In her recent article, NPN staff writer Harmony Daws said she fears living to see homosexuality accepted in evangelical churches (See “Good Christian Bitches and a Disabled Church“) Is it already?
Last week, Joseph Farah’s WorldNetDaily published in its “Testing the Faith” section, without comment, an article by two evangelical pastors announcing they have come “out of the closet.” They boldly declare to their church, its youth and the world that they are “gay” Christians.
Coming out. . .with someone you love somehow feels so right. It is with this spirit of unity that we, Pastor Ken Hutcherson and ministerial partner James Hansen, would like to shout loud and proud, “We are gay!” . . .Both of our wives know we’re gay and are completely supportive of this lifestyle choice. Our coworkers know we’re gay and have often asked how they too can live as a gay Christian…For those on the outside looking in, this would be the furthest thing they could ever imagine coming from two pastors at a conservative evangelical church. For some reason, Christians aren’t allowed to be gay.
…So Christians, take it from two flamboyantly gay pastors. Come out of the closet. Leave the confining hovel you’ve built for yourself and let people know the true “you.” Let the world know you are happy, not discouraged. Let them know you have joy, not apathy. Stop hiding in that suffocating closet and remember that the Christian message is one of authenticity, hope and love. And if that message doesn’t make you gay, nothing will. (Evangelical Pastors Announce They are Gay!)
There is no criticism or clarification from Farah or WorldNetDaily. Members of my church and I read it literally and were appalled. To verify the facts, I called Hutcheson’s Antioch Bible Church in Redmond, WA. His secretary told me the whole article was a spoof. It evidently satirized a misconception that Christians must be gloomy, not “gay.” How many other readers took the time to make this call and verify its insincere and satirical nature? How many went on their way believing it was presented in good faith by Farah and these two “gay” pastors? Much worse: How many, particularly the impressionably young, were positively influenced toward the right of pastors to be homosexual?
Here’s my email to Farah:
WND’s article “Evangelical Pastors Declare: ‘We are Gay!’” gives every impression to most busy readers of being an authentic “coming out” announcement of two “Christian” homosexual pastors. I interpreted it that way. So did our church members including my brother, who said it “ruined” his day.
Pastor Ken Hutcherson’s secretary told me that it is, however, a spoof, affirming that Christians are really the “gay” or happy people. She said if you look hard enough you can find the “clue” in their announcement. Yet few of your hurried readers have time to play Hutcherson’s game of “find the hidden clue.” Neither you nor Hutcherson informed them a game was being played! As a result, countless WorldNetDaily readers went away with the message that Christians, and especially pastors, can be homosexuals. This was reinforced by your dignifying the article within a section reserved for presentation of challenging forms of Christian thought.
You have demonstrated editorial irresponsibility. Satire is a respected literary genre. Yet it is legitimate journalism only when there is ample evidence in the text that it uses fantasy to make its point. As an experienced journalist, you should have known this. I demand of you, along with Hutcherson and his purported “gay” partner Hansen, a prominently posted statement of clarification and apology at WND.
Rev. Ted Pike
I have criticized Farah as one of the world’s most vocal cheerleaders of Israel in her oppressions of the Palestinians. I have also rebuked him for repeatedly exalting the Jewish Anti-Defamation League, architect of all Christian-persecuting hate laws worldwide, as a trusted teacher of what constitutes “anti-Semitism.” (See “Who’s ‘Spewing Venom’ – Helen Thomas or WorldNetDaily?”)
Farah is already one of the most rigorous censors of news or information that might put Israel in an unfavorable light. His willingness to indulge misinformation in this case should be a wake-up call, especially to his evangelical readers. He could do so elsewhere, particularly in reporting on the already intensely politicized issues of Israel and the Mideast.
Rev. Ted Pike is director of the National Prayer Network, a Christian/conservative watchdog organization.
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