Preachers, pastors, priests and the like have played quite a role this political season. Just ask Barack Obama – the Democratic presidential hopeful had to defend his ties to both Donnie McClurkin and Jeremiah Wright.
Republican John McCain, meanwhile, had a short-lived shit storm over John Hagee, the Catholic bashing preacher man who endorsed the Arizona Senator and blamed the gays for Hurricane Katrina. McCain also had a bit of trouble from Rod Parsley, the Ohio-based Evangelical who takes regular swipes at the lavender set.
Certainly Parsley and Hagee’s respective opinions aren’t the most progressive, they’re less important to McCain than a man named Dan Yeary, the Baptist politico’s actual preacher.
While Yeary’s not as inflammatory as Parsley and Hagee, his views on the gays are pretty straight forward: we’re sinners. From the horse’s mouth:
The entire canon of Scripture precisely teaches that sexual expression is intended for and restricted to the confines of heterosexual marriage. Jesus never affirmed, permitted, or condoned homosexual expression or practice. He clearly taught that Godâ€™s intention was heterosexual marriage (Matthew 19:1-9). The apostle Paul emphatically opposed the practice of homosexuality. Romans 1:26-27 and 1 Corinthians 6:9-10 detail condemnation of homosexual expression with the view that such is unnatural.
McCain’s voting record proves at least a small amount of agreement. Yes, he opposed a federal amendment banning gay marriage, but that was only because McCain’s a firm believer in state’s rights, which he exhibited when he voted for his home state’s own prohibition, which failed.
People in Yeary’s position are known for their violent denouncements of gays, who some believe can be “cured” of their queer ways. Yeary’s not the naive, surprisingly, and doesn’t endorse reparative therapy. Rather, Yeary endorses the old fall back: celibacy.
Via Box Turtle Bulletin:
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 Godâ€™s expectation. Only God can provide the spiritual strength for this difficult commitment.
So, we gays do have a spiritual value, so long as we restrain our sexual expression. That’s fair, although his opinions still offend: “Homosexuality breaks God’s law. Scripture is precisely prohibitive in defying homosexual practices. God views homosexuality as detestable.” He also describes homosexuality as “less than ideal and is the product of the fall of humanity.
Though he doesn’t necessarily believe in ex-gay therapies, Yeary clearly believes the gays can be saved via the power of Christ:
A significant key to hope for the homosexual is the response of Christians. Repulsive acts must not be permitted to cause us to reject persons. We must minister with grace to all who need love, respect, and forgiveness. We must repent of our arrogance and intolerance and learn to love the sinner convincingly while condemning sin clearly.
Some voters may find Yeary’s relative tolerance to be a blessing, but his ultimate take causes us concern:
Viewing persons and the practice of homosexuality from the perspective of biblical revelation is both responsible and redemptive. Biblical principles must take priority over public opinion or practice.
Religious hegemony? That’s far scarier than anything Wright ever dished out.