Friday, January 06, 2006


Well, rejoicing in the troubles of others is not very nice to say the least, definitely uncharitable, and probably a sin, but here goes anyway: The senior pastor of South Tulsa Baptist Church and one for four Southern Baptist Convention executive committee members from Oklahoma, has been arrested for propositioning a plainclothes police officer and charged with a misdemeanor, according to an AP story. Like most Southern Baptist senior pastors, Lonnie Latham has been outspoken opponent of things like gay marriage and an advocate of the Southern Baptist policy of befriending gays and lesbians in the hopes of saving them from the "homosexual lifestyle."

Anybody remember that aphorism about the gentlemen who protest too much? Of course, rather than chuckling at the irony, we probably ought to be sad for Latham and his family.

This comes as the Christian right is attacking NBC for its new series The Book of Daniel, about an Episcopal priest with a problematic family life (he uses painkillers, wife drinks, they have a gay son, another having sex with his 15-year-old girlfriend, and a daughter selling marijuana). Though the American Family Association says the series was another sign of NBC's "anti-Christian bigotry," I think Latham's behavior is the bigger problem, as it contributes to the widespread belief that Christians, and especially their leaders, are a bunch of hypocrites when it comes to sex.

Of course none of this moves us toward what we Christians--including Catholics--really need: A grown-up conversation about human sexuality, minus the acrimony and name-calling.


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