31 October 2007

The Miseducation of Donnie McClurkin (Part Four)

Donnie McClurkin

The interview concludes:

Clay Cane: Would you say that Donnie’s Bisexual or Gay?

"Rob": I think he’s Gay! He’s not Bisexual.

Clay Cane: Do you feel sorry for him?

"Rob": I do. I (felt) sorry on those days when he’d cry. Saying he’s going through this, he’s going through that . . . he’s lonely, he’s horny. I’ve heard he’s had relationships with guys in Atlanta, guys in New York, guys in LA.

If McClurkin really is living this kind of reckless double life, he can't keep it up forever. He's made too many enemies with his high profile anti-Gay pronouncements! I predict there'll be more interviews of this kind in the future. Hopefully, one of his alleged sex partners will have the courage to be named!

Clay Cane: You are not heterosexual, and you’re Christian. Do you think you’re going to go to Hell for not being heterosexual?

"Rob": No, I strongly believe that I am who I am. We’re saved by grace. God can save whoever He wants.

Clay Cane: Do you think being Gay is a sin?

"Rob": No, I don’t because . . . why are we here? God saved the criminal. Anyone can be saved.

So Gay people are like criminals? Yet another revealing statement!

Clay Cane: Do you think homosexuality is something people need to be saved from?

"Rob": No! Not at all, and (Donnie and I) had debates about that . . . I said, “I think you’re born this way.” I would tell (him) that.

This is one part of the interview that I don't buy! Judging from his own previous statements, it's obvious that this man thinks same-gender love is sinful, just like Donnie McClurkin does. The only difference is, he's much less conflicted about his "sin". However, if he had no inner conflicts at all, he wouldn't still be in the closet, would he? It all comes down to shame.

Around the time I entered junior high school, I became involved in the Youth For Christ movement. I remember a mantra that our YFC ministers had popularized: Come as you are!  We were encouraged to come to God exactly as we were. In one sense, the slogan meant that you didn't have to dress up in fine clothes to go to church. It had a broader sense, though: That it wasn't necessary to make yourself respectable in the eyes of the world in order to enter God's temple and worship at His throne!

God's concepts of respectability are different from the ones human beings have! The world may think your skin is the wrong color, or shun you because of the social class you come from, or consider you a sexual pariah of some kind. God sees past those superficial concerns! However you were created, and whatever your circumstances, the Lord welcomes you into His presence. You are His child. Not only does He want you to come as you are, He insists on it! You can't present yourself to God wearing masks and disguises! Nor should you try to deceive your sisters and brothers in Christ.

Gay people like Donnie McClurkin (yes, I said it!) believe otherwise. They're deluding themselves, but it's easy to understand why they think as they do. Just like the rest of us, they're victims of miseducation!

What passes for Christian doctrine today is a far cry from what Jesus Christ actually taught! Set upon by Satan's poachers, who disguise themselves in shepherd's clothing, LGBT lambs are tricked into following their corrupt lead. Deceived! Misled! Fooled into believing that penances imposed on the ancient Israelites also apply to us! Blinded to our presence in Scripture (the 14th chapter of Revelations, among other passages)! Pressured to give the directives of prophets and apostles the same authority as the directives Jesus Christ gave us, even when those directives differ! Manipulated into worshiping the Bible, a man-made text, as if it were a substitute for God! We've all been distracted from the message of salvation our Savior preached.

Those of us who come from an ethnic background also have to deal with strong cultural biases that severely regulate gender roles. The appalling behavior modification training that McClurkin got from his church elders mirrors what my own parents told me as a child: Stop acting like a girl!  Be they Christian, Muslim or otherwise, African-Americans demand a strict separation between masculinity and femininity. How easily they forget that the God they worship is simultaneously male and female, and how difficult it is for them to accept that some of His children are, too!

Donnie McClurkin didn't just suffer rape at the hands of his male relatives. He was also raped by his church! In both cases, wicked people sought to impose shame and degradation on him. They perceived his alternate gender identity, targeted him because of it (something I believe pedophiles routinely do to Gay children), violated him, and made him feel as if he deserved punishment. In this diabolical way, they took control of his mind, and programmed him to punish others like himself. They call it "evangelism", but it's really recruitment, combined with a form of sexual harassment that Rev. Jerry Maneker calls "genital theology" . . . not very different, really, from what Fundamentalists accuse Lesbians and Gay men of doing!

This is the method organized religion uses to manufacture Fundie closet cases, a procedure that no doubt goes back many centuries. So effective is this method, it's miraculous that anybody escapes its cruel indoctrination! God, the architect of Gay identity, makes such miracles possible. He inspires us to burst the bonds of self-loathing that Satan's trickery places on our souls. Every day, millions of LGBT Christians are breaking free from shame, challenging lies told from the pulpit, seeking and finding their true identities through prayer and research and therapy (the legitimate kind), and the evidence of their own life experience. Would you believe some of these newly enlightened folks are even preachers?

The various religious communities we belong to may never make peace with Gay identity. That doesn't mean we can't make our own peace with it. We can! We don't have to suffer lifelong victimhood. We don't have to fear Scriptural terrorism. We don't have to be "Bible believers"! As Christian converts, we only need be Gospel believers!

The Gospels are where our salvation lies, and that's where Jesus Christ speaks of us. Yes, He does! Don't believe the Right Wing naysayers. The proof can be found in the 19th chapter of Matthew, verses 9-12: The Savior calls us eunuchs who have been so from birth. (In Biblical times, a "born eunuch" was the equivalent of what we now call Gay men.  For more information, visit the Born Eunuchs website.) He exempts all eunuchs from heterosexual marriage, and links their unique status to the kingdom of Heaven. That sure doesn't sound like condemnation to me!

What's more, in verses 16-19 of that same chapter, Jesus Christ lists the specific commandments that apply to his disciples. Guess how many of those commandments prohibit same-gender love? Absolutely none of them!

What more does the Savior have to do before we stop thinking of ourselves as abominations? Who can vilify us when God does the opposite? Why do we let false prophets come between us and God? It's foolish! Do we enjoy suffering needlessly? Do we think God wants to inflict pain on us? What's the percentage in ending up a guilt-ridden, self-destructive wreck? How does that make us better Christians? It damn sure hasn't brought Donnie McClurkin closer to the Divine! His opportunistic, mask-wearing Gay colleagues in the Gospel music world aren't exactly good spiritual role models, either!

A couple of years back, McClurkin was interviewed on the PBS TV series "Religion And Ethics Newsweekly." He took advantage of the occasion to liken Gay people to serial liars! He also said:

Anybody who has a lying problem, they get to the point where they hate (it), having such a lack of character, (and) they (want to) make a change.

Subconsciously, he was surely talking about himself in regard to lying; could it be that he was also talking about himself in regard to changing? If everything said about him in Clay Cane's interview is true, Donnie McClurkin knows in his heart what kind of change he needs to make: One that involves total honesty with himself and others, renunciation of self-serving bigotry, and freedom from crippling shame. He must walk the difficult path openly Gay Christian artists like Jason and DeMarco, Jennifer Knapp, Ray Boltz and Tonex had the courage to walk.  For his sake as well as our own, let's all pray that God empowers him to follow their examples of integrity!

1 comment:

  1. What a terrific post!

    Most of the institutional Church not only inculcates shame, but handsomely profits from it as it is that very shame, that very feeling of unworthiness, that it promises to expiate if it deems appropriate (as occurs in the RC Church), and that shame enables most of the institutional Church to control the very thoughts and self-worth of people, linking them with their "spirituality" as they define that term, thereby helping to maintain its own control over the "spiritual" and emotional lives of people.

    Regarding: "Be they Christian, Muslim or otherwise, African-Americans demand a strict separation between masculinity and femininity. How easily they forget that the God they worship is simultaneously male and female, and how difficult it is for them to accept that some of His children are, too!" A great and accurate point.

    I think a large part of the reason for such perceived (and the need for their perceiving) gender polarity and their discrimination against those who exhibit, or are thought to exhibit, some elements of both genders as (although not exclusively) seen among many Gay people, is that due to a history of discrimination and a history of humiliation visited upon Black men in the U.S., there is an excruciating sensitivity to the belief that those who have been so humiliated and discriminated against must assert that they are, in fact, "real men," and not in any way Gay, which in their minds can vicariously feminize them in their own minds and in the minds of others (so they fear), and that mind-set, born of their history of humiliation, and their often current unappealing life-circumstances, further feeds into the reality of their actual and perceived humiliation, and, thereby, feeds into their belief that to be Gay (for males), or even affirming Gay people, is to not be a "real man."

    Since so many homophobic Black men can't vent their rage against those who have humiliated, and are humiliating them, they vent it on those who hammer home to them and to others the fact that many Black (and other) men can be "real men" and still have aspects of both "male" and "female" within them, which is certainly not restrlcted to Gay people, although from most people's point of view those obvious traits are brought into sharp relief by Gay men (and Gay women, although lesbians aren't perceived as much of a threat to one's masculinity).

    Hence, Reaction Formation occurs where those who are the most insecure about their own masculinity, and anything that they perceive poses a threat to it, are the ones who are the most homophobic, as Gay men bring to their consciousness their lack of feeling like "a real man" who can have control over his and his family's life and life-chances in society; their history of being the recipients of discrimination, humiliation, and oppression has left them a legacy where they must prove themselves to be "real men" so as to deny to others and to themselves that they are, in fact, "real men," and not like "those people" who aren't "real men" like they are.

    And, of course, as you correctly point out, most of the institutional Church, and most Black churches, feed into the need to be "a real man" so as to affirm one's dignity as a Black man in a society that has shown African-Americans appallingly little of that dignity in both the socioeconomic and the personal aspects of many of their lives.

    And since it is in the Black churches that such affirmation is largely received, and is expected to be received, their rampant homophobia is seen as being consistent with that affirmation; their blindness to the fact that homophobia is diametrically opposed to Jesus' life, work, teachings, and ministry serves them all too well.

    Anyone who is a professing Christian and puts Jesus on the back burner by his/her condemnation of LGBT people, or anyone else for that matter, has truly shown what god he/she actually worships!