A friend of mine made a bold move a few days ago. I gotta say, I didn't see that coming. I applaud the guy.
I'm not writing about homosexuality, the rightness or wrongness of it, et cetera. I couldn't care less about that in the point I want to convey in this post. What I want to address is the way the fungelical crowd holds an entire segment of American ideas - from the political realm, to the social realm, to the religious realm - hostage with their exclusionist, holier-than-thou attitudes. In much the same way the religious addicts and fungelicals took over the Christian homeschooling world, pushing out any person or idea that didn't/doesn't toe the line of the straight and narrow-minded way, the fungelicals of the Religious Right have done the same to American politics, specifically in taking over, and ruining, most of the dialog within the GOP.
I've known Lucas for a few years now, going back to my days of touring. Always a stand-up guy, always sharp, astute beyond his youth. Our paths used to cross a few times a year in the course of touring. Lucas has been involved in the music industry, to varying degrees, for several years. It wasn't difficult to see him as a guy who would "go places". Determined, prepared, and involved would be good descriptions. I haven't seen Lucas since I left the road in 2008. Other than a few FB messages and a few text messages on election night in 2008, we really haven't communicated much in the last few years. I've kept up with his political comings and goings a bit on FB, not surprised at all to see his involvement at significant levels or to see him rise through the ranks.
Lucas has a heck of a lot to offer the world.
What's unfortunate is that with his public pronouncement of his sexuality (which should be among the least of ways one would measure a person), he's now at odds with the rabid, vocal fungelical minority which expects the GOP to act as its personal vehicle. He's still a limited government conservative (which would probably be a good description of me, too), but that doesn't matter to the fungelicals who hold the party hostage. He's the enemy to them. His ideas are now meaningless to them (unless they can steal and take credit for them). In the linked article, he's spot on. The "Christian hate" - not hate of Christians, but hate from Christians - has crippled conservative politics. The handling of issues of sexuality by the Religious Right is pitiful. Thanks, Jerry Falwell and cohorts, for your useless rhetoric, your "Moral" majority, and your general dismantling of the free exchange of ideas within conservatism.
In this election cycle, the stranglehold is evident, from the constant pandering to the Tea Party idiots, to Rick Perry's recent gay-bashing and fungelical pandering, to the fact that religious idiots like Michelle Bachmann and Rick Santorum are still even in the race.
The church's handling, as a whole, of issues of sexuality are even worse, and are the foundation of the larger problem. I've personally heard well-known pastors like John Hagee and Jesse DuPlantis preaching, from their pulpit, the idea that homosexuality is a choice, chosen only by the rebellious and sin-infested heart. Science be damned...which it usually is in fundamentalist Christendom. By promoting such ignorance, they fuel the fires of irrational fear and hate, and this nonsense spills out into the social realm, and then into the political realm. Look at Michelle Bachmann's husband, Marcus, for a prime example of the ignorance. The church should be ashamed of its treatment of the gay and lesbian community. Pathetic.
As far as I'm concerned, if you're a person suffering from 2nd Chronicles 7:14 syndrome, and abortion and gay marriage are used as litmus tests concerning candidates, you may actually be a threat to your country when you enter the voting booth. I'm not saying those aren't significant issues, or that it's wrong for those issues to be important to you. I'm saying that those issues are only a fraction of a fraction of a fraction of the larger picture, and the greater good of the nation shouldn't be held hostage to what are, by and large, cultural, ancillary issues in context. That's trying to rearrange shades of gray into tidy packages of black and white. This isn't a "Christian nation". Americans aren't "God's people". Use your freaking head, examine all the issues, know all the issues, and pick your candidate accordingly. Be informed. Propaganda from the fungelical community doesn't exactly qualify as "informed". Take your sacred cows and have a big BBQ. Know what you're doing, and why you're doing it, when you close the curtain next November, or do us all a favor and stay home.
Knowing the world that both Lucas and I come from, he's probably gonna get shunned by quite a few people. Lots of hypocrisy in the world of Christian music. Tons of it. It's a shame. Like I said, Lucas is a stand-up guy, and he's demonstrated some serious cajones and integrity in the very public stand he's taken, hiding nothing. The real shame is that he's the exception within our world of hear no evil, see no evil. I know of a very well-known Christian music person who is right now "vacationing" out of the country with a women not his wife. Lots of the power-brokers within the industry are known philanderers, having kept mistresses for years. I don't really care who they screw. What I care about is the sale of their CDs and the peddling of their miscellaneous goods on the premise that they aren't doing that kind of thing, but are wonderful, godfearing men (and women). That's the tragedy in all of it. The con. The shysterism. People playing out their Tony Soprano mafioso fantasies, living the dream, speaking only the language of dead Presidents.
I wish the best for Lucas. I hope his life is lived at a happy, fulfilled pace, and that he's able to help and be a voice for people marginalized by moral injustice at the hands of those who should love them most. I hope he can be a positive force within conservative politics. God bless him.