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Bakker 'scandals': From Jessica Hahn to 'Jessica/Jessica are not immoral'

by Jeremy Hooper

Picture 3-44Calling it "The Latest Bakker Scandal," Americans For Truth's Peter LaBarbera today lashes out against Jay Bakker (pic.), prodigal son of Jim & Tammy Faye, for his gay-accepting Christian views. In response to Mr. Bakker's saying...

It sounds so churchy, but I felt like God spoke to my heart and said ‘[homosexuality] is not a sin.’” [Punk Pastor Preaches Tolerance, Compassion, ABC News, 12/8/2006]

...Mr. LaBarbera responds:

"Spiritual hubris? Yes. A new “truth”? Sorry, Jay. Thankfully, we have a bit more reliable divine revelation and church tradition upon which to base our moral beliefs than the young Bakker’s alleged private revelation, which would cause us to re-write the Bible. We recommend to Jay Bakker and to everyone the excellent website of Rob Gagnon (, author of The Bible and Homosexual Practice, for a bit more thorough analysis of God’s attitude toward homosexual sin. More on this latest Bakker scandal later."

So wait a minute, Mr. LaBarbera. You chastise Jay's interpretation of what the Bible says about homosexuality, but then proceed to direct readers to check out the site of Rob Gagnon, someone who injects his own bias into Biblical interpretation? Why do the interpretations of someone on your anti-gay side (who often works with anti-gay groups to politically oppose gay rights) refute those of someone who reads the good book in a different light, simply because his views are more convenient to your cause?! If the Bible really is a lock-solid anti-gay condemnation (which it's not), then why not just direct readers to it? Why not just trust that they will cull gay antipathy from its pages without outside influence? Well, likely because if one if to read the Bible -- the WHOLE BIBLE -- without being led, and if they are to analyze the gaps in translation and other common misinterpretations that seem to have been propagated for eons, then they just might walk away with views similar to Mr. Bakker's.

It is beyond offensive that Jay's gay-friendly views would be painted as "The Latest Bakker Scandal," as if Jay's encouragement of tolerance is in any way similar to the financial and personal problems that led to his father's conviction. The true scandal is that Christians who are so convinced that gays and lesbians are operating outside of the boundaries of morality refuse to rationally consider that maybe their selective reasoning and demonizing judgement is the truly scandalous concept at play here.

The Latest Bakker Scandal [AFT]
***For more on Jay and his Revolution church, check out his site

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Your thoughts

Hey Jeremy,

Justin Gerald here, your interviewer from the summer. It might be superfluous to generally compliment your continually great work, but I want to specifically say thanks for the quite insightful links today, especially "whosoever."

Anyway, keep it going.


Posted by: Justin | Jan 30, 2007 11:03:36 AM

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