A Hesitant Alumni’s Reflection on “Being Gay at Jerry Falwell’s University” by Brandon Ambrosino in The Atlantic.com

If you haven’t got a chance to read “Being Gay at Jerry Falwell’s University” by Brandon Ambrosino in The Atlantic.com, you really should. It’s lengthy but it’s a great story that has a moving conclusion.

Some of you dear readers know that I am a Liberty University graduate. I have always been hesitant about admitting this – it’s not shame, it’s not bitterness, it’s more the frustration of having to explain that I don’t fit the angry fundamentalist caricature that comes with after mentioning your alma-mater. I haven’t even hung up my degrees.

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A Few Thoughts On the Louie Giglio Situation – What Is the Christ-like Response?

In case you missed it Louie Giglio was scheduled to deliver the benediction at President Barack Obama’s Inauguration but has chosen to withdraw from the ceremony due to questions about an “anti-gay sermon” he gave in the mid-1990s.

Here was part of his formal reply …
“” … dwarfed by those seeking to make their agenda the focal point of the inauguration … Neither I, nor our team, feel it best serves the core message and goals we are seeking to accomplish to be in a fight on an issue not of our choosing.”

and part of Addie Whisenant’s spokeswoman for the Inaugural Committee, response …
“We were not aware of Pastor Giglio’s past comments at the time of his selection and they don’t reflect our desire to celebrate the strength and diversity of our country at this Inaugural … As we now work to select someone to deliver the benediction, we will ensure their beliefs reflect this administration’s vision of inclusion and acceptance for all Americans.”

First things first, what is up with that committee? They are 0 for 2 now, which is mind-boggling. Their job does not look that hard to me. History class told me the date has been preselected for January 20th (which falls on a Sunday so this year it will actually be the 21st – not [Read more…]

Reflecting on the Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day A Week Later – Post 3

I concluded Post 2 by mentioning I would respond to a couple of the pushbacks I received and then I’ll finish this little series with my suggestion of what Chick-Fil-A could do now. So it’s said, I appreciate how polite those responding have been. I’ve received texts, emails, FB messages, and a DM with various thoughts – all have been gracious, which isn’t always the case in the blogosphere. As always feel free to reply somehow or comment below but thanks for keeping it all so classy.

The first was on what do I think Dan Cathy should have said? Before I go further, if this is the first time reading this series, [Read more…]

Reflecting on the Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day A Week Later – Post 2

As I mentioned in yesterday’s post, though it’s been a week later since Chick-Fil-A Appreciation Day, I’m still processing.

This whole Chick-Fil-A scene affirms the position of the futility of the Christian engaged in the “culture war.” Last Wednesday, “taking a stand”, ordering a chicken sandwich and setting a sales record galvanized countless people. But at the same time, it hurt countless others, those within our community and those outside. The point is simple, If the Church truly desires to reach out in love, the culture war is the wrong approach.

I know some are eager to point out that “the truth hurts” and so forth and I get all that. This is ever more reason that the culture war [Read more…]

Reflecting on the "Trials of Ted Haggard"

I watched the Ted Haggard special on HBO last night and was left really thinking about a couple of things:


1. The show wants you to feel sympathy for Ted.  As a fellow sinner, this is no problem.  As a fellow sinner saved by grace, this too, is no problem.  However, I’m still not sure how honest Ted is on camera, off camera, behind the camera, whatever.  I’d like to be careful with how far my suspicion carries me but I do feel some sympathy for him.  Many may want him to just “go away”.  But going away in that sense only means “get out of my life”.  Ted still lives and we cannot write people off and I needed to be reminded of that.

2. The show wants you to either be amazed for his wife Gayle or write her off as an idiot for staying with him.  I choose to be amazed.

3. The show wanted to present as much of Ted’s life as possible and that included his kids.  While, the sympathetic part of me really wanted to know how the boys were adjusting, I’m glad the cameras weren’t on them much.  Good decision on the Haggards part.

4. The show wants to present all the characters in this story.  I was glad they showed Mike Jones, (the trainer that engaged in homosexual acts and gave drugs to Ted).  He may be hurting from this and who knows what else but he presented himself as quite the opportunist.  

5. The show wants you to be angry at the insensitive attitude of New Life Church.  Mission accomplished.  I understand that there is a history with Ted’s misconduct (new details are being discovered.  Ted has not been honest, still not sure if he is now), and they were right to dismiss him, but to banish him from Colorado?   Really?  I’m guessing they gave him a generous settlement and leaving the state was among the conditions.  Ted, defeated and ashamed would have agreed to just about anything.

I know that many will say there was follow-up counseling with Ted (that wanted to bring him back to restoration.  And you probably have heard the term “completely heterosexual”) but from this show, it seemed that it didn’t last too long.  Further, it didn’t seem to bring him to restoration.  Now, I remember reading that Ted walked out on the counseling.  I’m wondering if that’s what led to his banishment of Colorado but I don’t know these details and there’s too much online to determine.  But even if Ted curses his counselors and storms out, which would be wrong on his part, a church should not exile you from the state.  I can understand not allowing him to come back to that particular church within a certain time frame but banishing someone out of the state?  I tell you, if I heard this in a Starbucks or at a pub, I wouldn’t have believed it and if HBO is telling us the truth, then this is not how we as a Church treat people, even if he is lying. 


I know my post is somewhat sensitive to Ted Haggard and I am comfortable with that.  And believe me, he’s a tough case for me.  Mega-church pastor, homosexual acts, evangelicalism, deception, rumors, it’s easy to want to dismiss the whole thing.  And while I can do that being from New Jersey, I cannot as a part of the Body. Certainly he sinned.  A sin that has hurt many people in many ways and I do not treat that lightly.  This is reality however, and we as people, from the shady to even the most sincere-hearted Christ followers to all those in between, will continue to fail.  The Church cannot turn its back on people.  It’s not Christ-like.