The latest outrage from the group that has set new limits for the American public on what constitutes outrageous, is the public "outing" of a Lutheran pastor in Minnesota who struggles to resist same-sex impulses.
Those few of us who are actively engaged in exposing the flawed reasoning, political goals, and exploitation of public education of the homosexual community are well aware that many homosexual activists are both ignorant of the meanings of words and ethically challenged.
"Journalist," John Townsend, who writes for the homosexual magazine Lavender, lied his way into a confidential support group for men who struggle to resist sinful homosexual temptations, which is sponsored by the Catholic organization Courage. A Lutheran pastor who experiences homosexual temptation but who also recognizes that the God he loves and serves abhors homosexual practice was attending Courage for help in resisting sin.
This pastor has been consistent in publicly opposing the heresy being adopted by the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America (ELCA). For years now, ELCA has been insidiously abandoning truth on the issue of homosexuality until it flat out embraced heresy last August by voting to allow openly homosexual men and women to serve in leadership positions -- a decision with which the Minnesota pastor disagrees.
If this pastor engaged in a homosexual act or acts, his church should follow biblically prescribed procedures for addressing serious sin in the church body. Such discipline would likely include removal from office. That is a separate issue that I hope and pray will be dealt with appropriately.
My concern is with the reprehensible absence of professional ethics on the part of a journalist who allowed his moral and political beliefs to justify lying to gain entrance to the support group and violating the confidentiality agreement that is fundamental to many support groups.
According to an AP report, "Kelly McBride, an expert in journalism ethics at St. Petersburg, Florida's Poynter Institute ... found Lavender's approach 'troubling. It's kind of like being a spy.... For most groups that deal with something where members of the group find it shameful, there's a strong presumption of confidentiality.'"
Lavender's sorry attempt to justify their serious ethical lapse rests on both a specious "ends justify the means" argument and complete ignorance of the meaning of hypocrisy.
Lavender president Stephen Rocheford argues that "'The fact that [the pastor] said one thing publicly, and privately he's a homosexual -- that's somewhat inconsistent.... This company has a policy not to out people. The one exception is a public figure who says one thing and does another.'" That might make sense if the pastor had said he doesn't engage in homosexual acts, but really did. Or if he said he believed that homosexual acts were sinful but really believed homosexual acts were moral. Saying he believes homosexual acts are sinful and then falling into sin is not "inconsistent." I believe that impatience is a sin, and yet I am often impatient. Throughout my impatient acts, my beliefs about the sinfulness of impatience remain sincere, intact, and utterly consistent.
Lavender has futilely argued that this pastor's hypocrisy justifies their revelation of his identity even though such revelation constitutes a violation of the most fundament support group rule regarding confidentiality. They argue that he is, in effect, a hypocrite because he proclaims biblical truth about homosexuality while experiencing homosexual attraction. It's obvious and perhaps not surprising that they know little about theology. What is surprising is that those who make their living through the careful composition of words evidently don't know what hypocrisy means.
Hypocrisy does not mean espousing a moral belief to which one sometimes fails to adhere. It does not mean confessing a standard that one cannot always meet. How could any rabbi, imam, priest, or pastor ever preach what their Holy Scriptures teach if in order to do so without being charged with hypocrisy or "inconsistency," they had to be perfect?
For those homosexualists who, despite the ubiquitous presence of dictionaries, still don't know what hypocrisy means, here goes: "hypocrisy" is the "practice of professing beliefs, feelings, or virtues that one does not hold or possess; insincerity." So, if this pastor professes to believe that homosexual practice is sinful and that resisting sinful homosexual impulses is a virtue, and he sincerely believes that, he is not a hypocrite. The fact that he fails in his struggle to resist sin makes him a fallen human, not a hypocrite. His failure does not exempt him from the disciplinary consequences of his serious sin, but his failure does not constitute hypocrisy.
If the presence of hypocrisy or inconsistency is what justifies unethical, unprofessional conduct in the moral universe of Townsend and Rocheford, then they have violated their own warped moral code in that there is no evidence that the pastor in question is a hypocrite.
What hasn't been mentioned in this discussion is that what really sticks in the craw of homosexualists is not hypocrisy; the big sin to them is resisting same-sex impulses because of the belief that they're sinful.