Evangelicals, Rapists, Tramps & Thieves: Why Anti-Gay Leaders Love to Sin, Are the Sinners

talamotFriday morning, July 24th, 2009, a jury in Arkansas found evangelist Tony Alamo, a one-time street preacher who built a multi-million dollar ministry, guilty of 10 federal counts of taking minors across state lines for sex, beginning in 1994. In addition to selling designer jackets to famous people, The Tony Alamo Christian Ministries had been “saving souls” all over the country and on the streets of Hollywood since the 60’s. Superstar Tony Alamo gave himself permission to choose which of his followers to “marry, including an 8-year old and a 14-year old. After the woman he married at age 8 escaped, Alamo began keeping other wives who (he believed) had betrayed him in a special “House of Scorn” with boarded windows, located on Alamo’s 15-acre compound (which included swimming pools, ponies, the works). They were unable to leave or eat without his permission. Last year, 32 children were seized from compounds associated with the Tony Alamo Children Ministries over allegations of beatings and sexual abuse.

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BTW, Alamo’s position on homosexuality? It’s “caused by demon possession.” Right! We’re the ones possessed by demons! And this comes on the heels of the revelation of South Carolina governor Mark Sanford’s three-year affair with an Argentinian woman. You don’t even need a hyperlink to guess where Sanford stood on “Family Values.1101050207_400

At this point it’s impossible to ignore the direct correlation between conservative Christianity, Evangelicals, right-wing conservative politicians and an inability to keep it in one’s pants. I’m not suggesting that these people are inherently evil, but actively repressing sexual desire to that degree (as the “bible dictates,” according to them) is an emotional time bomb. The way it plays out is sickening.  At this point anyone who still proudly affiliates themselves with the Religious Right is either Stupid, Trapped, or (Secretly) Gay.

You don’t hear about this stuff happening to anyone raised with a healthy perspective towards their own sexuality — homo or hetero. Joe Solmonese doesn’t make these headlines. Hell, Ron Jeremy doesn’t make these headlines.

See, we marvel at their resplendent douchebaggery and we ask, “Why? Why do they care so much about what homosexuals do with their lives? How can any (relatively) sane human being consciously direct so much public hatred towards a peace-seeking group? How could anyone look at the facts and claim homosexuality or sex education is killing “traditional marriage” or the very fabric of American society itself?”

Where do they get it from? All that self-satisfied passionate ignorance of modern science, socioeconomic reality, biology, diversity and cultural norms? Well it comes down to the most powerful human emotion of all: self-hatred. They hate their own sexual urges, or they hate their own homosexuality, and this is the force that drives the Evangelical Movement. Don’t underestimate the force of self-loathing. It’s everything, it’s so easily everything.

How many gay rights leaders or activists have been arrested for anything besides civil disobedience? Although many of the religious right’s leaders likely suffer from dual identity disorder or sociopathy and we’ll never know which came first, the chicken or the egg, we do know one thing for sure: something really sketchy is going on.

Autostraddle Presents :

A Timeline of the Anti-Gay, Anti-Choice,

Anti-Sex Education’s Resplendent History

of Sexual Douchebaggery

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hargis1970s: Billy James Hargis, a fundamentalist Protestant Christian Evangelist, host of the wildly popular Christian Crusade Ministry radio and teevee show and one of the founding fathers of the Christian Right; supported racial segregation, opposed sex education and believed everyone was a Commie, including JFK, MLK Jr and The Beatles. He founded the American Christian College in 1971, and then proceeded to have sex with male and female students there. A scandal erupted, at which point members of the “All American Kids” youth choir accused Hargis of sexual misconduct as well. The American Christian College was forced to close its doors.
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1970s – 1980s : Lonnie Frisbee, an American Pentecostal evangelist and a key figure in the “Jesus Movement,” socialized privately as a gay man but preached and said in interviews that homosexuality is a sin in the eyes of God. When his church found out about his gay activities, they kicked him out and fired him. He died of AIDS in 1993.
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Jim & Tammy Faye Bakker

1986: Televangelist pioneer Jimmy Swaggart was making $150 million annually for the Jimmy Swaggart Ministries when he decided to start a shitstorm by slamming fellow televangelists Marvin Gorman and Jim Bakker. Swaggart revealed Gorman’s affair with a member of his congregation as well as Jim Bakker’s infidelity. Bakker, the husband of Tammy Faye and the head of the Hertiage USA amusement park and The “Praise The Lord” TV Show, drugged & raped Jessica Hahn, 21, a virgin and former church secretary who saw Bakker as a “rock star.”

Aw! All that self-righteousness, Jimmy! Why was Swaggart himself so sure he wouldn’t get caught himself? See eventually Gorman retaliated by uncovering and then releasing the information that Swaggart had been seeing a prostitute. Swaggart had to step down from his ministry, apologized a lot to God on television like a douchebag and then was caught in 1991 with another prostitute. When the prostiute was asked what she was doing with Swaggart, she responded:

“He asked me for sex. I mean, that’s why he stopped me. That’s what I do. I’m a prostitute.” (Best Prostitute Quote Ever)

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2000: Frank Houston, considered the father of Sydney’s Pentecostal churches and a pastor of Assemblies of God in New Zeland and Australia, spent 22 years building a movement that became the Hillsong church. He was fired by his son when he admitted to sexually abusing Peter Laughton, a 23-year old man that Houston had decided to “cure” of his homosexuality two decades prior:

“My counselling sessions by the senior minister were nothing more than sexual abuse disguised in the form of the need of a father’s love and discipline. Through my naivety, I endured the naked beatings, the eternal bum caresses and masturbating into bottles, among other things.” (Peter Laughton, Houston’s victim)

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john paulk_Newsweek-7262542000: John Paulk (pictured on Newsweek cover, left)! Not only did John major in music/voice in college and later own a San Francisco patisserie (!!!!), but he also worked as a male escort and drag queen before becoming the face of the ex-gay movement, a board member of our BFF organization Exodus International and the manager of the Homosexuality and Gender Division of Focus on the Family.

And then. While on a speaking tour in 2000, Paulk was recognized at a D.C. gay bar by a patron who immediately contacted Wayne Besen of the Human Rights Campaign. When Wayne arrived at the bar 40 minutes later and confronted Paulk, Paulk denied that he was Paulk. Paulk’s photo was taken as he left the bar, therefore confirming his prescencse. Later Paulk admitted to being there but said he didn’t know it was a gay bar and just wanted to use the bathroom. Witnesses reported that Paulk hung out all night and had been hitting on dudes and identifying as gay. Backed into a corner, Paulk finally confessed. James Dobson removed him from his Exodus International position and Paulk went back to his chaste life with his ex-gay wife. Paulk currently lives in Oregon and is a chef with a very cute little website.
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paulandjan2004: Paul Franklin Crouch, the co-founder, chairman and president of the Trinity Broadcasting Network, the world’s largest Christian Television network, paid a $425,000 formal settlement to end a sexual harassment lawsuit from a man who claimed to have been involved in a homosexual tryst with Crouch in 1996.

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ted_haggardNovember 2006: Ted Haggard, head preacher of New Life Ministries in Colorado Springs, was president of the influential National Association of Evangelicals, an umbrella group representing more than 45,000 churches with 30 million members, when it was revealed that Haggard had been paying a Denver man named Mike Jones for sex for the past three years until Jones took one for the team and turned Haggard in, also revealing that Haggard had done meth with him.

“For someone who is up there preaching that marriage should only be between a man and a woman, and he’s going behind his wife’s back and seeing a gay man for sex — I felt like I owed it to the gay community to expose the hypocrisy.” (Mike Jones)

Ted Haggard’s hypocrisy is most glaring in the fantastic doumentary Jesus Camp, which you should watch RIGHTNOW. (Here’s some highlights from the film). Sidenote: Haggard spoke with George W. Bush every Monday during his presidency.

Here’s a video of Haggard talking crazy about sex:

Earlier this year Haggard appeared on Oprah with his wife to discuss how his life got fucked up when he fucked up, as documented in the film “The Trials of Ted Haggard.” Unfortunately I could not find it in my heart to feel sympathy for someone responsible for so much hate. And P.S., Jesus is soooo not into shit like Haggard’s sprawling home, six-figure salary, bonuses and hearty severence package. In January 2009, he confessed that he’d actually more than one gay affair but is straight now and happy with his wife.

Also from Ted Haggard’s church: The leader of the Youth Leadership program gets in trouble for “sexual misconduct” with a minor:


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2006: The Reverend Dr. Lonnie Latham, senior pastor of South Tulsa Baptist Church and a member of the executive committee of the Southern Baptist Convention, is arrested for lewdness when he propositions a male plainclothes police officer for oral sex in an area notorious for cruising and male prostitution. Latham had received a prior traffic violation in the same area a year before.
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2006: Republican congressman Mark Foley, an advocate of abstinence and stricter child pornography laws, resigns from the U.S. Congress after getting caught sending sexy e-mails to a male congressional pages. It was later revealed that as a child, Foley had been engaged in sexual activities with Reverand Anthony Mercieca, who claimed “it was not what you call intercourse … there was no rape or anything” and that Foley, who was 12 at the time, had consented to sexual activities with Mercieca.
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Polygamistwantedposterweb2006: Warren Steed Jeffs, one of the most evil men to ever live and the president of the Fundamentalist Church of Jesus Christ of Latter Day Saints, is arrested in Las Vegas after a year on the lam. He is charged with conspiracy to commit sexual conduct with a minor, sexual conduct with a minor, incest and two counts of rape as an accomplice. For more information  watch Banking of Heaven: The Inside Story of the Largest Polygamous Enclave in the United States.
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2007: The Rev. Roy Mace Honeycutt II, 63, is charged with two counts of first-degree sex offense with a boy younger than 13. He is also charged with six counts of taking indecent liberties with two other boys who were younger than 16, warrants said. According to the warrants, Honeycutt committed the offenses in 1968, 1974 and 1986.

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Coy Privette

Coy Privette

2007: Coy Privette, a member of the Board of Directors of the Baptist State Convetion of North Carolina and its Executive Committee, is charged with six counts of aiding and abetting prostitution.
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January 2008: Dogged for 20 years by dozens of allegations of extramarital sex with parishioners, Darrell Gilyard, 45, resigns from his position as pastor of Shiloh Metropolitan Baptist Church, a 7,000-member megachurch in Florida for sexual text messages he sent to teenage girls. It is the fifth church position that Gilyard has been forced to resign from over charges of sexual misconduct.

dotted-divider2July 2008: North Carolina Pastor Scott Murray is caught breaking into a woman’s home, stealing a sex toy and personal lubricant and subsequently charged with three felonies. (?) This is so ridiculous it’s totally gone past ridiculous into redonkulous and then into really depressing.

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joe_barronMay 2008: Joe Barron, 52, a minister from a Dallas-area Baptist megachurch, is caught in an Internet sex sting and charged with online solicitation of a minor.
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September 2008Police arrest 60-year-old Lawrence Webber, a preacher at the Reeder Memorial Baptist Church, on charges of sex crimes against children under 13 years old.
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Jan 5th, 2009: James Howard Bell, the pastor of the Refuge Temple Church of God in Christ in Kentucky, is arrested for sexually abusing a 16-year-old child. Bell is later found to be HIV positive.
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April 6th, 2009: Focus on the Family Spanish-language broadcaster Juan Alberto Ovalle, 42, faces felony charges after being caught using the Internet to try and lure a 15-year-old girl for sex.
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matthewmanningJune 2009: “Ex-gay” evangelist Matthew C. Manning was “rescued” from being a homo in ’89 and then allegedly CURED OF HIV in 1994. There’s actually no evidence he ever had HIV, but he does make a lot of teevee appearances and hosts a site called Lighthouse World Evangelism, where he sells a $30 DVD about his complete “recovery” from his gayness and AIDS. Oh! And he’s been busted for public sex at least three times since 1998. The most recent incident, in 2005, appears to have resulted in Manning being banned from his gym, the 24 Hour Fitness in Santa Rosa, CA.

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July 24th, 2009: And here we are again, back to good ol’ Tony Alamo, the evangelist guilty of taking minors across state lines for sex. In September 2008, FBI agents raided Alamo’s Christian Ministries headquarters and the investigation involved allegations of physical abuse, sexual abuse, polygamy, child abuse and underage marriage. He’s in jail now.

At his compounds in Arkansas, students learned Alamo-approved curriculums, with ninth-grade biology tossed aside because the course material discussed sex, one witness said. At a special green house on his 15-acre compound called the “House of Scorn,” Alamo kept wives who had crossed him and after the girl Alamo had married at age 8 ran away, Alamo boarded the windows.

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Anndddd … anyone who’s read all of those fancy books about Jesus knows that his number one feeling was often “do not turn my father’s temple into a marketplace.” (John 2:13-16)

Yannow, don’t like, worship wealth and gluttony and stuff? Well, in 2007, a Senate Probe was launched to investigate tax-exempt megachurches and ministries where leaders were flying private jets, driving Rolls Royces and holding meetings at $30,000 conference tables. Here’s a video about just one of the ministries under investigation:

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Why is the ball still in their court, then? I was raised Jewish, I believe in G-d, and I was never told to hate myself like this. Well, the other kids in Hebrew School made fun of me a lot so I ended up hating myself anyhow, but that has nothing to do with the Torah and is neither here nor there. The point is, whether you believe or not, the G-d I know as well as the humans I know are really sick of this bullshit hypocrisy and are ready for change.

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Further Reading & Viewing:

Truth Wins Out: a non-profit organization that defends the GLBT community against anti-gay misinformation campaigns, counters the ex-gay industry and educates America about gay life.

Jesus Camp: The Movie follows a group of young children to Pastor Becky Fischer’s “Kids on Fire Summer Camp,” where kids are taught to become dedicated Christian soldiers in God’s army and are schooled in how to take back America for Christ.

Deliver Us from Evil is a documentary which tells the true story of Catholic priest Oliver O’Grady, who sexually abused around twenty five children between the late 1970s and early 1990s.

Profile photo of Riese

Riese is the 33-year-old CEO, CFO and Editor-in-Chief of Autostraddle.com as well as an award-winning writer, blogger, fictionist, copywriter, video-maker and aspiring cyber-performance artist who grew up in Michigan, lost her mind in New York City, and now lives in The Bay Area. Her work has appeared in nine books including "The Bigger the Better The Tighter The Sweater: 21 Funny Women on Beauty, Body Image & Other Hazards Of Being Female," magazines including Marie Claire and Curve, and all over the web including Nerve, Bitch, Emily Books and Jezebel. She had a very popular personal blog once upon a time, and then she recapped The L Word, and then she had the idea to make this place, and now here we all are!

Riese has written 1748 articles for us.

47 Comments

  1. Thumb up 0

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    Wow. Those were some legit asshats. I was always a little worried about people who strongly oppose all that is gay And claim to be deeply religious…wankers.

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      Its always that way. Reminds me of the asshole who said”tell a lie often enough and outrageous enough and it will be seen as the truth”

      He prob wasn’t gay. He just managed to get hitler elected.

      Hitler btw was a born and baptised catholic, who has yet to be excommunicated from his church of life.

      but hte same church in 009 Unexcommunicated a bishop williamson who is a holocaust denier.

      why – prob because the nut has 600,000 mad followers and the church needs the money to pay off its sexual abuse cases, and to pay the cost of selling more hatred.

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    So Mark Foley is from my town and went to a Catholic school just up the road from where I live. Also, he came to speak to my class when I was in 6th grade and I remember feeling sorry for him because I could tell he was a very repressed gay man. He was also wearing a bright pink Lacoste shirt…and not in the way Kanye wears them.

    Also, this was fabulous.

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    arrghhh I get such a lot of the rage about this. great article though. Also when you see it all laid out like that it just makes it all the more ludicrous that they should have even a smidgen of credibility on the national stage.

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    The hypocrisy is maddening. Like I find myself getting really frustrated while reading this. I will never understand closet gays who bash other gay people, it just hurts my soul. I wish that people outside the glbt community would read this article because I think it’s one of the best autostraddle has done so far.

    W/r/t that stupid fucking annonymous chat site, I don’t see how those shit talkers are better than these men here. They’re doing nothing but helping them bring down the community. It’s hard enough as it is to get equal rights and visibility, I don’t see why they would try to bring us down from the inside (even if it is a small site. We need all the support we can get). This is just so frustrating sometimes!

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      closeted gays are terrorized into a closet of shame and fear that would do hitler proud. Kind of like how Hitler threw the Jews into the ghetto in the leadup to the holocaust.

      so these victims end up throwing out their self hate on others in an attempt to hide who they are. Psychs call it “projection”

      So these people are also victims, and feed the victimization. PLs understand that the churches who hate gays are the very embodiment of that guy named satan. The mytholocical creation that defines these churches.

      Where eveything is backwards, love is hated adn they call their hate “love”.

      We are fighting the wrong war on religious terrorism.

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    i’m with intern emily on the frustration. fundamentalism-wise, how do you argue with someone who is just 100 percent completely wrong? i can’t believe that god is alright with this kind of suffering. i can’t believe that anyone actually thinks that god is ok with exclusivity and hate and self-loathing. but people do, and then this happens, and that is what confuses me.

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      ‘human progress never rolls in on the wheels of inevitability; it comes through the tireless efforts of [wo]men willing to be coworkers with God, and without this hard work, time itself becomes an ally of the forces of social stagnation.’
      -MLK Jr, Letter from Birmingham Jail
      —-
      it is okay, intern hot laura. things will get better, we will win, everything will be happy and bright and full of sunshine because the autorevolution is happening.

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    Great article, my blood is boiling though… Marrying eight year old kids?!??And then their main worry is keeping the lgbt community down? Wow. Thank so much for this, good to get some righteous anger going on a Sunday morning.

    PS Autostraddle rocks, keep doing what you do. Love you chicks

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    Riese, great recap of “best religious perverts of all times”.

    Mohandas Gandhi: I like your Christ, I do not like your Christians. Your Christians are so unlike your Christ.

    Amen, hallelujah!

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    I hate to think of what happened to make these people hate themselves to the extent of publicly and purposefully hating an entire community.
    I mean, when most of us are filled with self-loathing, we do something creative (writing/blogging, drawing, playing music etc.) or self-destructive (getting 100% drunk, drugs, etc) as therapy, yea? Not so much with the sex crimes.

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    This is great. I feel like if only the internetz existed 50 years ago your list would be 10,000 times longer. another good documentary on this topic is For The Bible Tells Us So. This hit home because I was raised Evangelical in upstate NY, first “speaking in tongues” at the age of 10. Looking back, the male demographic of my church was definitely “closet gay”. Gay men and the sad women married to them. More people need to understand that when a group of people is fighting so hard about something like this, there’s a good chance they’re personally invested somehow. “If I can’t be gay, then no one can!” It’s that or the $$$, seems like usually both.

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      That is really funny because we totally just rented that movie yesterday ’cause we saw it in the store and thought it would fit in well to our documentary binge which is currently happening!
      +
      “More people need to understand that when a group of people is fighting so hard about something like this, there’s a good chance they’re personally invested somehow.” = TRUTH.

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    All humans want to be able to live their lives as they see fit. When some people put on this cloak of hypocrisy, make life difficult for everyone by holding them in judgment to an arbitrary standard, and then use their hypocrisy-gained power to exploit children or very young adults, it’s so angering, because they’ve hurt both society’s tolerance and their victims. People should be judged on a moral standard of whether they intentionally or in some cases negligently hurt others. By this standard I feel like many of these douchebags (and I want a stronger word) are completely immoral.

    These are just the guys who’ve been caught, I fully expect they’re just the drop in the bucket. I read recently that red states have the highest consumption of porn. Talk about repression! In more liberal places, we live our lives openly, and that can come with repercussions, but we’re creating a society where you can be happy and healthy, no matter what entirely normal sexual fantasies or quirks you have. (Pedophiles, not included in this count, f*ck off.)

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    This was an awesome read, im also sending it to a couple of people…might have to translate it maybe so more people can read.

    I’m Catholic i believe in G-d, but this type of stuff just makes me more nervous about structured churches in general, there’s a lot of great people and things around in them but sometimes you just find it impossible to refute the fact that they can mess with your head. Gee i think i have a lot of feelings about this and also feel like i can’t explain myself very well, cause of the language barrier and stuff, there’s just so much background i’d have to go through and so many points to argue so im just gonna stop now.

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    Been lurking for a while, but finally joined, so hi!

    This article really hit a note with me, it was like, everything I was thinking, but much more eloquently said. Also, it brings to mind: The Evnagelicals doth protest too much, methinks.

    Also, when I read this aloud to my freind, adding “Well, thats explains a lot” she said “thats what she said.”
    Perfect ‘thats what she said’ jokes make my day <3 Go AutoStraddle!

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    Man, what total fuck ups. I mean seriously, if you think about it these were just the ones who were dumb enough to get caught. What about the ones who are a little smarter and getting away with these things…sigh…and the homosexual community is the one plagued with demons….right.

  14. Pingback: Adevarata faţă a religioşilor (Partea a III-a) « enervant.wordpress.com

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    Thanks for the article. I have visited your site a number of times. I always appreciate your efforts to inform the public. Great research. Keep up the good work. People need to know.

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    OK. as a gay guy I see thsi crap and wounder WHY is it wrong that I am in love. Is it cause I am not married to a woman and sleeping with guys on the side and until i get caught. I think that men just like this need to come out of the closet and start a church for them selfs for gays who believe in god and go to church. Hell I am sure they could make not as much money, but enough to get some nice gucci shoes!

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    people use use this to show that homosexuals are immoral (sometimes evil) liars.
    the common denominator in each is both homosexuality and zealous “religion”.

    it could be said that homosexuals are sneaky, sneaking into professions where wrong behaviour will be least suspected.

    this article could be manipulated in the wrong hands.

    ( can i just add before potential abuse, that i understand the point in the article as not homophobic. playing devil’s advocate. )

  18. Thumb up 0

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    give me a brake!! how can these phony balony reliogus people say gays are ruining this country’s morals ect.i know that they calim thus country was founded on christian princables; but i do not think that jesus preached that whole comunities of indians b e burned alivein their own homes ( the puritians did this) or invited to make peace then poisened . (the pilgrams did this) or for a prisident to declar that indian weman were no more than wolves and bares and should be hunted dowm in their dens and distroied along with their whelps(andrew jackson did this)
    what about the revrand john chiviton who led an attack on a sleeping village of indians . he and his good solders broke the arms and legs of the women so they could not fight while they raped them. little girls privates were cut open so they could fit. babies heads smashed against rocks or trees . featuses cut from wombs as tropheys to prove to their wormy dog white wives what brave indian fighters they were.
    what about they grate christians who clamed manifest destiny ( if you are not a white christian then we can declar your children nits that make lice and murder them rape your wives take your land ect. theser anstors of yours are the ones he were possed by deamons. you cannot distroy morals that never existied in the first place. i am stirght not gay. but i wish all euro american men and women were gay. then maybe the would not continue to breed like rats and and eventualy die out.
    then in time the air and water and mother earth would heal,

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    You know, I never know it it will help to apologize, but I’m gonna try. I am truly sorry to the rest of the world for what my religious group has done to you. Christians can be the most arrogant people. What I mean to say is that there is this unspoken right where Christians are sometimes the exceptions to their own rules. I can say to you that I am a gay woman, and for a long time, I had the same views as the church did on homosexuality. I don’t anymore. But the Bible does not in any way justify the actions that people of God do when no one is looking. Christians should live out the integrity that they so claim to have. I am sorry that people who should be pure and blameless go and fuck it up so bad. But that also shows Christians when priests or ministers fuck it up that they are no different from any other human being. We Christians don’t have it together, we are no better then the people we interact with or judge. It deeply grieves me and makes me angry that prostitution, sexual abuse, and etc is so prevalent among leaders in the church. People are dark and messed up. But I’m gonna choose to have hope that this next generation will bring change.

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    I’m a bisexual Christian. None of these supposed “holy men” are Christians. I’m offended when I hear of hellfire and brimstone against anyone who isn’t straight, married,and has 2.5 children. I am who I am. I am who God made me. Furthermore, I am appalled at how these folks bash consenting adults, but think it’s ok to abuse children. WTFH???? Really?!!?! It makes me mf sick.

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    As I said to a friend earlier this week:

    I really wish, sometimes, that I was CAPABLE of becoming an atheist. I resent the fact that the God that I worship is the SAME God which is portrayed as the most hate-filled entity in the history of the world, and used as a weapon for hatred, by these people.

    As I am Christian, and my beliefs aren’t going anywhere, that’s not going to happen.

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    It was later revealed that as a child, Foley had been engaged in sexual activities with Reverand Anthony Mercieca, who claimed “it was not what you call intercourse … there was no rape or anything” and that Foley, who was 12 at the time, had consented to sexual activities with Mercieca.

    I STRONGLY object to you describing the sexual abuse of a child in this way. Are you really that ignorant?Just because you hate Foley is not licence to minimize sexual of children

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