Friday, April 22, 2016

Michael Voris of Church Militant Addresses His Gay Past in Shocker Video Statement

Does this come to the rest of you as the shock it is to me? 

If I understand what Michael Voris of the Church Militant Vortex show is saying here, he's apparently under some kind of suspicion from the New York archdiocese because he has a homosexual past, and he's doing a pre-emptive strike in telling the world this — and admitting this past. I find the British Catholic paper the Catholic Herald reporting today that the archdiocese of New York denies it had tried to smear Voris.

I do not follow conversations in the Church Militant wing of Christianity because trudging through sewers has never been much to my liking. I do notice, however, that when I google the terms Church Militant + New York archdiocese, the first thing that pops up is a series of stinky-sounding articles from Church Militant claiming that there's a "homosexual ring" in the New York archdiocese reaching to the top levels of the diocese. And I realize as I scroll through the hits Google provides about this topic that I've seen some of this material circulated on Facebook by people in the Catholic community of abuse survivors connected to me there, who seem unwilling to stop colluding with the hard Catholic right — which is not by any means a friend of abuse survivors — in trying to blame the abuse crisis on the gays.

Voris's statement in this video: he speaks as if he is somehow "over" his past sexual orientation, which he chooses to see as a "forfeiting of masculinity." He goes on and on about this and how, ostensibly, he has been delivered or healed from homosexuality by the Blessed Virgin Mary and St. Michael and what not (I think Fatima figures somehow into the litany).

I'm truly sorry for Voris's suffering. I feel no joy in his immiseration. I cannot possibly avoid remembering, however, that he and his organization have been vituperatively nasty to LGBTQ human beings for quite some time now. And so I cannot avoid feeling a kind of poetic justice about the fact that he now has to come to terms with the psychological roots, inside himself, of that vituperative nastiness.

As I listen to him shout (wanting him to stop shouting, wanting the pain of having to listen to him to end quickly), I have to conclude all over again that there's such a deep, crippling sickness and confusion among right-wing Christians, whether Catholic, evangelical, or Mormon, around these issues of sexuality. Just sick — the need to lie, pretend, uphold rigid binary stereotypes about gender and impose them on all the rest of the world as divine revelation, deny the rich diversity of God's created world that does not fit into the narrow paradigms of the Christian right.

All that, and a ravenous need to target LGBTQ people and call that demonic activity holy. Sickening — and it creates sick, twisted people, when people buy into these thought patterns. May Voris find some healing and liberation (and stop shouting at the rest of the world and, one hopes, come into vital contact with his inmost self when he quiets down).

Sincere thanks to several esteemed Facebook friends and theologian-colleagues, one of whom is Michael J. Iafrate, whose outstanding theological work I've featured here in the past (here, here, here, here, herehere, and here) who notified me about this video.

The photo of Michael Voris is from his Twitter page.

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