Friday, the Benham Brothers insist that Trey Pearson, the Christian rock star, should pray away the gay. This provides a perfect example of the bigotry that causes us to be critical of conservative Christians. First, the background:
Pearson recently came out as gay in a public letter to fans and friends. Pearson is the lead singer of Everyday Sunday, a popular Christian band. Many of us can probably identify with this part of the letter:
There is a weight that has been lifted, and I have never felt so free. I cannot even believe the joy and lightness I feel from being able to accept myself, and love myself, for who I truly am … but I have also lost some of the closest people in my life. I have felt betrayal by people I loved a lot, and cared so much about. I have had some church people act like the worst people I have ever experienced in my life.Pearson, who is 35, spent about two decades trying to make himself straight. His efforts included marrying a woman and fathering two children. In an interview Pearson said; “I had never done anything with a girl when I got married, and I thought it would just magically work.” Well, it didn't work. There is no alchemy that will turn a gay man into a straight man.
According to the Benham Brothers:
Trey said this was a defining moment for him—a moment when he finally found himself.He has been denying his sexuality for two decades. Trust you? Seriously? You are two ignoramuses who fiercely persist in having medical and social science conform to ancient chronicles of dubious provenance. Why should he deny what is at the core of who Pearson is? This is a lengthy piece from the brothers with numerous cites of scripture but get this part:
Unfortunately, he now defines himself by what he feels on the inside instead of what his faith demands of him. We pray he remembers Christ's words: "If anyone will come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow Me" (Matt. 16:24).
Denial of self is central to the Christian faith. It's a rejection of our stubborn sinful nature that seeks dominion in our lives. And it's a daily dying, too; trust us! Yet through Christ, we have the victory—but we must deny self.
Suppose a Christian musician, who happens to be married with kids, performs at your church and concludes his concert by standing center stage and saying, "Guys, I have to be true to myself. I really like the woman in the front row and would enjoy a romantic relationship with her. I just can't deny these feelings any longer. I already spoke with my wife backstage, and she fully supports me in this."There is an enormous difference. Let us begin with the understanding that the hypothetical situation is absurd. Being sexually attracted to a different woman is, in no way, comparable to a man who has never been sexually attracted to his wife because he is gay. Moreover, were it not for imbeciles like the Benham Brothers and other slaves to those ancient chronicles, Pearson would have never married his wife in the first place. Furthermore, were is the least bit of empathy for a man who has been denying his sexuality for two decades? I am omitting all of the quoted scripture. Its authors thousands of years ago had no understanding of gay people. The stupidity continues later on:
There's no difference in Trey's situation—only the sex of the new partner has been switched in our hypothetical story.
Trey says he's been "blocking out and not dealing with real feelings going on inside of me." Well, we all struggle with feelings that aren't God's best for us. It's sin living inside of us.Again, the profound ignorance of comparing temptations to sexual orientation. Who we are romantically and sexually attracted to comprises a major part of who we are. It gets worse:
It's important to see clearly in the midst of the confusion, especially when a Christian leader deliberately chooses the path of sin.These guys are clearly threatened by the fact that sexual orientation is not a choice. Nor is it a gratuitous temptation. Being gay is not confusion and, if you believe that your god is responsible for everything, then he or she makes gay people. No amount of prayer has ever made transformed a gay man into a straight man.
The opposite of homosexuality is not heterosexuality. It's holiness.
And for any Christian who professes Christ, this is our call. Faithful believers must deny themselves and pick up their cross. This is our prayer for ourselves as well as for Trey.
For those who struggle with sinful attractions—regardless of what particular kind of sin—hope is found only in Christ, who has the power to change us from the inside out:
The problem with all of this is that people subscribe to this bullshit. Tragically, Trey Pearson believed this bullshit. Because of the absurdity of superstition he married a woman who he did not love and had children. He did so in order to become straight. Now, he has come to terms with his sexuality but in his wake are the wife and two kids.
Any parents who believe this nonsense will be guilty of child abuse if they have a gay kid. This is religious rubbish that should have the same force and effect as the commandments to murder insolent children or brides who aren't virgins or people who work on the Sabbath. These people are desperate to hold onto rules that are cast aside as society advances.
Religion is all about what happens when you die — heaven if you follow the rules; Hell if you do not. It is all so simplistic and nonsensical.