First published in Between the Lines on November 16, 2006 A few weeks ago I was in Ripon, Wisconsin, for a same-sex marriage debate with Glenn Stanton of Focus on the Family, when the Ted Haggard story broke. Haggard, then president of the National Association of Evangelicals and pastor of the massive New Life Church… Continue reading Sadness, Not Smirks, for Haggard
First published in Between the Lines, October 5, 2006 It is early yet to talk about “the moral of the story” with respect to Mark Foley. Foley, a Republican congressman from Florida, resigned last week after it was revealed that he had been sending sexually explicit e-mails and instant messages to underage congressional pages. Here’s… Continue reading Foley’s Folly: A Lesson
First published in Between the Lines on June 1, 2006. I am writing this column at my desk at the Xianlin Hotel at Nanjing Normal University in China, where I am delivering a two-week series of lectures on business ethics. Prior to arriving here I visited Beijing, and in a week I will visit Hong… Continue reading Homosexy in China
First published in Between the Lines, May 4, 2006 My Grandma Rose stood at just under 5 feet–in recent years, even less than that, as osteoporosis took its toll on her small frame. But she will always be a towering figure in my mind. She was born on May 8, 1921, in the town of… Continue reading Grandma Rose’s Family Values
First published in Between the Lines on December 22, 2005. It was the kind of film that changes lives. And it changed mine—seeing a true gay love story, playing in major theaters, with a passionate performance by a talented young actor in a role quite different from anything he had tackled before. I’m talking, of… Continue reading The Brokeback Buzz
First published September 29, 2005, in Between the Lines Back in the 1980s, I aspired to the Roman Catholic priesthood. After investigating various orders, I eventually gravitated toward the Franciscans, not so much on theological grounds as for having clicked well with the vocation director, “Fr. Larry.” (Or maybe I thought that brown was the… Continue reading The Church’s Shame
First published July 7, 2005, in Between the Lines. Luther Vandross was the avatar of romance. Other people’s. The famed R&B singer, who died last week at 54, zealously declined to discuss his personal life, telling reporters that it was “none of your damn business.” Indeed, when his biographer Craig Seymour tried repeatedly to broach… Continue reading Luther Vandross’s Glass Closet
First Published in “Between the Lines.” March 28, 2002 FIFTEEN YEARS AGO I was a candidate for the Roman Catholic priesthood. One night during a candidate retreat I was alone in a monastery rec room with a youngish priest — let’s call him Fr. Jack — who was attempting to counsel me as I struggled… Continue reading Pedophilia in the Priesthood: Are Gays the Problem?