03 November 2007

The Miseducation of Donnie McClurkin (Part One)

Donnie McClurkin

I'm not sure which is worse . . . being educated in the wrong subjects, or being miseducated in the right ones! I'm talking about being propagandized. Brainwashed! That's what goes on in churches, mosques and synagogues all over the world. Self-described ministers of truth, spreading falsehood about Gay people and calling it doctrine! Taking Scriptures out of context, distorting the Gospel of Grace, ignoring the clues to our identity that exist there, encouraging ignorance, and whipping up hatred against us, all in the name of the Lord. I'm convinced that this rampant practice constitutes the Desolating Sacrilege of which Jesus Christ spoke!

In my opinion, there's nothing so sacrilegious as a False Prophet who vilifies God's Gay children. And there is nothing so desolate as the life of a Gay child of God who takes part in that sacrilege! An interview has surfaced on the Web which proves my point beyond the shadow of a doubt. This interview, which extensively quotes the alleged former lover of a closeted Christian preacher, details how such men lead lives fraught with guilt, shame, deception and perverted desire. The interviewer, New York journalist Clay Cane, calls it a story of "sadness, sexual deviance and scandal." Believe me, it's about as strong an argument against living in the closet as you'll ever find!

The closeted Christian preacher in question is Donnie McClurkin, who has recently been in the news. Back when he was running for President, Barack Obama recruited him to head a Gospel music tour in support of his candidacy. Seemingly unaware of McClurkin's reputation in the Black community as an advocate of heterosexual conversion (he himself claims to be "ex-Gay"), Obama got himself embroiled in a firestorm of controversy. In a lame attempt at damage control, he added an openly Gay minister to the tour, which included other militantly heterosexist acts like the duo Mary Mary and Reverend Hezekiah Walker. Reportedly, the Gay minister was so intimidated by the heavy anti-Gay atmosphere, he fled from the event as soon as his time on stage was up! What a joke!

Here's some background on Reverend McClurkin: Born 1959 in Amityville, New York, McClurkin grew up in the Christian church and led Gospel groups in his teens. He entered the ministry and served as associate pastor at a Detroit church headed by Marvin Winans, a member of the Gospel-singing (and very homophobic) Winans Family. His own career as a professional Gospel singer began in 1996. He's since cut several million-selling albums, and won three Grammy awards. He also has an NAACP Image Award.  McClurkin now pastors his own congregation in Freeport, New York; he founded his Perfecting Faith Church in early 2001. Although his ministry and singing career are high-profile, he's most famous in evangelical circles for his claims of having been "delivered" from Gay identity. He made these claims in a 2001 autobiography titled Eternal Victim/Eternal Victor, and in articles he's since penned for Charisma Magazine and other Conservative Christian publications.

An admitted victim of incest and child sexual abuse, McClurkin writes that he was unwillingly drawn into homosexuality by male pedophiles: "The seed of homosexual lust and desire was planted" is the ominous way he describes it. He professes to have overcome same-gender attraction through prayer and guidance from his church elders. Here's a sample of the kind of "guidance" he got:

They would pray with me, talk with me, and a few of them . . . would even teach me how to carry myself like a man. When I wanted to sing soprano, they'd say things like, "Get some bass in your voice!" or "Men don't sing soprano!" (They) even taught me how to walk. If I held my hand up in a feminine way, (they'd) hit it and say: "Put your hands at your side. Men don't hold their hands like that!"

These intensive lessons in masculine swagger may have had something to do with McClurkin fathering a child out of wedlock in 2000. The evangelical community forgave that transgression, of course . . . at least he was fornicating with a woman.

Donnie McClurkin has become prominent among a shamefully large number of hetero-fascists who are active in Black Protestantism. Ever since he performed at the 2004 Republican National Convention, he's been forging links with the White religious Right Wing. He has appeared in support of George W. Bush, and parrots the "family values" rhetoric of the Republican party (begging the question of why Barack Obama would have wanted to be associated with him)!

Ask him what he thinks about Gay identity, and he's liable to call it "a matter of choice" as well as a "curse". He's gone on record with such opinions in the past. In addition, McClurkin has characterized Gay Christian men as "vultures" who populate a "deceptive underworld" within the church (holy religious McCarthyism, Batman)! According to The New York Times, he offers "therapy" to young boys who feel homosexual desire. "I've been through this, and have experienced God's power to change my lifestyle," he asserts. "I am delivered, and I know God can deliver others, too." Doesn't reading about this development make chills run up and down your spine? It certainly has that effect on me.

The aforementioned exposé had an equally potent effect on me when I read it. There is, of course, a possibility that the anonymous man's claims are bogus; he could be a jealous rival trying to settle a score with McClurkin by making up lies about him. However, I seriously doubt that's the case: From what I know about closeted men, the story rings uncomfortably true! You can judge for yourself, though. Here are excerpts, taken from the website claycane.net. They've been edited for clarity and objectionable content.

Clay Cane: (This) interview with someone who claims to be Donnie McClurkin’s ex-lover (describes) his relationship with the millionaire pastor . . . he demands to remain anonymous (because) he is tied to the Gospel music industry and explains, “I can be blackballed by him.” For his professional and personal protection, he will only go by the name of “Rob”. In this revealing interview, "Rob" details his relationship, or as he described, "roller coaster ride", with the “We Fall Down” hitmaker from 2001 to 2004, which (was) ironically during the height of McClurkin's anti-Gay rants and calls for (heterosexual) conversion . . . the full interview cannot be made public. Some things I had to leave out, such as other artists in Gospel (music) who are Gay . . . I only wanted to focus on the relationship with McClurkin and no one else. I am presenting (this) story for people to make up their own minds.

"The Miseducation of Donnie McClurkin" continues with Part Two.

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