I’m not happy with with the warfare that has consumed the nation’s political scene. I see limited benefit in outing secretly gay, but very stridently antigay, lawmakers. I am uncertain whether voters come to view the antigay hypocrisy as shameful — or whether the outing fuels feelings of shame about the sexual orientation itself. There is also a risk that the Republican replacements for any outed congressmen will exhibit even greater prejudice.
While some justification may exist for outing antigay lawmakers, I see almost no logic (beyond the extortion) in outing televangelist Paul Crouch as gay, exgay, bisexual or just experimenting. TBN is controversial for its greed-is-good theology, not for cultural warfare. A sex scandal would not discredit the poor theology or promote equal rights for all. Like a Paris Hilton video, a scandal would merely serve as a media sideshow, a distraction, a guilty pleasure for observers. And whether the sexual accusations are true or not, Crouch’s materialistic lifestyle makes him a poor role model for anyone seeking sexual or spiritual “redemption.”
Addenda: Hugo Schwyzer takes a somewhat stronger, more thoughtful stand against outing.
Addenda, Sept. 22: Crouch’s accuser, Enoch Lonnie Ford, told the LA Times that he was coerced into sexual activity with Crouch in order to keep his job. Christianity Today says TBN may have violated its confidentiality agreement with Ford.