Sometimes it’s nice to know we queers aren’t the only ones who find Lou Sheldon creepy; Tucker Carlson does too.
My editor had just assigned me a story about religious revival in the inner city. The idea was, black churches might be better equipped to help the urban poor than government aid agencies. Someone suggested I talk to the Reverend Lou Sheldon, the head of a group called the Traditional Values Coalition. Apparently he was an expert on the subject. So I called him.
Sheldon came to my office for the interview. We sat across from each other in my cubicle and I threw a series of questions at him. He answered each one impatiently, then stopped me. “You want to know what the single biggest problem facing inner-city black neighborhoods is?” Yes, I nodded, readying my pen and pad. Sheldon paused. “Homosexuality,” he said.
As a general matter, I try to give people like Lou Sheldon the benefit of the doubt. Just because you oppose the practice of homosexuality (and most of the world’s six billion people still do oppose to it) doesn’t mean you’re a bigot. Some people have principled religious objections. I wanted to keep an open mind.
But I couldn’t. Homosexuality was the biggest problem in the inner cities? Bigger than crime? And unemployment? And poverty? And broken families? And AIDS? And for that matter, graffiti? Nope, there was no way around it. What the Reverend Lou had said was bizarre. And creepy too.