leaves of absence

Lutheran Pastor Tom Brock Gets 2 Weeks Off For Having Sex in Slovakia

Plenty has been said about the ethics of reporters infiltrating the “12-step” program for recovering homosexuals frequented by Pastor Tom Brock — the closeted Lutheran pastor who blamed that tornado during ELCA’s vote on gay clergy on The Gays. Like how it’s wrong to invade meetings where privacy is of utmost importance to achieve betterment. But such arguments ignore the type of meetings Brock attends. The support groups sponsored by Faith In Action, the Minnesota chapter of “”the global Catholic gay-chastity-maintenance organization” Courage (and perhaps not to be confused with Faith 2 Action and Faith & Action), resemble the recovery techniques of Alcoholics Anonymous only in their logistics: group sharing, coffee and donuts. But then there’s the Bible-based means of denigrating same-sex attraction. Yes, Brock’s so-called therapy group is for ex-gays (and wannabe ex-gays), but it also serves as a strategy session for the mental release of the very same-sex attraction these men rally — and in Brock’s case, preach — against. Either way, it got Brock ousted, at least temporarily.

The expose filed by Lavender magazine’s John Townsend about Brock, the preacher at Hope Lutheran Church in North Minneapolis, involved Townsend posing as a gay man in need of recovery. And the church isn’t denying his findings that Brock confessed to some sexual slippage on a trip to Slovakia. But it isn’t confirming it either.

In the meantime, they’ve put Brock on administrative leave while they investigate, uh, something. His sexuality? Brock’s supervisor Pastor Tom Parrish says it’ll take about two weeks, and in the meantime they removed all his videos from the web (though Queerty saved the one about the tornado).

It’s unclear whether Brock will continue hosting his six-times-a-week radio show while his church looks into whether he can control his gay urges, but probs not, ’cause, awkward, right?

The Rev. James Livingston, a Catholic priest and the chaplain at North Memorial Hospital, says Townsend’s report about Brock “wasn’t so much an ethical decision as a hate crime.” Targeting anti-gay gays because of their religious-based hatred? Where does it end.