"Aiken's sexuality hit the headlines last year when a former Green Beret soldier revealed he had spent a night of passion with the crooner, but Aiken refused to discuss the issue when it came up in interviews.
"Then, fans threatened to file a class action suit against the singer if it was proven he was gay.
"And now, elders at a Wichita, Kansas church want to make sure the singer is heterosexual before green-lighting plans for him to perform for their congregation on November 26th."
[See Pam's House Blend for the full post entitled, Kansas church calls Clay Aiken's bluff.]
Has it come to this?
In a country that has more formally educated people than we've ever had, we seem to be getting more foolish, more stupid, and more hateful. And, we're becoming more gullible, in that we give the ignorant and the haters and hate-mongers who seem to have absolutely no concept of the Gospel of grace, of Jesus' teachings, even a semblance of credibility, or even allow them to be taken seriously by others.
When will Christians worthy of the name say, "Enough is enough?" I won't be associated with madness, stupidity, and hatefulness like this? I won't in any way support clergy or any professing Christians whose rhetoric and/or actions in any way contravene the Gospel and teachings of Jesus?
Unless we actively confront these traitors to Jesus, albeit holding our sides in laughter at their bufoonery, their madness will increasingly become more identified with "Christianity" than it already has become in the eyes of many people, particularly young people.
The following is a partial response I made on my friend, Bishop Leland Somers' excellent blog, Musings of a Progressive Bishop:
"...you say, 'I’ve become increasingly skeptical about Christianity and about the United States of America.' I firmly agree with the last phrase, but I do my best not to confuse most of the institutional Church, which has acted shamefully to the oppression of others, including their support and/or silence over the Iraq war, torture (one poll showed that professing 'Christians' were more in favor of the use of torture than were non-Christians), oppresson of others, and other assorted atrocities, with members of Christ’s Church. Anyone who can remain silent in face of the oppression of others, or who actively or tacitly supports such oppression, is not a Christian, and that fact has to be both recognized, acknowledged, and widely advertised, lest all Christians are viewed as hateful, harsh, censorious, judgmental, twisted freaks!"
"All Christians worthy of the name, who are Christians in fact, are not able to sit by and silently watch the destruction of this country; other countries; the oppression of others, such as Gay people; the hateful and exclusionary rhetoric emanating from those who call themselves 'Christians.' They must be called out, and confronted for the demented hate-mongers that they are, and we must continue to do our very best to let people know that these haters are diametrically opposed to Christianity, regardless of what they call themselves! They spit in the face of God; they are preaching a false gospel of legalism, perfectionism, and exclusion that has absolutely nothing to do with the Gospel; they are rapidly coming to define 'Christianity' in the minds of all too many people; they are enjoying a credibility that they certainly do not deserve! And we must never tire of alerting all who will listen to these facts!
"The Apostle Paul wrote, 'But though we, or an angel from heaven, preach any other gospel unto you than that which we have preached unto you, let him be accursed.' (Galatians 1:8) And he felt so strongly about that fact that he repeated that statement in the very next verse. Paul preached the Gospel of grace, or God’s unmerited favor to all those who have implacable trust in Him! So, Paul was writing that if anyone who preaches any other gospel but that of God’s grace, let him be 'accursed.'
"To be 'accursed' means to be 'damned by God!' In other words, Paul felt so strongly about this issue, that he said that if anyone preached the false gospel of legalism, perfectionism, or exclusion, and anything other than the grace and love of God, 'God damn him!' Amen!"
Flee these demented clergy and professing Christians who are wolves in sheep's (or wolves') clothing! Refuse to give them any credibility! Don't support them with your money or attendance at their churches! Don't in any way support their "ministries!"
In this country, as the late attorney Melvin Belli said, "Money doesn't talk! It screams!" If money (which perversely affirms their credibility) is witheld from homophobic clergy, that is a language they will understand. If one in any way does support them, or in any way gives them credibility, he/she is actively complicit in their homophobic madness, and has as much blood on his or her hands as do the homophobic clergy and their followers themselves!