Monday, November 27, 2006

Gay Camp


Hey mom, guess what I
learned at gay camp!

Dan Savage writes again about the fascinating Ted Haggard story, focusing on the new line that he'll be in a gay reprogramming camp for the next three to five years.

You might as well change Haggard's DNA to make him into a mastodon or something while you're at it. Just like everyone else, my sexuality is intimately woven into my thinking and my senses. The magic appeal of women and their delicious, lubricious bodies is never-ending and always alluring to me and to all other straight men. (And that was my unspoken defense on Friday, when a co-worker completely busted me while I was checking out her ass.) Straight women must feel a similar way, or they would never, ever put up with men's foolishness. To remove that giddy, joyous feeling from me would be to remove all the thinking and feeling parts of my brain at the very same time. And if I felt the same passionate way about sucking dicks, well, that must be one hell of a Powerpoint presentation they have lined up for Ted Haggard.

I was raised as a devout Christian in the Southern Baptist church. Despite my later complete rejection of the faith, I still maintain an inherent sympathy for the Christian point of view, no matter how irrational and hateful it can become. Even so, this turn of events is perverse beyond all imagining. The guy likes men. So what? Let him be! (And maybe women, too: it's a bit hard to imagine you can have five kids while fantasizing about banging Orlando Bloom, or whomever.) Just a few days ago, a moderate pastor who had been appointed as head of the Christian Coalition was unable to change the group to focus on real issues, like poverty and the environment. Instead, he had to resign. They're sticking with their core issues: butt-fucking and abortion.

I've read the bible, very closely, many times. Jesus really, really didn't care about that shit. Despite my agnosticism, and despite some serious weirdness, the gospels are still mostly a beautiful set of beliefs. The world would be greatly improved if more people believed in them, especially if actual Christians believed in what's actually written in them: care for the poor, love your neighbor, don't flout your faith, don't abuse faith for money. Good stuff.

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