Disclaimer: This post mentions Presidential Candidate Pete Buttigieg because of the attack on him being a gay man of faith. This post is not an endorsement of Mayor Pete for President. Thrive LGBT+ will speak to public policy and cultural issues but is not a political organization and does not exist for political reasons. We want to carefully confront religious stigma in all forms to stop the harm, humanize the issues, and advocate for full equality and inclusion of LGBTQ+ people.
This article is in response to Dr. Michael Brown’s article from the infamous Charisma News website, “I Will Say What the Political Leaders Cannot Say About Pete Buttigieg.” It’s a classic example of how someone deludes themselves into thinking they are not promoting cultural stigma against LGBTQ+ people even though it is obvious they are. I have excerpted parts of the article and added responses after each quote.
Let’s get started. Dr. Brown writes:
It is certainly politically incorrect to say this. In fact, in the eyes of many, what I’m about to say is a classic example of extreme religious bigotry. But I will say it nonetheless. Choosing an out and proud “married” gay man to run for president, let alone become president, would contribute to the further degeneration and moral confusion of our society along with further attacks on our most fundamental rights.
Dr. Brown that it is married, not “married.”
Brown is right; it is a “classic example of extreme religious bigotry,” but he left off this part, “which is rehashed/repurposed cultural stigma during an election year to generate fear and drive people to the polls.” Otherwise known as political trolling, not the Good News.
The only way our society is confused is in how US evangelical Christians can be so hypocritical. It is confounding how they can condemn a candidate about one aspect of his not-a-pathological-liar kind of life and excuse a myriad of other ways current leaders use and abuse people. Many Western evangelicals will find ways to support a multitude of attacks against the LGBTQ+ community in history and over the last four years, support misogyny, turn away the poor and needy, bow the knee at the altar of greed, and worshipping Trump.
It’s simple. Mayor Pete is as Christian and “saved” as anyone else, and he is as married to his husband as Brown is to his wife both legally and spiritually. In my opinion, Mayor Pete is more wholesome, honest, and Christ-like than Dr. Brown or Trump. Perhaps Brown and his crew should focus on the confused moral degeneration in his ranks before questioning and judging a good and healthy gay man’s faith and heart.
When I tweeted this statement out on Feb. 8, it received far more retweets and likes than my average tweet. Far more. So, it obviously struck a chord. The support was strong and consistent.
Also, as expected, there were words of condemnation and rebuke, including this tweet from Bible teacher Gilbert Gonzalez Jr. He wrote: “Please tell me this tweet is from a different century. There is no way that anyone today that has any education would ever write something so generally uninformed, childish, and biblically ignorant. This is why people don’t take Christianity seriously. Its leaders refuse to learn.”
Obviously, I fully expected responses like this. That’s why I began my tweet by saying, “Call me a homophobic bigot, but I’ll say it anyway.”
I’ve met Dr. Brown in a few green rooms at conferences in the past. I know he enjoys this kind of stuff. He enjoys creating negative energy and trying to excuse it as being a prophetic (truth-telling) voice. He plays the “I knew I would be attacked” role, but there was no attack; strong response and opposition is not an attack. They are what they are, strong responses and opposition. Attacks are when you initiate going after someone by name and condemn them as a person, scare quote “mock” their relationships, and negatively judge their spiritual condition… you know… kind of like how Brown attacked Mayor Pete.
Dr. Brown knew he was trolling for internet traffic, and he got it. All contrived planned and expected. He is participating in what seems to be a ritualized fear-mongering technique rolled out by religious activists every election cycle at the expense of LGBTQ+ people. Even with all the hollow disclaimers of “loving the sinner,” he knows what he is doing, which is pure and straightforward fear-based manipulation.
What else could I expect? The moment you say a word about Mayor Pete being “married” to another man, all while flaunting his deep Christian faith, you will be called a homophobic bigot.
So be it. I’ve been called worse things than that.
Come to think of it, Jesus Himself, our perfect Savior, was called far worse things.
And He told us to expect the same: “It is enough for the disciple that he be like his teacher, and the servant like his master. If they have called the master of the house Beelzebub, how much more will they call those of his household?” (Matt. 10:25).
Dr. Brown, it’s married, not “married.”
Mayor Pete is also “shining his light” before the world as Jesus told us to do, not flaunting. Dr. Brown is called a homophobic bigot because he sure knows how to act like one. He should focus on improving the moral fabric of our country by embracing his LGBTQ+ siblings in Christ instead of bearing false witness against them.
There is nothing similar to Christ in what Dr. Brown wrote. Not a thing. Christ never spoke against Rome or the LGBTQ+ people who followed Him. He never participated in Roman politics or told people they had to do so. Jesus was called those names by religious leaders who said He (the literal incarnation of God) was not a true believer in God. Those religious leaders accused Jesus of blasphemy for daring to live and preach the Living Gospel. His Life transcended the ingrained toxic theology born out of cultural stigma.
They, like Dr. Brown, were convinced their bigotry was the only loving and right response for the broader population. Dr. Brown as a modern legalistic religious leader defending toxic theology while attacking another younger believer in his 30’s, makes Pete more like Christ than Dr. Brown (Jesus was crucified when He was 33.)
According to professor Randall Rauser, however, to call me a homophobic bigot is not out of line. (Professor Rauser is a moderate Canadian evangelical and a constant basher of President Trump.) As he wrote in his blog, “Behavior and reasoning like this provide very plausible evidence that Christians like Brown have an irrational fear of and/or antipathy toward gay people.”
Good point Randall Rauser.
Indeed, according to professor Rauser, “Evangelicals like Brown fall over themselves to excuse Trump’s grotesque immorality. … Among his latest egregious actions, last week he mocked the words of Jesus at the National Prayer Breakfast while evangelical pastors laughed in the audience.”
First, I have never excused the president’s past immorality. In fact, I probably called attention to it as much as any evangelical leader during the primaries. To say, I “fall over [myself] to excuse Trump’s grotesque immorality” is to speak a lie.
So, to brand me hypocritical for speaking out against Mayor Pete’s proud homosexuality is to be either misinformed, dishonest or both.
But there is a much bigger issue that the critics are missing.
President Trump is not flaunting his past immorality, nor is he pushing it presently. Instead, when the ugly tape of his lewd comments went public, he said, “I’ve never said I’m a perfect person, nor pretended to be someone that I’m not. I’ve said and done things I regret, and the words released today on this more than a decade-old video are one of them. Anyone who knows me knows these words don’t reflect who I am. I said it, I was wrong and I apologize …. I pledge to be a better man tomorrow and will never, ever let you down.”
Mayor Pete has and is living an honest life. Open about his faith and marriage, like any average person who has a public profile does, and somehow that is flaunting present immorality?
In contrast, what is Trump doing by paying off porn stars, firing people who don’t protect his narcissistic view of himself, bullying opponents with mockery and name-calling on the daily and refusing to live transparently? Not to mention, he is still accused of over 20 sexual assaults, ripping poor immigrant families apart, and putting children in cages on the border. Trump put Ukrainian lives in danger by withholding aid until he gets personal kickbacks in political favors and consistently and flagrantly exploits racist tropes. All this and somehow, a forced apology four years ago is going to erase the flaunting of Trump’s present immorality?
In stark contrast, Mayor Pete has talked about how his homosexual relationship to his “husband” Chasten has brought him closer to God. He has kissed his partner at public rallies. He is pushing his homosexuality, not apologizing for it.
It’s husband, not “husband.” It’s also husband, not “partner.”
Being married to your perfect complement is to know and be known; to love and be loved. For people of faith, this dynamic is how we bear the image of God together in a way that we can’t do alone. He kisses and holds hands with his husband like every politician who brings their spouse to an event would do. He’s not pushing anything. Mayor Pete doesn’t have any reason to apologize for living and participating in the process as an equal and doing what normal people do.
You better believe he will do everything in his power to normalize homosexual relationships even more in the eyes of America. He will also do his best to marginalize those who are convinced that these relationships are contrary to the will of God.
Mayor Pete doesn’t have to normalize it because it is already normal to be who he is created to be. Just because Dr. Brown doesn’t see it as normal doesn’t mean it isn’t. Plus, Mayor Pete wouldn’t marginalize anyone from what I can see. He’s not that kind of person.
With an article like his, Dr. Brown cannot say the same.
That said, it’s people like Dr. Brown who are marginalizing the conservative Christian by embracing bigotry and excusing it away as God’s will. Zero energy has to be expended to marginalize Dr. Brown because he does it himself every time he arrogantly judges the soul of another person and encourages others to do the same.
And this leads me to the primary reason for my tweet (and for this article).
It is not so much that homosexual practice is worse than adultery or fornication. Rather, it is the fact that there is an aggressive, gay agenda that has systematically undermined biblical morals for decades. It has also sought to silence all dissenting voices, becoming the principal threat to our religious and moral freedoms.
That’s why I’ve been active in resisting LGBT activism since 2004, reaching out to individuals with compassion but resisting the agenda with courage. …
It is an agenda that would only be fueled with great intensity by an out and proud gay president.
Instead, it has everything to do with recognizing where gay activism has taken us in the last 50-plus years and recognizing where it wants to take us next.
I, for one, will continue to sound the alarm in advance.
We avoid them to our own demise.
There is nothing courageous about Dr. Brown’s “resistance.” He is one of literally millions and millions over the past 60 years of the culture war against LGBTQ+ people. Dr. Brown adds no value to the cultural discourse. He repeats the same toxic talking points that have led to severe abuse against God’s LGBTQ+ children for ages.
I used to think that it was a fact that there was an aggressive, gay agenda systematically undermining biblical morals for blah blah blah. Funny, thing, since coming out… I can’t find that massive sneaky, nefarious gay agenda! Why? Because there isn’t one.
Every group, community, person, has an agenda. There are agendas within agendas. Sometimes they coalesce around similar interests and other times not. LGBTQ+ people don’t want to silence others or tell them what to think. Yet, people like Dr. Brown, who somehow think they are persecuted like Jesus (which is astounding and ridiculous), believe that strong opposition and dissent is oppression. All we are trying to do is live openly as equals and not allow someone’s religious bigotry to continue to misrepresent and literally oppress us through cultural stigma and public policy that strips us of equal protections and provisions under the law.
Dr. Brown bore a false witness against a fellow believer in Mayor Pete and LGBTQ+ believers in general. He has done so through willful trolling of people’s unnecessary fear of their LGBTQ+ neighbors and leaders in a political cycle.
Dr. Brown is the one who needs to repent.