UPDATE: Church Warns Congregants Not To Read Rev. Makela Grindr Story, Deactivates FB Page

Screen Shot 2015-05-19 at 1.04.04 PMOn Monday, Queerty broke the news that Reverend Matthew Makela, a pastor in Midland, Michigan with a track record of making damaging statements towards the gay and transgender communities, had stepped down from his position at St. John’s Lutheran Church after his wife and church officials learned that he’d been cruising Grindr for sex with men.

The following day, the Senior Pastor of St. John’s, Reverend Daniel Kempin, posted an open letter to congregants on the church’s website.

Related: Another Day, Another Antigay Lawmaker Caught On Grindr

“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…”

Here’s the typical closed-door religious attitude that we find appalling. If Kempin had it his way, Rev. Makela would have broken ties with St. John’s congregation without ever having the “details of sin” made known to them.

His community would never have known that the man telling them being gay is a condition comparable to alcoholism and that gay marriage is just another blemish on the holy institution was in fact seeking the intimacy of men himself.

And not just a quick fling — he says in Grindr messages he likes to “make out naked,” “massage” and “cuddle.”

Related: Ex-Gay Activist Caught On Grindr: “Everyone Is A Hypocrite”

But don’t expect a conversation on what’s real to gain much traction at St. John’s.

“I write this to you to warn you that you may be confronted with the details of the sin, and to remind you that sin is never pretty,” writes Kempin. “Don’t panic…Don’t respond…Be patient and trust God. This too shall pass.”

He leaves the reader with one final piece of advice from scripture:

“Be very careful, then, how you live, not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity because the days are evil.”

You can read the full letter here. (NOTE: The church’s website is currently down, likely due to an overflow of traffic.)

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  • Josiah Shevlin

    you dont think members deserve the truth

  • Troy Geary

    Ha. Just turn it off. It does not exist. There is no truth to it. Put your heads in the sand.

  • Jimm Wiedeman

    Truth hurts. What a low life

  • Robert Becker

    The church will tell you what is true… the parishioners are just to believe.

  • Bobby Rosenthal

    Soooo glad he got busted! Praise da lawd.

  • Danny Severino

    I say let the family suffer..let some hetros know what it feels like

  • Tony Holewinski

    “Pay no attention to the man behind the curtain!”

  • Ryan Hall

    We need to keep re-posting this hopefully enough people will see this and know him to be the scum that he is

  • Billy Budd

    These guys are impossible. Disgusting hypocrites.

  • Jonty Coppersmith

    His wife and children should not have to suffer because of his actions, but obviously they will. I hope the man will examine his duplicity and change his judging ways.

  • AtticusBennett


    yes. the “harm” we intend, right/ NO NO NO.

    we’re attempting to undo the harm he’s inflicted on countless young LGBT people through his lies, deception and cowardice.

  • Kangol

    Why won’t people like him just get psychological help, rather than taking out their hateful self-loathing and repression on others? WHY? It is not so difficult to do these days, especially thanks to Obamacare (yes, Virginia, there is a mental health care component to the ACA).

    Just get the mental help you need,
    and leave the hate in the weeds!

  • AJAnders

    Something tells me this guy will be another Ted Haggard. He’ll go to “therapy” for a couple weeks and then declare to the world that he’s cured of the gay and then find a new church and be back to square one. Lather, rinse, repeat.

  • Raphael

    @Jonty Coppersmith: yes :( I hope she leaves him those women deserve so much better

  • Jeffrey Thomas

    typical fake christian response. Heads in the sand and blame it on Satan

  • Giancarlo85

    So the church basically wants their sheep to continue funneling money into their tax exempted organization, and not to read a story exposing them as hypocrites? Gotcha. I think these churches are more there to take money from people.

  • David Mitchell

    Wow….take down the page….seems they would like to put their head in the sand.

  • Kevin Cato

    Movie of the Week version of this story: “Details of the Sin.”

  • Navalator

    This Is so typical of the religious reich. Churches are primarily interested in milking money from their true believers. I will bet that this guy found god just about every night bent over in a dark place with his pants around his ankles. The cross on Sunday and the double cross every other day of the week.

  • jimh

    I think the church needs to check its definition of the word “confidential.” I don’t think posting your junk on Grindr qualifies…

  • Jaypa215

    This is why I don’t go to church pastors preaching the gospel but they don’t live by it. Grindr is running a lot of relationships people should realize is no secrets of what it’s about.

  • Shannon1981

    If we don’t let them see it, it doesn’t exist! Oh you morons, just face facts- your preacher is a flaming homo. Your congregation deserves the truth.

  • obiwanknobe

    It isn’t a good idea to tell parishioners to avoid details of the pastors escapades. You are encouraging them to find out more, if their attempt is to white wash this “scandal.” The parishioners probably already know all the sordid details of what happened here. This is a sad deal for wife and kids. These Lutherans are well known for treating families badly. I know because a LCMS deacon committed suicide and the church refused to give the deacon a burial and they shunned his family. The abuse is only beginning. I have witnessed this.

  • jwtraveler

    Individual delusion is called mental illness. Mass delusion is called religion.

  • gaym50ish

    “…details of sin that have been kept confidential…”

    Translation: “Details that we tried to cover up…”

    I’m certain that being told not to read the story will prompt the curious congregants to immediately seek out the story online. Maybe they’ll read some of our comments.

    Dear congregants: It’s not that we mind welcoming Rev. Makela as one of us. It’s the hypocrisy that drives us up the wall, and we know better than anyone how much hypocrisy there is in self-righteous groups like yours. We’ve slept with some of your hypocritical husbands.

  • David

    There is nothing good to be found in any of this. There is no silver lining in this story. The sad self hating homophobia and hypocrisy of Reverend Matthew Makela was the inevitable outcome of a trajectory in life that Matthew was set on long ago. It is the result of trying to live a double life, half in, half out of the closet. A closet constructed in no small part by the rabid obsession with all things Gay that runs rampant thought the. Lutheran Church Missouri Synod. (LCMS)

    I am sure there was a point in Makela’s life when this could have been avoided, It would have been a road not taken. Yet from the earliest age, this man was bombarded with messages of how he needed to hate .. himself. Messages from the both the pulpits and classrooms of the LCMS of how Gays are “attacking” the church and family. Near constant rants against welcoming and affirming churches and how God will (at some point) destroy those churches for daring to say that God loves everyone.

    This does not excuse Reverend Matthew Makela for his actions and choices, and let’s be clear they were his own conscious choices. Decisions that have destroyed not only his life, but that of his wife and children as well. As easy as it is to dismiss that destruction, as just another hypocrite getting what he deserves, there is more here to be pitied than scorned. The fact that the road to those choices was paved in no small way, long ago with the messages of self-hatred and fear that were pummelled into him from childhood.

    The great Stephen Fry has often remarked how the obsession with sex, all too common among many of the publicly self-righteous, is similar to those with unhealthy relationships with food. The only people who are truly obsessed with food are the anorexic and the morbidly obese. This in sexual terms describes the LCMS, to its core. An institutional obsession with homosexuality that, trumps all else. Even the message of the Gospels. An obsession that continues to claim victims. Be it with the deaths of gay kids driven to suicide, or adults like Matthew Makela, driven to try live lives of desperate hypocrisy.

    This whole sad and sordid outcome is in no small part, the. LCMS reaping what it has so enthusiastically sown.

  • Low Country Boy

    Whatever. Another closet case spewing hate and vitriol. Have a good life, Sir, and accept who you are.

  • NJjoe

    If there was a straight/gay fence? I say we toss him back!

  • Giancarlo85

    @David: Well there is a silver lining… he is discredited and hopefully cannot harm anyone else any further. He is a grown man with a mind of his own, and he should have thought over his actions a little better.

  • northern_imager

    @obiwanknobe: For his own mental and physical health and welfare Mr. Makela must leave the LCMS and seek help and support. The down side is that when he leaves he will leave behind any health insurance that might have helped him pay for psychological therapy. But that is probably mute because he will be asked to resign and lose that Concordia Health Care anyway.

  • northern_imager

    @David: Thank you for your thoughtful response to this tragic situation. I too have mixed feelings about what has happed to Mr. Makela. I was a 30 year pastor in the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, his denomination, and pastored three congregations in the “church closet,” with these differences: I never married because I knew it wouldn’t work; also I struggled to remain celibate; thirdly, I never preached, taught, or published any anti-gay rants but avoided the subject; finally, I never posted identifiable images of me on the internet. When I finally left the LCMS it was because I challenged my last congregation about its anti-gay stand and tried to get it to let me lead a study of what the bible really says and does not say about homosexuality which, because it would oppose what the official party line of the LCMS, was permitted and caused the congregation leadership to ask for my resignation. I resigned and left the LCMS ministry with my pension intact which couldn’t be taken from me since I was vested.
    I have great empathy for Mr. Makela. Like me he probably entered the ministry with mixed motivations, one of which was his bargain with god that if he did so god would “cure” him of what he saw a sinful state because this was what he had been indoctrinated with. This is probably also why he got married, because he understood it to be a “cure” for his sexual orientation.
    I hope that Mr. Makela will be able to get some legitimate psychological therapy and be able to come self-acceptance regarding his sexual orientation and get on with his life as a gay man, which would mean probably ending his marriage.
    Knowing the LCMS he will never work as a pastor again in that denomination. If he tries to stay in that denomination he will be persecuted and perhaps “encouraged” to go through “reparative therapy” and be “cured.”

  • David


    Thank you for sharing your story! I grew up ALC then ELCA. My Mom is an ELCA Pastor. I was blessed to grow up in a Lutheran Church that preached the grace of god above the bigotry of people. The power of the messages that come from the pulpit and the church school classrooms haave in shaping the self image of a young LGBT kid is enormous. I don’t excuse Makela’s adultery but like you I see him as more a damaged individual than villain.

  • Simon Alvani

    Dearly beloved… Do as I say, not as I do.

  • Iain David Mcauley

    What an idiot! I I have always found that guys who are married and are vehemently anti-gay, love cock on the side and live in terror that the wives/girllfriends might find out.

  • GG

    (Paraphrasing) “Don’t gain the knowledge of his sin by reading about it!”

    Sounds an awful lot like: “Don’t gain the knowledge of what’s good and evil by eating the forbidden fruit!”

    And we all know how that turned out.

  • MyFirstLove


    I spent twenty years as a congregant of St. John’s Lutheran Church, and my family and I know Pastor Makela fairly well. I spent those same twenty years being unquestionably and incurably homosexual.

    That being said, I have felt the anger that many of you have felt against Pastor Makela. On one occasion, he put an insert in the weekly bulletin that detailed how all homosexual people, regardless of whether they procreate or not, are going to hell. You can imagine my horror! For days, I thought about the severity of those words. How could he not realize that those words would only serve to alienate gay people and turn LGBT advocates away from the church? What souls would that vitriol bring to Christ?

    To my family, I was very vocal about how I felt about Pastor Makela and his insistent anti-gay views. However, when all of this came to the light, it suddenly made so much sense to me. In many ways, I can identify with his struggle to be “normal”. Midland, Michigan is a very conservative, traditional town. There are strong expectations from many families within the community to adhere to societal standards. My family shares in many of those expectations.

    As my same-sex attraction became increasingly evident to me, I started dating all sorts of men to attempt to convince everyone (including myself) that I was the same as everyone else. After a date, I would tell myself I had butterflies for whatever poor man I was stringing along. I did this for years until I finally grew weary of creating this lie of a life and felt guilty about hurting these men I would never grow to love.

    When Pastor Makela’s actions came to be known, I wasn’t angry. I felt almost relieved that I could understand why he was seemed so hateful. Because he hated who he was, he reserved all of his efforts for the combat of those feelings, the combat of these people. To hide this deep secret, he went to great lengths to leave no doubt how he felt about homosexuality. And in doing that, he hurt many people.

    However, I will not fire with fire. I will not take pleasure in the thought that he will struggle for many months to feed the mouths of his five beautiful children. I won’t smile at the thought of his wife crying herself to sleep at night wondering what else she doesn’t know about the man she married. He is broken now. His friends have turned on him and will speak to him no more.

    Instead, I pray for healing for him and for all of those he has hurt with his teachings. I pray for all of the children who looked up to him as a role model. I pray for his children who can’t figure out why Mom and Dad are fighting. I pray for the church to collectively come together to celebrate all that is good and not take pleasure in condemning things they don’t understand. As Christians, though we live clean lives to glorify God, it is critical that above all, we love everyone indiscriminately.

    I understand why many of you think he deserves all of this hatred, and I am sure I won’t change your way of thinking in these few paragraphs. I just hope that what I have shared with you will encourage you to rise above the pettiness. Can you imagine if some of the worst things you have done were suddenly printed in the newspaper? My mother would have a heart attack! Anyways, thank you for reading. May life bring you peace, love, and equality.

  • Jack Mitzenmacher

    I dunno…I’m on the fence about whether this is cool or not. I mean, yeah, the guy clearly was SO deep in the closet that he preached intolerance. But, by posting this, you’ve taken away his livelihood AND thrust him out of the closet. I’ve always been of the opinion that outing is a dick move (no pun intended).

  • Roger Rodriguez

    Human nature finds a way in the end.

  • Tana Butler

    Their entire website is down. You can view the cached content via Google. I found the comment on Queerty by MyFirstLove to be the most helpful. Hating this guy doesn’t help anyone.

  • David Lee

    Grindr is releasing peoples profiles? Well theres another reason in a long list of them that I’ll never join.

  • Stefano Gant

    Lol. Religion is a sin

  • erasure25

    @Josiah Shevlin: Since when is religion about truth?

  • AtticusBennett

    @MyFirstLove: ” I just hope that what I have shared with you will encourage you to rise above the pettiness. Can you imagine if some of the worst things you have done were suddenly printed in the newspaper? ”

    Like what? Being gay? Being sexually active with other gay men?

    Being gay isn’t a crime. Being sexually active with gay men isn’t a bad thing. You’re comparing an honest life with…what? Embarrassing or criminal activities?

    Nuance, boy. Learn it.

    what pettiness? this is a man who, had he not been busted, would have continued to possibly-irreparably HARM countless young LGBT people. perhaps even one of his own kids. or two of his own kids. and no doubt the gays kids in his congregation.

    the joy we’re taking is not in a hateful bigoted coward being hurt – but his hypocrisy being exposed, and the lies brought to light, and his entire ideology NEGATED.

    here’s an idea – if he repents, and dedicates his time and life to calling out the culture of ignorant bigotry that led him to be such a pathetic, cowardly, spineless excuse for a man, then i’m sure he’ll find redemptions and forgiveness.

    however, if he masks this outing with more lies, more promotions of bigotry, more declarations that being gay is a SIN, etc etc etc, then he deserves every OUNCE of the hatred, mockery and shame that comes his way. every. ounce.

    if he doesn’t work to undo the harm he’s inflicted on others, truly – he’s better off dead. because as long as he lives a life of lies and promotions of anti-LGBT bigotry and hatred he will be a destructive force.

  • lykeitiz

    @MyFirstLove: Well, I know this isn’t a popular phrase on this site (or many others), but when I read your letter, all I could think was “Amen”!

    The worst thing I have heard attributed to this man was the story you just told about the bulletin. When it comes to the printed quotes I’ve read on websites, honestly, his aren’t that bad. There are WAY worse out there. Trying to preach what you read in the Bible and spreading hate are two very different things. In the quote they’re using regarding Trans people, nowhere in it does he even remotely disparage true Trans individuals.

    It seems the more that we (& I am including myself in this) gain our long-overdue equality, the quicker we are to pounce on others. I’m sure it’s a natural reaction for anyone who has been unfairly treated as long as we have.

    However, this should be our time to rise above, not behave the way “they” always have.

    And when it comes to this guy, there are way worse creatures out there for us to dig our claws into.

    Thank you for sharing your personal experience. I too was raised in the church (Methodist), and when you know people like this, things are not so black & white.

    Like you pointed out, his upcoming financial problems won’t just affect him. There is his family to consider, and if he’s truly one of “us”, then he should be helped out, not deomonized.

  • AtticusBennett

    @lykeitiz: specifics please – how do you specifically think the LGBT communities should “help” this man, who thus far has done nothing but promote prejudice, hatred, bigotry and lies against us

    i want your list of specifics.

    “there are way worse cultures?” um, your parents weren’t ashamed to you’re gay because of Muslims. They were ashamed that you were gay because of the church they attended.

    “love the sinner, hate the sin” ruins more lives, drives apart more families, and drives more LGBT youth to suicide than “god hates fags” ever has or ever will.

    “there is his family to consider” – yeah, and one of his kids might be gay. and there’s the gay kids in his congregation whom he’s not helped AT ALL with his promoting of ignorant bigotry.

    rise above? not behave the way “THEY” have? how have THEY behaved? they’ve lied. they’ve sold lies and promoted hatred.

    what are we doing? dragging the lies into the bright light of day. calling out the hypocrisy and cowardice. we’re fighting lies with glaring truth, and you have a problem with that?

    you wimps are so typical.

  • MyFirstLove

    @AtticusBennett: @AtticusBennett:

    When I speak of printing someone’s worst deeds in the newspaper, I am speaking specifically about cheating on his wife. His sin was not being bisexual, it was turning his back on his family.

    Atticus, I agree with you on many points. I feel that same rejoicing in knowing that some of his teachings about homosexuality will be questioned. Hypocrisy is a hard pill to swallow. Was Pastor Makela full of it when he decided to make those comments? Absolutely. When I speak of pettiness, I am in disagreement only with the cruel comments and name calling. I just don’t think they are necessary in any circumstance. Seeing that he’s from my hometown, it’s coming at me from all angles.

    My hope is that some positive may come out of this momentous turning point in his life. Perhaps this is a little too ambitious, but like you, I think now is the occasion where he can use his experiences to live an authentic and loving life with the LGBT community. I pray he doesn’t act like it was a one time thing and go back to his old ways of teaching. There are plenty of LGBT people who would benefit if he would be honest about his struggles.

    To be honest, I think many Christians follow the American-crafted version of what they think religion should be. Faith doesn’t highlight certain sins that are worse than others. This country hates homosexuality, but accepts divorce and fornication. There are six bible verses that speak about homosexuality and thousands that speak of love. We are losing perspective about what is truly important. There are people starving, and we are worried about other things people do in their private lives that don’t even affect us.

    Anyways, thank you for the thoughtful reply.

  • Jim Guinnessey

    It’s not only the Catholic Church that’s guilty of prejudice and cover-ups.

  • christopherducati

    Thank Got there were no nudes!

  • lykeitiz

    @AtticusBennett: Learn to read, you ignorant troll. I said “creatures” not “cultures”.

    And learn grammar while you’re at it: “your parents weren’t ashamed to you’re gay because of Muslims” Nice. And I love the added touch of dragging Muslims into this.

    And then there’s this: “rise above? not behave the way “THEY” have? how have THEY behaved? they’ve lied. they’ve sold lies and promoted hatred.” Um……yeah. That actually was exactly my point, which you would have gotten if you had any comprehensive skills.

    After projecting about my family as if you know them, you end that loveliness by calling me a wimp.

    Go crawl back under your bridge, you useless insane troll.

  • mcflyer54

    ‘the days are evil”. Actually the “days” are not evil at all – however, what most certainly be evil is someone lying, cheating and deceiving in the name of their God. The congregation needs to know of the sinful actions of their former associate pastor so that they can decide for themselves. Hiding things like this only makes the situation worse than it already is. Where are all those God fearing church goers who never hesitate to tell gays that they “hate the sin but love the sinner” – don’t see this group, especially the head pastor, extending his hand to the sinner they always profess to love.

  • AtticusBennett

    @lykeitiz: can’t address it, eh?

    this man promoted bigotry, ignorance, prejudice, discrimination and no doubt has made life terrifying for the LGBT kids growing up in his bigoted church.

    they’ve lied about LGBT people. we’re not lying by calling out his lies and cowardly bigotry. we’re not being “like them” by dragging this awful man kicking and screaming from the closet. he brought it on himself, and deserves every ounce of the shaming he’s currently getting.

    now, specifics – what SPECIFICS should we be doing to “help” this man? perhaps you can start by making a youtube video showing yourself and what you personally plan to do to help him?

  • David Bolton

    “…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.”

    TRANSLATION: “One of our public relations officials has damaged the propaganda and advertising program by participating in the very activity we’re using as a deterrent to keep our membership in line. This is a concerted effort so that they continue to value our services and pay our salaries and increase the value of our business. Obviously our stockholders are upset by such actions, and we are taking every measure to see that the damage is restricted and our reputation and branding are preserved.”

  • da90027

    Thank god I’m an athiest

  • Derek Williams

    Religion is the scourge of the homosexual. It is the scourge of humanity and is mostly harmful.

  • Doughosier

    Another tragedy here is Makela himself. A gay man no doubt brought up from a young age to believe his nature was evil.

  • davey14

    A little late, its on the front page of the Midland Daily News as of May 20,2015.

  • PaulaSue

    The person who posted an invitation to go to a link that had his most exciting threesome or something like that, was setting us up for malware. Luckily my security systems caught it and removed the threat. Another feature of my computer told me it couldn’t be downloaded anyway.

  • LadyL

    This guy wanted to get caught–and by his wife, who probably already knew anyway or at least suspected. He couldn’t summon the courage to come out into the open so he got “careless.” Classic. I feel sorry for his kids. For him, not so much.

  • LadyL

    Jeez, Queerty. Fix your buggy site, willya? It took three tries to publish my comment!

  • Greg Skorich

    this church is protecting him. why? isn’t he a gay man? isn’t this church against gay people?

  • Black Pegasus

    Praise Black Jesus!

  • Sam Marques

    I’m not sure whether I should be disappointed in Queerty for forcibly outing this man, or whether I shouldn’t be surprised that a rag like Queerty would forcibly out a man.

  • gsneide

    Here is an interesting back story to this: Pastor Makela hails from Green Bay, WI. It appears his younger brother, Wayne Makela–who was a coach and teacher at a Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod school there in Green Bay–was convicted last year of molesting a 13-year-old boy on his basketball team and is now serving time. He is(was?) also married. Their father is employed as a teacher’s aide at that same church school. A sad state of affairs for the extended family. It makes me wonder what those brothers experienced growing up.

  • Riotgirl41

    Luke 8:17 “For all that is secret will eventually be brought into the open, and everything that is concealed will be brought to light and made known to all.”
    They’ll blame gayness for his sins rather than the lying, cheating, deceiving and ridiculing.
    I’ll pray for that idiot and everyone else hurting others to cover their own dirt.

  • MrEguy

    Such LYING HYPOCRITES “the details of sin that have been kept confidential are being posted online by those who seek to do harm” WHAT ABOUT THE HARM THIS CLOSET QUEEN DID TO THE LGBT COMMUNITY WITH HIS HATE SPEECH?

  • blackberry finn

    What better way to ensure that every congregation member does a Web search of the Pastor’s “sin”.. Telling Johnny not to eat the cookie just makes him want it. What the pastoral message does, rather, is impose a ban on talking about it. Everyone will be afraid to admit they searched and looked, so the hypocrisy can flow unchallenged….

  • blackberry finn

    @Black Pegasus: No, Praise Yellowish-Brown Jesus!

  • Matt1961

    What’s with this author, what’s with our community. Why would we need to pursue this man, persecute him? He’s already lost his job, his family most likely, his dignity and his self respect. what can we take away from him now by continually driving home the fact that he’s a loser. Yes he spoke out against homosexuality. Yes he was a closeted homophobe. Yes he got his comeuppance. Let him go away and figure out he was the bully instead of the bullied. Let him come to grips with the fact that you cannot change your sexual orientation no matter how loud you cry wolf. Let him live through the self loathing and shame we have all lived through to some extent before realizing HE’S A HUMAN BEING and deserves happiness just like all of us. Leave Brittany Alone!.. wait, what just happened…

    We don’t need to nail this knucklehead to a cross, he’s already working the nails in himself. Let him marinate in his own juices for a while and see if the can come out of the oven a finished ham or a turkey.

  • billeetee

    And you wonder why so many people are pulling away from religion. The lies, the deceit, the hypocricy. And this solution: if we don’t have to read about it then it won’t be real.

    Obviously The Truth Shalt Not Set You Free!

  • Sukhrajah

    Where is the Westboro Baptist Church now?

  • David Bolton

    “here’s an idea – if he repents, and dedicates his time and life to calling out the culture of ignorant bigotry that led him to be such a pathetic, cowardly, spineless excuse for a man, then i’m sure he’ll find redemptions and forgiveness.”

    Yup. Actions speak far louder than “I’m sorry.”

    And Queerty didn’t exactly “forcibly out” anyone. He plopped his face pics in the middle of Grindr.

  • AtticusBennett

    @Sam Marques: he Outed himself by being on Grindr. he perjured himself by being a pathetic harmful anti-gay bigot hypocrite.

    this man has no doubt caused massive harm to all of the young LGBT people living in fear in his church. you reap what you motherf***ing sow.

  • Michael

    @David: there is more here to be pitied than scorned

    That would be true if the only mistakes he made were to lie to himself and hurt his family. But he also was also doing active harm to the LGBT community. That hypocrisy goes beyond pity and rightly gets scorn and derision in my book.

  • Palto

    @Kevin Cato: or how about the movie of the week about this called “Mother, may I cuddle with danger?”

  • 808Skinhead

    Well if that’s not a classic case of “see no evil, hear no evil, speak no evil”, then I don’t know what is.

  • jason smeds

    The Reverend Makela appears to have been seeking some sexual enjoyment. There’s nothing wrong with that.

    In a general sense, if a man is not receiving sexual enjoyment from his wife, he has a right to seek it from others.

  • Rich Herling

    Hate the sinner. Love the sin. #literally.

  • martinbakman

    @Jeffrey Thomas: …and to some degree a few among the flock will wonder if the wife had just lost a few pounds, paid more attention to her appearance and treated him like a king, perhaps this could have been avoided.

    That really gets me when these X-tians try to focus on the wife.

  • obiwanknobe

    @northern_imager: I hope he does leave the Missouri Synod and get some psychological help, because it has to be devastating even though he is responsible for all of this. I forgive him for his attacks on gay and transgendered people. I know this is controversial on this blog, but maybe the rest of Mr. Makelas life will be happier, and he won’t be the worse for all of this. In the short term I am also concerned about his children and possibly soon to be ex wife. This is going to be tough for them.

  • captainburrito

    “Don’t panic…Don’t respond…Be patient and trust God. This too shall pass.”

    Maybe christians in general could practice what they preach and stop actively opposing gay rights then. Or does this advice only come into play when one of their own sin and they want to sweep it under the carpet?

  • esemple

    Why? Church members might like it???

  • lelandia80

    Well now – this is interesting. Hypocrite you say? This is what I find funny. This man teaches that Homosexuality is a sin, akin to lying or stealing, and then he goes out and does it. OH GOD! Crucify this prick! Right? RIGHT???
    Because that’s what everyone on here is doing. You’re condemning this man for thinking something is wrong, telling people it is, and then going out and doing it. That’s just UNFORGIVABLE isn’t it. I’m sure NOBODY here has ever done that! I’m sure everyone on here who’s ever cheated on a spouse, stolen something, lied, committed fraud or spread hate has NEVER labeled those things as wrong, and openly tells everyone they know that it’s a-okay to do those things. Because if you haven’t, guess what?
    Chances are you’ve spent your life telling others that those behaviors are wrong, and that we shouldn’t do them. That’s the nature of sin / misbehavior / immoral behavior, whatever you want to call it. We all know it’s wrong, but it’s easier to do it than it is to resist it. This man was filled with lust toward the same sex, yet his personal belief system forbids it. Image the struggle he had to face every day? Imagine the guild, and the shame, and the sorrow. But I’m sure nobody here knows what guilt or shame feels like.
    So, I’ll just leave it to the master, and use his words : “Let he who has no sin throw the first stone.” Obviously there are a lot of people here who have never said one thing and then done the opposite, or downed somebody for their behavior and then went and did the exact same thing. It’s human nature people.
    Good God. Grow a brain.
    Better yet, take a look at your heart. You have just as much hate in you as you claim that he has in his.

  • MyFirstLove


    I completely agree. As a congregant that has been shamed directly by Pastor Makela, I can say that I never really liked him very much. I couldn’t understand why he was so heavy handed with the LGBT community. If the goal of Christianity is bringing souls to the love of God, how would such vitriol contribute to this aspiration? But, I think if I can forgive him, then it’s possible for others to let it go as well.

    He’s a hypocrite. He lied and wrote inflammatory remarks that caused pain for many in the LGBT community. But, where does his punishment end? I spoke with my parents about him last night, and they told me that he had to leave town to escape the reporters bombarding his home. His friends have abandoned him. How will he make a living? Anyone who Googles his name will no doubt encounter hundreds of articles about an indiscretion he made that has characterized his entire being.

    As a gay woman in that conservative community, I know the pressures he faced to attain “normalcy”. I know how many men I dated to convince everyone that I was just like everyone else. I’d envy these women who were content to find love in a traditional relationship and imagine how much easier their lives must be. In no way does that excuse the hatred. He took it way too far, but I’m just not willing to hate him for the remainder of my life because he made a mistake.

    I think it’s better to spend energy on fighting for equality than bashing someone who has received the ultimate punishment.

  • AtticusBennett


    thing is – how many young people has he already driven to suicide? how many young people are trapped in terror BECAUSE of his role in all of this?

    the ONLY thing that will redeem him is honesty, and actively working to undo all the harm he has inflicted.

    anything less means he deserves every ounce of the misery heading his way. as long as he promotes the ideas that being gay is sinful, and gay sex is a sin, and we’re doomed to hell – he is the ENEMY.

    it’s very simple – work to undo the hatred you’ve promoted and harm you’ve inflicted. or reap every ounce of pain that you’ve sown.

  • AtticusBennett

    @lelandia80: no. we’re calling out his hateful, harmful promotions of lies and bigotry.

    you’re…what, exactly? it sounds like the usual ramblings from a miserable conservative gay with no brains at their disposal.

    there. one of no doubt many young people who nearly took their own life because of this man.

    it’s rather simple – if you’re not ready to come out, don’t be a closeted hateful BIGOT as part of your “not ready to be Out” disguise.

    there is a very simple way for him to earn forgiveness – call out the bigotry that has led him to live a lie. call out his complicity in harming others. and work the rest of his life to stop religiously-fueled anti-LGBT bigotry.

    your post was stupid. thanks for sharing.

  • MyFirstLove


    I’m not debating the severity of the terror he has caused, but I’m also not going to play the victim forever. No one needs to be trapped in terror for the remainder of our lives. The hypocrisy is called out. It’s not a secret anymore.

    At some point, for him to be able to work towards making ammends for the egregious ways that he treated LGBT members, people have to give him a second chance. He needs to be able to pick himself up and learn how to undo the harm he caused. With people stepping on him, name calling, and sending him hate mail, he’s not going to be able to do this. Never in a million years did I ever think I would defend this man, but I think some people would rather crucify him than let him find something positive to bring to the LGBT community from his experiences.

    I won’t speak ill of the congregation member that you cited in the article above except to say that I know him and think that this was a great opportunity for him to enjoy the spotlight. I don’t have any doubt in my mind that Pastor Makela caused him great pain, but I think many would agree that to call WNEM and confirm what they already know just to appear on television is a bit of sensationalism.

    Although we clearly disagree on some things, I admire your tenacity and think we need that type of persistence to make strides towards equality.

  • Mark Eichorn

    Our Lutheran Church is open, but he is in Missouri synod which isn’t.

  • tony4444

    @AtticusBennett: Here are some observations and thoughts. As a gay man (hopefully even if I was straight), I totally agree that his anti-gay preaching was wrong, hypocritical, harmful, etc. However, this is not so black and white as you and many others describe it. Like it or not, he is part of the overall LGBT community. Everyone who is LGBT is whether or not they are out. I can understand not wanting to support him, but I don’t think his actions were due to evilness. People handle being gay differently, some much better and healthier than others. You have no idea of what in his life made him choose the path that he did, but one thing is certain, he definitely needs psychological counseling. I think the following commenters have made valid points: MyFirstLove, Matt1961, lelandia80, obiwanknobe, David, northern_imager, lykeitiz, Jonty Coppersmith, Sam Marques. They do not give this very flawed human being right, but they are more compassionate and understanding and understand that life is not so black and white. I especially feel very bad for his wife and children who have done nothing wrong, but are obviously experiencing deep pain. Contrary to your postings, you’re not judge and jury but you do seem like a very angry person. Maybe you should take a look at yourself before judging others so harshly. Again, I in no way condone or minimize his actions in any way. I do think that LGBT people sometimes treat others in the same way that we rightfully fight against.

  • fingertrouble


    I don’t believe in sin, as a religious thing or a concept, but I agree everyone has their flaws. But I’ve chosen a path many decades ago where I live with truth – my truth, not a faith-based truth which oddly seems to lead to lying – and the consequences. I don’t see why you need to be compassionate or tolerant of those who say one thing then do another? I don’t think it helps any of the nice loving and honest people of faith inc Christians I know to allow such behaviour to go unchecked…as we’ve seen with at least one LGBTQ teen who was told that suicide was an option (or inferred it was) by this man. Sorry I can hear tiny violins playing the sympathy tune for this man…thoroughly evil. And not a man of God, trust, faith or honour or however you want to roll it.

    So I can happily say, no I’ve never hurt anyone with my ‘lifestyle’ – not that it is a ‘choice’ but I’ve never dated anyone of another sex pretending to be ‘straight’ – I’ve never married or had children, and when out I’ve taken the obvious attacks, insults and hit to your career that this entails. So why should I be tolerant of those who took the coward’s path, one that I understand having done it til the age of 23 – with no sex with anyone, yes I was a virgin – til that time – when I have taken the better path of not misleading people, not flaking out on them, not trying to be anyone I wasn’t (although for a long time I probably was seen as asexual…but that was nothing to do with me, I never said I was)…but even worse I should be tolerant of those who use that closeted position to be hateful and cause harm?

    The answer is: no.

    No for all those people who came out when it was illegal. No for all those people who have been attacked, killed and their careers shitcanned for being LGBTQ. No for all those people who fought for my rights, the rights to even HAVE an app called Grindr. For those people, it’s just too offenseive to their memory to be even tolerant or loving with people like this Pastor. I feel sympathy for the innocents – his wife and children – but if he wants love go to his church and see if they believe his ‘sin’ being momentary. Love thy neighbour as they say? But I’m not a Christian, sorry.

  • tricky ricky

    @MyFirstLove: a) your prayers won’t do a damn bit of good. they are meaningless gestures designed to make YOU feel better. there is no supernatural religion is a scam. b) IT WAS HIS OWN BLOODY CHOICE TO DO ALL OF THIS. he’s getting his well deserved comeuppance. he deserves to be vilified and all those that cause and allow the culture that bred an individual like this need to be vilified.

  • tricky ricky

    @MyFirstLove: read the article about how he almost drove a kid to suicide then just shut the hell up.

  • tricky ricky

    @Matt1961: these religious freaks claim they must be believed that it is a fact gay people choose to be gay. and then they go out and CHOOSE to do these things. they deserve to be smacked back for their hypocrisy.

  • tricky ricky

    @lelandia80: methinks thou dost protest too much. sit down, shut up, and go troll somewhere else. GAYS ARE THE VICTIMS OF PEOPLE SUCH AS HIM. there is no sympathy for the hypocritical liar. he deserves vilification and to be shamed by the people he persecuted.

  • AtticusBennett

    @tony4444: i know exactly why he’s done what he’s done. it’s textbook. this is not a “NEW” thing.

    gay man born to anti-gay people, in an anti-gay church, in an anti-gay community who lives his whole life spending each day working to convince people he’s not gay. the go-to disguise is to be anti-gay. “nobody will suspect i’m gay if i preach against gays”, they think.

    alas, it’s the NUMBER ONE disguise.

    “Maybe you should take a look at yourself before judging others so harshly”

    Actually, that’s what he should have done. I’ve been the bullied target of anti-gay bigots since i was a child. i came out as a teenager. i have fought tooth-and-nail for the life i have today.

    as i said earlier, i have sympathies for everyone born into ignorant and bigoted families and communities. but he’s not the only homo to grow up in a homo-hating church and household. almost ALL of us are.

    he, however, chose a coward’s path.

    i’ll forgive him, 100%, and support him – the moment he does the right thing and works to undo his years of religiously-fueled bigotry.

    as for the “i aint gay, i’m against gays!” phenomenon – i leave you with this:

  • porno

    This is story of the day for me. I am not actually feeling bad myself.

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