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mzteris Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-02-10 09:51 PM
Original message
Megachurch Pastor Comes Out Of Closet
ROCKDALE COUNTY, Ga. -- The pastor of a Rockdale County megachurch has publicly announced he is gay.

Jim Swilley, bishop of Conyers Church in the Now, said he hopes his coming out will change attitudes toward homosexuality.

I know a lot of straight people think it is a choice. It is not, Swilley told Channel 2s Diana Davis.\\


Swilley, 52, founded the church 25 years ago. He seemed the stereotypical picture of a pastor, with four kids and a wife who doubled as his associate pastor. But Swilley said he's known he was gay since he was little boy. He said his wife, Debye, also knew his secret from the start . . . the now-divorced couple kept their secret for 21 years, but earlier this year, Swilley said Debye told him it was time to stop living a lie.

She said he should practice what he preaches and follow the churchs motto, Real people experiencing a real God in the real world.

http://www.wsbtv.com/news/25568419/detail.html
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-02-10 09:53 PM
Response to Original message
1. why does anyone pay attention to the ravings of the religiously insane...?
For crying out loud, it's the 21st century. Can we stop believing in invisible sky people now?
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redirish28 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-02-10 10:02 PM
Response to Reply #1
5. They will now that Teaggers have won Congress and senate seats
THE RAPUTRE IS BACK ON SCHEDULE
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vixengrl Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-02-10 10:12 PM
Response to Reply #1
6. I'm an atheist myself, but I do wonder if there isn't good that can be
done for the interests of LGBTQ people when religious figures come out. I'm thinking about folks like Mel White, and what he's doing with Soulforce, which strikes me as really in the religious vein of the civil rights tradition. I don't share that spiritual path, but I appreciate the attitudes of that political path.

I'd rather people just opt for realism, too, and drop any creed that prevents them from seeing all people as free to express their talents and loves and yearnings to the best of their ability within a civil society. But somehow, people who embrace reality--even if they embrace it as a gift from God, and who actively choose to work to validate and enhance others, instead of tearing people down--win with me. I hope he can use his pulpit for good, even while I wonder what the foundation of any pulpit is.

I'd like it if people who believed in religions just withheld their faith for a bit, drew back, and let reality win--but since I can't have that, maybe if religious people just got more reality-based, that would be good, too. Anyway, I have to wish this pastor well, because I think he did take a huge leap in not just understanding himself, but trying to help other people understand. And I expect he will be hammered by the hammerheads of the world for it.
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WildEyedLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-02-10 10:19 PM
Response to Reply #1
7. You can't see the good that can come of this?
Whether you like it or not, a lot of people are religious. Those who use religion to prop up their homophobia aren't going to be swayed by you telling them that they believe in a "sky person," but they might if one of their fundie role models tells them that being gay isn't a choice and it isn't a sin. I can only see good coming from this, as much as I despise fundamentalist Christianity.
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mike_c Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-02-10 10:27 PM
Response to Reply #7
9. that's not at all what I said....
Of course-- if nothing else, the former pastor-- or is it soon-to-be-former-pastor?-- will benefit by living more truly to himself. But his religious delusions are still delusions, and I don't accept the argument that simply because others share them, they obtain relevance beyond being delusional. So a gay man decides to admit his true nature to himself and his associates-- THAT is a story worth telling, because-- as you say-- some good must necessarily come from it.

But that's not this story-- this story is about the fall from grace of a lofty christian pooh-bah. A man who believes that demons and angels follow him around and argue about the disposition of his soul-- something he's convinced he has....

Oh never mind. Thing is, I really don't care much about that story.
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WildEyedLiberal Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-02-10 10:37 PM
Response to Reply #9
11. All I'm saying is that it may convince some of his flock to think twice about homosexuality
If this story convinces even one fundie to do any soul-searching about his/her own homophobia, then it's a positive story in my book.
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Fuzz Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-02-10 10:30 PM
Response to Reply #7
10. Having grown up in the right wing evangelical movement, I can tell you that no,
there will be no good coming out of this for the 'true believers'. They will say something like 'love the sinner, hate the sin' and then marginalize the pastor and never talk to him again backing away from that first part.

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amerikat Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-02-10 09:59 PM
Response to Original message
2. I'm Shocked. Shocked I tell you.
Another Elmer Gantry bites the dust.
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Bitwit1234 Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-02-10 10:00 PM
Response to Original message
3. I was hoping it was Bachmann's pastor pal the one who
raves about her from the pulpit and gives her all that money. And the IRS doesn't do a thing and there has been fifty leven complaints.
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Dappleganger Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-02-10 10:00 PM
Response to Original message
4. Good for him.
Being honest is a start.
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mitchum Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Tue Nov-02-10 10:23 PM
Response to Original message
8. Nice start, but now he needs to quit lying about his magic invisible skybuddy
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