Tuesday, December 19, 2006


In the Pink

Less famous than Ted Haggard but probably more instructive because of a greater openness on the pastor's part is the case of Rev. Paul Barnes of the 2,100-member Grace Chapel in Douglas County Colorado. Despite the size of his church, Barnes was no political mover and shaker wannabe.
He is a self-described introvert who avoids politics, preferring to talk about a Gen-X service at the nondenominational church he started 28 years ago in his basement, church officials said.

Barnes and Grace Chapel stayed out of the debate over Amendment 43, a measure approved by Colorado voters last month defining marriage as between one man and one woman.

"I can't think of a single sermon where he ever had a political agenda," said Dave Palmer, an associate pastor.
Early in December, the church got an anonymous call from someone supposedly "concerned for the welfare of Barnes and the church." Yeah, right! The caller had allegedly overheard a conversation in which someone mentioned "blowing the whistle" on evangelical preachers (Oh, Lordy!) who were engaged in homosexuality.
Now, the 54-year-old Barnes joins Haggard as a fallen evangelical minister who preached that homosexuality was a sin but grappled with a hidden life.
"I have struggled with homosexuality since I was a 5-year-old boy," Barnes said in the 32- minute video, which church leaders permitted The Denver Post to view. "... I can't tell you the number of nights I have cried myself to sleep, begging God to take this away."
But, of course, homosexuality is just a "lifestyle" that is chosen by 5 year olds who are led astray:

When Barnes experienced a Christian conversion at 17, it gave him a glimmer of hope. But his homosexual feelings never went away, he said. He said he cannot accept that a person is "born that way," so he looks to childhood influences.

Naturally, it never occurs to him that there is no real difference between sexual identity that is innate and that which is instilled before the age of moral responsibility. What is hard to understand is how any human being could stand the pain:
In their only talk about sex, Barnes said his father took him on a drive and talked about what he would do if a "fag" approached him.

Barnes thought, "'Is that how you'd feel about me?' It was like a knife in my heart, and it made me feel even more closed."

But maybe there is a real glimmer of hope for him:

Barnes expressed hope for a future where one can "be who you are" and be accepted and loved in the Christian community and also spoke about "separating some of the teachings from Scripture" from Jesus Christ.

The associate pastor for the church said that Barnes told him that he believes God views homosexuality as a sin, so he wasn't sure what Barnes meant by the above. I'm afraid no truer words were ever spoken.

Via Pharyngula.
Your image is wrong.

What you've got there is the symbol for Breast Cancer Awareness.

That symbol is pretty important to me and a lot of other people, so don't hijack it for something that it isn't appropriate for.

I think what you are looking for is this:

Rainbow Ribbon
You're absolutely right, of course, though I hardly think there is any denigration involved. I should not try to post anything in the AM before the coffee has completely kicked in. What I was groping for through the early morning haze was the pink triangle.
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