Archive for April 2008

Christian Music Host Comes Out

April 18, 2008

Good for Azariah Southworth. The host of a Christian music television show in Nashville has come out. The story is in Nashville’s Out & About.

He told Brent Meredith of O & A:

I know I will be cut off from many within the Christian community, and if so, then they didn’t get the point of the life of Christ. I believe by me living my life honestly and authentically now, I am able to be a better person and a better Christian. We all know there are so many other gay people in the Christian industry; they’re just all scared. I was scared, but now I’m no longer afraid.

And he’ll stop wasting precious time and energy trying to be someone he isn’t. Azariah, as another person who’s had to say “I know I will be cut off from many within the Christian community,” you may be surprised by how much energy you have left over to do God’s work now that you no longer have to spend it all on something that didn’t need fixing.

It always makes me happy to see young people come out. My only regret was waiting until I was 30, but it was just the path I had to take, I guess. Now Southworth will have time to grow and mature in relationships if he wants to date. I feel pretty lucky to have met John right quick, like months after we both came out, which was almost at the same time. We think it was kind of miracle we found each other. Sounds silly, but frankly, I believe miracles are all that explain a lot of things in my life anymore.

Good luck, Azariah. I’ll be praying for you. These first few months will be tough. You will have no shortage of people trying to scare you back into the closet. But as a gay friend of mine told me when I came out, you’re already a lot stronger than you think you are.

(Update: My friend Jim sent me this link to an even more recent interview with Azariah. Evidently his coming out has caused quite a stir.)

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Obama Swings at the ‘Bitter’ Ball

April 14, 2008

It doesn’t matter what kind of pitch it is, just throw him the ball. Barack Obama will figure out a way to get on base with it.

So Obama has been accused of being elitist by Clinton and McCain (I know, kind of funny) because he said it was no great mystery that small town folks who flail in crumbling economies were bitter. (Original Huffington Post article here.) He said he understood why people in these places cling to religion or wedge issues because those things at least help them explain their frustrations when the promises and policies of recent administrations further disadvantage them.

Was his choice of the word “bitter” a problem? I don’t think so, but that is a matter of opinion. What probably is a problem is that most people are unaware of how their intensified fears and anxieties can enflame finger-pointing and less rational religious expressions. I fall prey to this phenomenon myself. Obama’s mistake, if he made one, was in psychoanalyzing voters. No matter how good you are, this always comes off as presumptuous if you are running for office. Like I said though, no matter what the pitch, Obama seems able to hit the ball.

Setting aside Obama’s ability to renegotiate the terms of every criticism against him and make you proud to be an American in the process, I believe there is a more important point here. And that is: it is Obama’s campaign– even when he’s unaware that the microphone is on, even when the subject is only his pastor’s point of view–that is starting the real conversations that matter in this election.

The topics may be uncomfortable at times, but you’d be a fool not to believe they are important and need to be discussed. I’d prefer those discussions happen with a president I know can handle the heat, and Obama seems able.

Here’s his most recent swing at the ball (Thanks to Americablog for pointing me to the video):