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A gay publication in Minnesota outed a conservative Lutheran pastor after its reporter infiltrated a confidential support group for Christians struggling with same-sex attractions, who wish to be chaste. In his piece, the gay journalist quotes things the pastor said in the confidential group. His justification? That the pastor has publicly criticized homosexuality. As S.T. Karnick, a theological conservative who’s a member of this pastor’s flock, puts it:
He was not discovered in a “gay” bar. He was not discovered having sex with another man in a public rest room.
According to the news accounts I’ve seen (emanating from liberal sources) he was discovered attending a support and accountability group in a Roman Catholic church. He was speaking honestly, to men he trusted, about his struggles, slips, and temptations.
In other words, he was doing precisely what people on our side of the argument say a man in his situation ought to do. He is the very opposite of a hypocrite.
Karnick backs his pastor, and rightly so.
I find this journalist’s behavior absolutely disgusting. If this pastor had been outed in a Ted Haggard situation, fine. But for a reporter to infiltrate a confidential support group, where people who are struggling and hurting open up to each other under the umbrella of confidentiality, is utterly vile. I would feel exactly the same way if a crusading conservative reporter with an agenda infiltrated a pro-gay support group, outed people he saw there, and reported on their conversations. What this reporter and his magazine have done is monstrous and vengeful, and I hope prominent gay voices denounce it. If people have to worry that their support groups could be infiltrated and their secrets splashed in the media, they will understandably withdraw into their own private closets, with their own pain.
If this had been an Alcoholics Anonymous meeting, and a reporter had gone there with the agenda of outing a pastor who preached teetotaling, but who privately struggled to stay sober, wouldn’t you be appalled — not at the pastor, but at the reporter? The idea that the Cause, whatever the Cause, justifies destroying the basic rules of civilized life, and with it a man’s character, is barbarism.