Wednesday, September 24, 2008

It's like Clay Aiken's opened the floodgates

Alright, technically, Ray Boltz came out before Clay Aiken but that just goes to prove how slippery these homosexual chappies are, doesn't it?

The name Ray Boltz might not mean much to you, but he's the guy who wrote one of the biggest Christian rock hits, Thank You. (It even got an airing during the mourning for Mother Theresa.) Given the fundamentalist American Christian position on man-on-man touching, for them, it's a bit like us discovering that Billy Bragg was a Young Conservative.

Talking to the Washington Blade, Boltz said he got tired of juggling two types of love:

“I thought I hid it really well,” he says. “I didn’t know people could see what I was going through, the darkness and the struggle. After I came out to my family, one of my daughters said she was afraid to walk in my bedroom because she was afraid she’d find me — that I’d done something to myself. And I didn’t even know they’d picked it up.”

Isn't darkness and struggle the sort of thing that churches are supposed to make easier, not worse?

Boltz is lucky - he's found a new church, one that does better with the concept of tolerance and love, and he has a profile and back catalogue which can ease the transition. The Blade, though, notes that previous, smaller Christian artists haven't exactly thrived since coming out:
Marsha Stevens, a Jesus Movement songwriter famous for the Christian folk song, “For Those Tears I Died,” a favorite in youth camps and churches for decades, came out in 1980. She was famously renounced by Bill Gaither, whom she’d been photographed with at one of his “Homecoming” concerts, in 2006.

Kirk Talley, a Southern Gospel singer (a slightly different genre than CCM, though there’s some overlap of the players), confessed to struggling with homosexuality and came out in GQ in 2005. He’s continued singing in churches but only because he’s categorized his sexual orientation as a burden to be carried.

Talley initially declined to be interviewed for this story saying he’d “been through enough hell,” but did consent to one comment: “I will definitely be in prayer for Ray,” he said in an e-mail. “He has no idea the crap he will have to endure.”

It's not all Christians, of course. It's just unfortunate that the louder the faction shouts, the narrower their hearts and minds appear to be.

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