In chapter ten, I attend a workshop by an “ex-gay” ministry and leave both saddened and amused by the group’s strange misconceptions about gay people. I also realize that the church’s retrograde stand on the subject is ultimately doomed.
After all, John Smid’s ridiculous fallacies were so evident to me simply because I know lots of happy, healthy, and normal gay people -- Christians among them. And some day, inevitably, so would everybody else in this tent.
That someday became a day closer this week when Azariah Southworth, host of a popular Christian youth show, came out of the closet.
“I know I will be cut off from many within the Christian community, and if so, then they didn’t get the point of the life of Christ,” Southworth said. Importantly, he added, “We all know there are so many other gay people in the Christian industry; they’re just all scared. I was scared, but now I’m no longer afraid.”
That’s absolutely true. I met several people who freely discussed the number of semi-closeted gays in the Christian culture world, especially the music business. In the past, Christians who came out of the closet, such as Doug Pinnick from the classic rock band King’s X, basically ended up abandoning the church altogether. Southworth’s insistence that he can be gay and a believer strikes me as a significant step. Let’s see if anyone else follows him.
On a lighter note, here’s a promo from Southworth’s show. How could anyone have watched this and not known he was gay?