Senator Craig and the Gay Spectre

By now you’ve read about Senator Larry Craig and his bathroom tryst.  If not, there’s this bit from Talking Points Memo:

The Idaho Values Alliance–“Making Idaho the Friendliest Place in the World to Raise a Family”–is going to have a hard time swallowing the latest news about its beloved Sen. Larry Craig (R-ID), who pleaded guilty to disorderly conduct for lewd conduct in an airport restroom.

Here’s one page of the group’s site, a news update where it praises Craig for his “pro-life” vote on stem cell research, followed by a “Bonus Byte” on the perils of homosexuality and airport restrooms:

One of the tragic characteristics of the homosexual lifestyle is its emphasis on anonymous sex and multiple sexual partners. It is a little-acknowledged secret that many active homosexuals will have more than 1,000 sex partners over the course of a lifetime (the average among heterosexuals is seven – still six more than we were designed for). This sordid fact of homosexual life surfaced yesterday in an AP article yesterday that reports on the number of arrests police have made for indecent exposure and public sex acts in the restrooms at Atlanta’s airport, the busiest in the world. The increased restroom patrols, begun to apprehend luggage thieves, instead uncovered a rash of sex crimes. Airport restrooms have become so popular that men looking for anonymous sexual trysts with other men have advertised their airport availability on Craigslist. One such ad was from a man saying he was stuck at the airport for three hours and was looking for “discreet, quick action.”

What are the odds of a piece on airport restroom trysts appearing below a picture of Larry Craig in a conservative group’s newsletter, not to mention the reference to Craigslist? It’s all too much.

1,000 sexual partners in a lifetime.  (Or, as I personally experienced it, 1995.) (And yes, that’s a joke.) (Sort of.)  One wonders where these guys get this information—probably from “studies,” which to me is only a fraction of a step above “people are saying… .”

I marvel at the horrible, equalizing power of sin and temptation.  No one on this planet is immune from sin and no one is immune to falling under it.  I wonder if, now that his sins have been so exposed, he’ll actually find help.  (I’m writing something that deals with this kind of wide public disgrace, so I think about this every day.)  I wonder if, now that the antispectic power of sunlight has been loosed in his life, he’ll grab onto that opportunity to make his repentance and contrition just as public and just as powerful.  He has a chance to redeem himself here and to be used by God to make a powerful public declaration of grace.  Grace and mercy, the two things that we so clearly don’t deserve yet God supplies in insane abundance.

But, as evidenced by the quote above, the public caterwaling is about to commence yet again.  It will be loud and public and shrill, yet say nothing new we haven’t heard from the pro-gay forces every hour on the hour.  “See!?” they’ll cry.  “He’s been repressed and denying himself his entire life!  His career has been spent denying others their natural desires!  Now that he’s free from his closet, we hope that he’ll find peace and acceptance of himself as a homosexual!”  Keep count this week.  See how many times you’ll find this in the media and on the blogs.

I’ve been thinking this week about the rewards of this journey, even as I struggle with some new brokenness and temptations this week.  I think about how strong these desires are and why; how other sins are relatively external compared this sin that’s such a part of our being.  How do you change the way you relate to people when these desires are such an automatic response, at times even seemingly out of your control?

Yet I think of Rik and MR and James.  I’m watching a gmail conversation this week as material is being prepared on the gospel.  I’m watching two men who struggle with these desires, yet both of whom have experienced powerful personal grace and mercy from Jesus.  I watch two of the most humble, beautiful men you’d ever meet outdo each other in grace and humility and between the two of them, I don’t think they have any idea that their experience in writing and being guided and taught by each other in this writing is nothing more than a powerful example of the very thing they’re writing about!  Proud, selfish, insane, sinful me just sits back and marvels at the power of the gospel to change men’s lives and in communing with these guys, it helps to transform me.  I see the power of the gospel to change lives so strongly evidenced in their lives; it’s one of the reasons all of them received invitations to write here. 

I can’t help but to wonder if the senator will be similarly blessed.  If he’s a believer, will he have the opportunity to be surrounded with similar men?  Men who understand grace and mercy and peace and joy that flows from Christ and who will surround him in these days and speak into his life and his strong need?  Or will he succomb to “living honestly,” and in so doing be forever lost to his flesh?  When I feel the proud anger at yet another person publicly falling in sin and the ex-gay movement getting another beating, I remember my own journey and my own sin and failure, and the grace and mercy I’ve received.  In so many ways, I see how Christ has blessed me with what it takes to make it through this journey.  It makes it easier to pray for the senator, that he’ll find the same grace and mercy in crazy, unmerited abundance.

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~ by WriterRand on August 28, 2007.

One Response to “Senator Craig and the Gay Spectre”

  1. When I went to the gym yesterday all the televisions in the stair climber/ tread mill / and stationary bike room had the news on with this story. I really didn’t want to hear about all this crapola or how all the left-wing/right-wing spin doctors are interpreting what happened. I’m not saying I want to be an ostrich with my head in the sand, I just don’t care for how the sharks of the media just salivate over stories such as this or bend over backwards to try to justify the actions one of their fellow political cronies. I get so pissed at the B.S. of our political leaders that stories that this easily can become a form of anger porn.

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