With all this talk about Obama's pastor, it's interesting not only how McCain is getting away with pandering to the Religious Right's lowest common denominator, but how no one in the mainstream media has even cared to look up what he's said.
Well, that's why we have blogs. Timothy Kincaid over at Box Turtle Bulletin looked up McCain's pastor, Daniel Yearey, and found out what he thinks about the gays.
It isn't the worst ever, but it's definitely worse than anything Jeremiah Wright ever said about the gays.
He starts an article with a story:
The content of the phone call was totally unexpected. The callers were treasured friends. Though their greeting was genuinely pleasant, they obviously were in agony. "Mark just told us he is gay!" they blurted. Their son had just set off a trauma alert.
I was stunned. I had known this boy as my friend. His family was healthy, balanced, and in no way dysfunctional. The son was, by testimony and lifestyle, a Christian. His confession did not make sense to me. But the parents were convinced. They urgently needed to provide a compassionate and intelligent reaction.
We eventually located help in a church that had sensed God's calling to provide redemptive help. Their sense of mission saved my young friend from much pain and heartbreak. The solution was not simple, but something good continues to happen in Mark's life. It took commitment, encouragement, prayer, and relentless family support to reach a redemptive conclusion.
While Yearey doesn't advocate any sort of ex-gay therapy in his article (he supports celibacy for everyone who doesn't heterosexually marry), I do have to wonder about that "church" that was willing to "provide redemptive help." Now just what could that be a euphemism for....
He also has an interesting reading of the scripture. After outlining queer theologists' arguments that try to interpret the good book in a way that speaks to gay and lesbian people, he says:
None of these arguments can nullify the reality that, without exception, every time homosexual practice is mentioned in Scripture, it is condemned.
I concluded in my personal examination of Scripture that God's plan for human sexuality is a higher standard for everyone. We must not take lightly obedience to His standard for sexuality. God intended sex to be the experience of two heterosexual partners who are committed for life. Anyone, if unmarried, is expected to live a chaste life of obedience to God rather than gratification of self. Such obedience to God's standard is the irreducible minimum in sexual ethics.
In other words, I don't care what you all think, I'm going to believe what I'm going to believe.
(I don't see where in the Bible he's getting the idea that sex is only supposed to happen in the bounds of heterosexual marriage, either. I can think of a few places off the top of my head where it didn't and God seemed quite alright with it.)
Hope for the Homosexual
Outside the bonds of heterosexual marriage, the proper use of sexuality is to honor God by obedience. Celibacy is a gift from God, and a chaste life is God's expectation. Only God can provide the spiritual strength for this difficult commitment.
The difficulty for the homosexual is that he or she doesn't always make unfettered choices. Evidence abounds of disorders resulting from dysfunctional family relationships or abuse that can leave a person deeply scarred. Despite the damage, however, inclination or misfortune does not negate the clarity of God's higher moral calling.
My parents did just fine, and I don't appreciate Pastor Yearey, without even meeting them, implying that they abused me or were dysfunctional, whatever that means specifically.
And how is a chaste life God's expectation when there's no mention of Jesus being chaste (or heterosexually married) in the Bible....
Well, there we go. I fully expect the media to pressure John McCain to reject and repudiate Pastor Yearey and his comments.