHOICE of sexual activity what God calls it in the Bible, a sin, it is those in the media who glamorize and promote this choice as normal and acceptable, along with gutless pastors too afraid to speak out against this sin, along with faux churches that glorify this deviant, unnatural, and unhealthy choice of sexual activity, who are most responsible for Hubley’s death.
Rants by fundamentalists about homosexuality are not really news, but this one is so noxious that it illustrates the growing gulf in the church between those who know something about homosexuality and those who don’t. The scholars, ministers and lay people who are making an attempt to understand the subject are moving in one direction and what is left are those who ignore abundant evidence to the contrary of their beliefs.
Recently, I was talking with a 20-something minister who told me that he had become disillusioned with the culture war machine, most clearly over homosexuality. He told me of his struggle to relate to a gay friend, because the friend was more devout in his Christianity than many of his straight Christian friends. His friend was nothing like the right wing stereotypes about “the gay lifestyle.” He also said he worked with some gay men and lesbians at a job where they talked freely about their lives. This young man told me about how common their descriptions were and how normal their families sounded.
He struggled because what he read and heard from evangelical leaders did not square with his own experience. He felt internal pressure to conform his attitudes to the conventional wisdom he was hearing and to disregard his direct experience. He also told me that he didn’t care what anyone said, he didn’t believe his friends could change their orientation, “any more than I can change mine,” he said.
I fear that the rants and rhetoric from those who seem threatened by social change will become more strident. Like a huge self-fulfilling prophecy, they will behave badly toward gays and others who disagree with them, and then they will use the natural reaction of those attacked as a proof of their righteous stance.
I just wish suicides by 15 year old kids could be left out of it.