Monday, November 13, 2006

Evangelical Gay-dar

Via the Revealer, a very interesting article from The Jewish Week on the evangelical movement and the electorate in the wake of the GOP mid-term election collapse and scandals around prominent evangelical leaders Mark Foley and Ted Haggard. A third of white evangelicals voted Dem in the election, signaling a problem in mobilizing the troops around Republican candidates as well as weakening evangelical power in the legislature (Rick Santorum's loss in particular is a huge defeat for evangelical Christians). The article also notes a potential cooling of the relationship between evangelicals and American Jews, pointing out that evangelical support for the state of Israel is seen as "replaceable."

But the best part is comparable to Monty Python's "How do you tell a witch?" sketch from "The Holy Grail":

Then, as if things could not get worse, there was the disgrace of [Traditional Values Coalition leader Lou] Sheldon's own friend and colleague, Rev. Ted Haggard, the Colorado mega-church leader and president of the National Association of Evangelicals, an even bigger pillar of Republican support on the Christian right. Sheldon disclosed that he and "a lot" of others knew about Haggard's homosexuality "for a while ... but we weren't sure just how to deal with it."

Months before a male prostitute publicly revealed Haggard's secret relationship with him, and the reverend's drug use as well, "Ted and I had a discussion," explained Sheldon, who said Haggard gave him a telltale signal then: "He said homosexuality is genetic. I said, no it isn't. But I just knew he was covering up. They need to say that."
Soooo, if he weighs the same as a duck, he must be made of wood. And therefore . . . a fairy!

The best (or worst) part is the bizarre sense that the genetic aspects of homosexuality would be what render it morally acceptable. Here again we have the whole debate about what is "natural" behavior. But that's for another post.

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