Friday, November 03, 2006

Three days in a row now...

So the story of the evangelical pastor and the escort continues and gets sadder and more bizarre. After reading first thing that some admissions had been made, I guessed that the pastor's move would be to admit the drugs and deny the sex. Guess what. He'd have been more believable if he had not tossed in the bit about never using the drugs. Meanwhile the escort took a lie detector test which, though the tester had reservations about its validity, indicated some deception. Further, the escort indicated in an interview with the gay press, published on (go look) that he wishes the pastor no ill will and hopes the pastor can continue with the church.

Is either of these guys for real??

I sure don't know what's true and what's not, but what seems clear to me is that if there was a sexual relationship this is a perfect illustration of why sex, especially clandestine sex, cannot be simply "a private matter between consenting adults." First, there is never any guarantee it is private. Second, it absolutely affects far more than the two "consenting adults." I imagine that, if there WAS a sexual connection, the pastor's family, friends, church, and political allies will suffer and suffer badly. From fellow students in parish settings I am hearing stories about the brokenness that illicit sex causes in church communities. The attendant lies, deceptions, hypocrisy--these are damaging behaviors. Some say that promoting a "sex positive" theology would be good, that what causes so much trouble in churches is the notion that sex and sexual pleasure are bad. I don't know how this plays out when a pastor chooses illicit sex; would a sex-positive theology allow the pastor to face her/his needs more openly and seek to attend to those needs in a more ethical manner? I don't know. That might happen in some cases, but in the case of wealthy and privileged persons it seems likely that such a theology would simply allow them more permission to do what they want. Perhaps I am just too cynical.

One can imagine that a lot of shame and a lot of denial have to be operating, to make a highly visible person take a huge risk for sex. Perhaps a combination like that, along with opportunity, explains what often looks from the outside like sheer stupidity.

On the other hand, if the escort is lying about the sexual connection, what on earth would justify telling such a story?


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