May 20, 2015

Gay pastors and my childhood Lutheran upbringing

I saw this story "trending" on Facebook. I was originally going to post there, but decided to do a full blog post instead.

The Rev. Matthew Makala, associate pastor of St. John's Lutheran Church and School in Midland, Mich., has resigned his position after getting "busted" for looking for hookups on a gay mobile app/website.

I wasn't sure what "audience" settings to use on Facebook, and I'll explain why.

I figured Rev. Makala was from the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, the denomination where I was raised, as a preacher's kid. It's the main conservative denomination within the Lutheran tradition, and would be considered on the conservative end of evangelicalism. (Conservative Lutherans, related to why the history of Lutheranism in America often gets short shrift, don't like being called "Protestant," saying that should apply only to Calvinists. They also don't like being pegged as "conservative evangelical" or "fundamentalist." If one believes in a different version of "fundamentals" than J. Gresham Machen's one for Presbyterians and other Calvinists, the name fits, though.)

Anyway, a number of fellow family members are on Facebook. I'm not friends with all of them, but those I don't have friended, are "friends of friends." I do have most my family on a "very religious" sublist. I often, for things like this, post to "friends of friends" but with the caveat of NOT sharing with "very religious."

I thought about posting to "friends of friends" and letting the chips fall where they may. Then, I decided I wanted to go longer with this.

Back to the main thread for that.

Speaking of Makala? Well, here is the gay side of his life.

For people unfamiliar with the LCMS, it still is officially anti-evolution, still believes in a literal interpretation, and literal inspiration of writing of, the bible, including creationism. It is officially pro-life (though I'm left of center on that, I'm not on the far left on that issue). And, it still is, no other way to put it, anti-gay rights.

No, it's anti-gay. Seeing being gay or lesbian as sinful, let alone a choice and nothing but a choice, is anti-gay. Beyond obvious reasons, to the degree particular gay/lesbian sexual activity may be a choice, so is particular heterosexual activity.

So, it's anti-gay, where I come from. Having a number of gay and lesbian friends and acquaintances, and having seen a number of them, for various reasons, struggle with self-acceptance, such churches need to accept biological reality.

The denomination is fine on continuing to oppose gay marriage if it wants. It's not fine for Makala to compare being gay to being alcoholic, and seemingly perpetuating misunderstandings of both LGBT issues AND alcoholism.

Or, per another Qweerty story, you can take down your Facebook page and continue the denialism.

After all, per that link, the senior pastor at Makala's church, Rev. Daniel Kempin, seems to be perpetuating the idea that gays are all perverts, and perverts seeking to "convert" heterosexuals:
“It is my grief to inform you that Pastor Makela announced his resignation as a pastor of St. John’s through a letter that was read in worship on Sunday, May 17,” he begins. That’s the day before the story broke here. 
To make matters worse,” he continues, “the details of sin that have been kept confidential are being posted online by those who seek to do harm to the Makela family and to St. John’s. This is taking an already difficult situation and making it even more painful… The facebook pages associated with St. John’s have been taken down in an attempt to remove the opportunity for malicious posters to have access to St. John’s members…”
So, it's "worse" to expose hypocrisy rather than let it grow like mushrooms, with the same fertilizers as mushrooms? And, that "access"? As in the gays all want to convert your members? 

Even if I hadn't moved all the way to secularism/atheism, things like this are why I wouldn't be a fundamentalist/conservative evangelical Protestant. Sorry.

As for posting edits? The Networked Blogs application automatically posts my blog posts to both Twitter and Facebook. It posts to "friends of friends."

And it will with this post, too. My family can do, and say, what it wants.

As for that family? Starting with the preacher who made me a preacher's kid? Sorry, but dad was some level of racist — not sure exactly how much, and maybe even I don't want to think about that more — some level of misogynist, and we didn't even talk about "teh gay" beyond jokes.

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