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Is church achin' over Clay?

by Jeremy Hooper

 Images ClayaikenposterOn Monday, November 26th, Clay Aiken is scheduled to perform at Wichita's Central Christian Church. However, according to some media reports, the issue of whether or not Clay is gay has some in the church questioning whether the former "American Idol" crooner is fit to grace their stages. The pastor of the church, Mark Posson, has reportedly even sent a letter to church elders, in which he tried to squelch concerns that Clay likes to make sweet music with dudes:

Idol Star Aiken Caught Up In Church Gay Controversy [WENN]
(H/t: Towleroad)

Now, it should be noted that the National Enquirer is the primary source of this information, so it should all be taken with the proverbial grain of salt. And it should also be noted that Clay Aiken has never come out as a gay man. So all those things considered, we have written officials with the church to try and get some sort of factual comment on what's truly going on; stay tuned.

In the meantime, we'd like Clay to ponder this: If the church IS gay-unfriendly, would you agree to appear there in the first place? Because regardless of his own orientation, we would hope that he wouldn't even give them the benefit of making the decision about whether or not a gay man could perform in their presence!

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Your thoughts

yea, like a gay man has never sung in church before......

Posted by: banshiii | Oct 9, 2007 11:29:45 AM

Most of the details here have been provided to the National Enquirer by the man who has stalked Clay Aiken for 2 years and who continues to change his story when he needs more attention . It has been copied from site to site without verification of the facts .

The only truth I know is that Clay does a series of Christmas concerts every year in all types of venues . His tour team includes men and women , blacks whites and hispanics and both gay and straight people . The music is beautiful . The spirit is that of inclusion . I imagine that the National Enquirer and other "news" outlets don't find this salacious enough for publication . A sad commentary on our times .

Posted by: Ellie | Oct 9, 2007 11:48:21 AM

Ellie: Agreed about the copying of the 'Enquirer' story from site to site without fact verification. In fact, it took us reading several tips that were sent our way before finding out that 'NE' was actually the source. The deliberate misinformation that gets propagated (especially on the internet) is maddening.

That being said, the 'NE' does have some facts that seem to have some degree of truth. Hopefully the church will get back to us and help shed some light on the situation. If it is true that sexual orientation would gt one barred from performing at the church, we would sincerely hope that Mr. Aiken would at least make some sort of statement in protest of the biased outlook.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 9, 2007 11:58:28 AM

First of all, the church did not say that Clay wasn't welcome. Visit their website and you will see a totally different picture. They are delighted that he is holding a concert in their church.

This whole story is coming from one person who is a Clay stalker and attention seeker that keeps contacting the National Enquirer in hopes of getting his picture in the paper and hoping for a career in porn. Unfortunately sometimes it works because the NE isn't smart enough to know what he's after and they like to publish sordid stories regardless of whether they are true or not or what kind of depraved person they are coming from. You need to visit some other blogs that tell the real story of the stalker. You can start with Chexxxy's Pearls and LiesBiteBack. There are also many links to other blogs that will enlighten you.

Posted by: Janelle | Oct 9, 2007 12:37:59 PM

Janelle: Most who read this site are quite familiar with the John Paulus situation, and most have formed their own opinions inn regards to his stories. And we agree that there is a need for more facts here, which is why we are currently chatting with the church.

However, there is nothing on the church's website currently that negates the possibility that they've had apprehensions in regards to Mr. Aiken's sexual orientation. There is simply an announcement that he is coming. And of curse they are excited about it -- he's a pretty big name. But it's disingenuous to automatically dismiss other claims regarding private church dealings simply because of the PR on the website.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 9, 2007 12:44:32 PM

Also, Janelle: We don;t want to stir anyone up in a tizzy, as gossiping about a celeb's sexual orientation is not what we do. However, it has to be noted that John Paulus has written a letter to the Miami Herald, wherein he says that "there was never a legitimate recant made...nor will there be. I stand by the story as reported by the National Enquirer and as told by me on the Howard Stern Show."


Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 9, 2007 12:55:55 PM

When the day comes that anyone, including Clay Aiken, has to research the owner of every concert venue in order to determine what their political or religious affiliations are is the day that all performers should be held accountable for the same criticism. This is not about whether he can perform Christmas Carols in a church. This is all about harassing a singer that has stated that he is not gay by the gay community. All performers should be equally questioned, straight or gay, for performing in a church. Why is Clay the only one to be so targeted? He is only one of many that did and will perform there this year.

Posted by: Dave | Oct 9, 2007 1:28:42 PM

Wait, a second, Dave. We have not one time speculated in the above about whether or not Clay is gay, much less "harassed" him. And it's not about a performer researching the venues before they perform. The story here is that a certain church is questioning whether or not to let him perform out of fears that he might be gay. We are simply trying to find out if the matter is, in fact, true. And if it is, then ANY singer, gay, straight, or otherwise, would have to make a decision whether or not they would feel comfortable performing in such a venue.

Nobody here is "targeting" Clay, and it's extremely unfair for your to misrepresent it as such.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 9, 2007 1:36:25 PM

Your site is just one of dozens that are giving this story legs. If you were interested in getting to the truth, you would have done your research BEFORE publishing it, not after.
I will give you credit for trying to discuss it reasonably but I wonder just what effect all of this contrversy will have on the booking when the church is being contacted by every tom dick and larry demanding answers and clarification. I hope they don't cancel his concert just because of the hate mail that these blogs and tabloids have incited and by being inundated by everyone, with good intentions and bad, wanting in on the action.

I hope the concert goes on as planned. Christmas Carols should have nothing to do with politics.

Posted by: Dave | Oct 9, 2007 1:49:39 PM

Dave: Your speaking about things you really do not know about. The "research" was fully done before posting! We presented the scenario, with the caveat that the 'National Enquirer' was the only source! And we immediately placed emails and other forms of communication into various church officials!

It is unfair for you to accuse people who are simply trying to get to the bottom of this as engaging in "hate" in any way. Some may be, but the majority are not. It's just that if the story IS true and the church would cancel a performer if they were found to be gay, then that is a story that gay rights proponents MUST investigate. And if untrue, then the church should be more than happy to squelch the rumors. But you are working under the supposition the the 'NE' report is wholly false, which may or not be true. That's what we're trying to find out.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 9, 2007 1:55:47 PM

Either way Clay takes the beating because if the church is satisfied that Clay is not gay and the concert goes on as planned, the gay militants will be after him for not canceling. If he cancels, the assumption will be that he couldn't satisfy the church of his being straight. He loses no matter what. This is why I say he is being targeted. The man should be left alone to just sing.

Posted by: Dave | Oct 9, 2007 2:04:50 PM

Dave: You're overlooking what is the key issue. The issue is the very idea that the church should need to be "satisfied" with a performer's sexual orientation before they can perform. And if any gay person has a problem with that idea, that does not make them a "militant."

I think the problem is that you are making this situation far too much about Clay, when it truly is not. If it does come out that the church would only let a person perform if they satisfied a sexual orientation requirement, then how he (or any other performer) proceeds will certainly be up for discussion. But it's unfair to say he is being unfairly targeted in this case !

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 9, 2007 2:16:07 PM

I've followed the ongoing drama, with much amusement, of the radical claymates and their continuing theories that Mr. Paulus is a "stalker", that it was somehow an imposter that duped Mr. Paulus, that the webcam photos of Clay Aiken were photoshopped, and that it is all a big plot or conspiracy to frame Clay Aiken as gay.

Most amusingly is that, during another long night of sparring with demented claymates spewing their conspiracy theories on his blog, Mr. Paulus made the documented series of sarcastic mocking retorts to the claymates parroting and exaggerating every one of their absurd conspiracy claims back to them. During that exchange many recognized the satire of Mr. Paulus' comments immediately, however claymates are not known for that same acumen.

To wit, they have seized upon those satirical comments, taken out of context from the whole back and forth exchange, and perpetuated them (across blogs and to any and all media) as a "recant", even though Mr. Paulus continues to make it clear that he has never recanted his story.

Their belief is that it is all some evil hoax or smear campaign upon Mr. Aiken's heterosexual character and that, by their actions, they will be able to eventually vindicate Mr. Aiken.

If nothing else, to satisfy the claymates, I agree that this story and the claims of Mr. Paulus deserves more research and as much documentation as possible.

With regard to the church, the local Wichita newspaper does have a copy of the letter and has also been following the internal controversy. The whole episode does bring rise to some comparisons to the Ted Haggard incident.
As a church sponsored event, and one that the church describes in their letter as a "community outreach" for them, it does seem amusingly incongrous that as a church that has been at the forefront of campaigning against gay rights in their state, that they would have Mr. Aiken perform there.

Posted by: Peter | Oct 9, 2007 2:30:32 PM

Tell me what he can do that will not adversely affect his career and his reputation? This is a man that has never discriminated against anyone. He has friends and employees of every demographic including gay/straight black/white/ religious/atheist male/female. Other than being the victim of an obsessed gay fan who claims an encounter that Clay denies, what makes him the one singled out for this when he is one of the most decent people in the public eye?

Posted by: Dave | Oct 9, 2007 2:32:11 PM

The biggest issue I can think of is not if the church is or isn't anti gay but the fact that this country is supposed to be about freedom. Even if they don't support gay rights, isn't that THEIR right, the same as those who DO support gay rights? And what does ANY of that have to do with a singer performing a concert. It is NOT going to be a church service the night he performs there. It is a BUILDING being used as a venue for a concert. It will be Clay fans there, not the church congregation and followers. Trying to stop a church's rights or Clay's rights to earn a living are far worse than a group saying they don't openly support gay activism. Not everyone has to take up the cause for gay rights. They aren't automatically downing them just because they don't support them. We are supposed to have FREE choice to think what we want, go where we want, support who and what we want. What right does anyone have to force their thoughts or beliefs or causes on another.

Clay has no obligation to support gay causes and be a poster boy for them. He doesn't have to answer to them, any more than he should be answering to the NAACP or any other other organization. He openly employees and is friends with gays, blacks, people with other religious beliefs and lifestyles. He is one of the LEAST bigotted or prejudiced performers or people around. This is NOT about Clay doing something wrong or being something he is not. No one has to attend this concert, but they don't have the right to stop those who choose to. Your rights aren't supposed to stop the rights of others. Who made the gay activists the decision makers for the rest of the people?

Posted by: Dan | Oct 9, 2007 2:35:02 PM

Dan: Wow, the spinning is really incredible. OF COURSE, everyone has freedom to do as they please. However, if that freedom says "If you are gay you cannot perform here," then that is a discriminatory and, frankly, appalling stance. Gay people have the freedom to speak out against such.

Nobody "made the gay activists the decision makers for the rest of the people." It's just that whenever gay people speak out against discriminatory treatment, they are made out to be the "militant" or "unfair" ones. But in reality, they are simply reacting to what they have been given. Anti-gay people have every right to, in turn ,defend themselves against the gay activists. However, any stance that calls for divisiveness instead of inclusivity usually does lose in the end.

Also, you are incorrect about this just being a venue -- it is a church-supported event. It does reflect on the church.

As for Clay -- Again, we agree that this does not at this point have much to do with him. It is his defenders who are making this situation about him.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 9, 2007 2:51:25 PM

Peter: Do you know where we can find the letter that you say was published by the Wichita paper? it would certainly be helpful to see it.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 9, 2007 2:55:06 PM

Please note the letter has not been published in their paper. I only referenced that the Wichita Eagle's staff does have it and have been watching the church's internal controversy closely. Thus far, they have not gone to press with anything and may not ever.

Posted by: Peter | Oct 9, 2007 3:19:09 PM

While I appreciate your thoughts and understand what you are saying, I don't think you totally understand mine. While I don't think it's right to discriminate against anyone, to deny that right is in fact denying rights. As absurd as it seems and is, that is the truth. When you set rules or practices that denies one person's rights in favor of another, you have still discriminated. To deny the church the right to say who can or can't perform there is taking away their right. While it may be a "public" place to some degree, in reality it is NOT. It is a private place that belongs to the members there and they should have the right to practice what they believe, just as gays have the right to practice what they believe. That doesn't mean they have the right to practice it everywhere when others' rights are violated by doing so.

Just as they shouldn't have to or would be asked to hold catholic services, jewish services, hindu, buddahists or anything else -- they get the right to decide what can and can't be in their church -- the building they own, pay for, take care of, and belong to. You shouldn't be allowed to "make people" allow you to do things against their beliefs. Like it or not, fair or not, right or not, some people don't believe in the gay lifestyle and they have EVERY right to feel that way, just as gays have the right to have their lifestyles.

You can't force businesses to allow businesses they don't want to invade their sites and livelihoods. Believe me, with this issue, for Paulus it is NOT about gay rights, it is about hurting Clay, trying to stop him from working, stop his career, and make a name for himself all at the same time. He has no other motives at all. He has done a lot to actually HURT gay rights in the last 2 years with this crazy vendetta he has launched. I know quite a few people who were all for gay rights and supported them. They are so turned off now off all things gay due to this idiot and others like Perez, who think they have the right to decide who is or isn't gay, who should do what, go where, say what, etc. Making these people the deciders of others' fates is practically allowing tyranny against anyone they choose or those who don't believe them or follow their lead.

Again, it is NOT about discriminating against gays in this case. It is about not allowing this church to make their own decisions based on their choices. Since Clay has gay people in his entourage the whole thing is actually a bald faced lie to begin with. Regardless of Clay's status, there will be and I am sure there probably have been in the past, gay people who have appeared in that church. They aren't saying they can't. Paulus is making a lying claim just to get another minute on his 15 minutes of leaching off Clay's name.

Posted by: Dan | Oct 9, 2007 3:34:30 PM

Dan: I hear you loud and clear; I simply disagree.

Nobody is saying that the church CAN'T legally get away with discriminating on the basis of sexual orientation. We are just saying they SHOULDN'T do it. And we are saying that if it does come out that they do have such a stipulation (and it should be noted that this is not just a claim that's 100% tied to Paulus, as there is reportedly a letter from the church in in possession), then we would HOPE Clay would take a stand against that mindset.

What happens so frequently with gay activism is that people will make it seem as if gay activists, through their words and protestations, are trying to take away someone else's freedom. But in cases such as this one, nobody is trying to stifle the church's freedom (if the gay stipulation is even true). Those who find fault with "no gay" policies are simply exercising their own freedom to say, "Wow, that's f***d up!" in hopes that their words will lead to some sort of positive social change.

As for Clay and his entourage -- for the one millionth time: THIS IS NOT ABOUT CLAY!!!!!! You say, Since Clay has gay people in his entourage the whole thing is actually a bald faced lie to begin with." By what regards?!!? The situation involves the church and a ban they supposedly hold. Clay, his friends, and his politics are detached from the situation.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 9, 2007 3:55:59 PM

This is reportedly the text of the letter put out by the church. It may not be a pristine transcription however, as it is replete with apparent spelling/typographic errors:

On behalf of the Special Events Ministry and Executive Committee, I wish to convey to you the process followed in scheduling Clay Aiken for a concert in November.

I know you will receive questions from those who hear/read the innuendo and rumors. Instead of accepting gossip as truth, the issue was researched and those involved arrived at these conclusions:

*Clay was raised in a conservative Southern Baptist church in North Carolina , by his mother, where he sang in the church choir. He had no positive male role model in his life, enduring terrible relationships with a father and later, a step-father who were not Christ followers. (This fact was confirmed by Roger London speaking directly to a deacon in Aiken's home church.)

*Clay has always spoken openly about his Christian beliefs. He dozen't drink, smoke, swear or womanize. He won't sing about sex or even use lyrics with innuendo. During his Idol appearance in 2004, Aiken wore his WWJD bracelet each show.

*His holiday CD includes several songs about Christ's birth. During a tour for Disney, he sang an explicitly Christian song ("You Were There") which references Abraham, David and Jesus. He was prepared to quit the tour if Disney pulled the song, but no objections were raised.

*In an interview with Rolling Stone magazine in July 2003, Aiken cleared stated that he is not gay. This fact was again confirmed in an interview with "Today's Christian," an internet website and service of Christianity Today, International.

*He has added a Christian promoter to his staff in order to book concerts in churches.

*In response to his critics that he should be purely a Christian artists, Aiken refers to his calling: "I grew up in a small Baptist church. Some of the most amazing people were part of my church family. It seemed however, that every time the church grew, it was [through transfer]. We almost never got new members who weren't already going to church somewhere else! We were just trading sheep; I sort of feel the same way about Christian radio. I know all of the songs and all of the artists, and it ministers to me, because it helps me learn more about myself and my walk with God. But the people I know who aren't Christians don't listen to Christian radio stations. So, if I can put a secular love song on an album, and someone can interpret it in a way that makes them think of God's love for them or the power of Jesus' sacrifice, then I think I've fulfilled my purpose."

*Rumors persist that his mannerisms and "soft" nature display a homosexual preference. But if appearance and voice alone determine sexual orientation, then Fred Rogers, (Mister Rogers) a conservative ordained Presbyterian minister must have been one as well. By the way, his 51 year marriage ended upon his death in 2003.

*A man recently came forward to publicly claim he was physically involved with Aiken. The man later recanted of his accusation, and claimed that "Aiken haters" encouraged him to scandalize the singer.

Keep in mind this is an "outreach event." Many of Clay's fans are Christians, however some may never darken the halls of a church but for this one event. Obvious with this outreach comes with a risk, but our goal is to seek the lost sheep, not assemble the sheep already in the pen.

If any further "factual" information becomes apparent in the coming months, the Executive Committee will address the data and review the situation.

If you have any additional factual information for us to review, we would love to receive and review it.


Mark Posson
Executive Pastor/Business
Central Christian Church
2900 N Rock Rd
Wichita , KS 67226
Ph. 316-688-4400
[email protected]

Posted by: Barsky | Oct 9, 2007 5:37:28 PM

G_A_Y, you made this about Clay by using his name, his concert and his picture in your article.

Posted by: Dave | Oct 9, 2007 5:47:38 PM

Dave: That's childish. Of course Clay is involved by association. However, I was saying to you that the issue at this point is the church's stance, not Clay's friends or beliefs.

Barsky: Thanks for sharing.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 9, 2007 6:07:25 PM

The Church plans to use this in order to recruit more homophobic Christian nutcases? LOL. Do they also plan to convince Sean and Jesse that they are sinners?

Perhaps if they knew that Sean was a sinning Jewish person they wouldn't want him either.

Posted by: Shirley | Oct 9, 2007 7:40:03 PM

It’s unfortunate that in their desperation, Clay Aiken fans would take a sarcastic retort that I made in response to their ludicrous assertion and construe it as a statement of fact. Again, there was never a legitimate recant made by me nor will there be. I stand by the story as reported by the National Enquirer and as told by me on the Howard Stern Show.

In interviews back in September 2006 with Diane Sawyer, and Larry King, when questioned whether or not he was gay, Clay Aiken declined an opportunity to provide a direct yes or no answer. In an interview given to People Magazine in the Fall of 2006 he was once again asked the question and again he chose to equivocate and not give a definitive yes or no reply.

His current refusal and equivocation to the question provide credibility to my assertions. Those using his 2003 Rolling Stones interview as evidence of his heterosexuality do so in desperation.

Posted by: John Paulus | Oct 9, 2007 8:04:34 PM

John Paulus said in his "Recant" is right here. Go see for yourself. This is not a recant. This is a guilty man coming clean. Now, he has changed his mind it seems. All of his words are documented. His actions against Mr. Aiken are sickening and should be embarrassing to the gay community. Read his words yourself.
Clay Aiken's silence seems smart to me. Attention is all this creep wants.


Posted by: georgy | Oct 9, 2007 8:37:05 PM

Paulus will never be done with slandering Clay Aiken. His blog is making him too much money. When he first went to the NE, I was sad that he did that to Clay, but he got his message out there. It is almost 2 years later. He gets insulted by the fans of Mr. Aiken calling him a liar, so there is no retribution. Only He is allowed to say whatever crosses his mind. He will never stop. Any credibility he may have had, is gone. He is merely a stalker.

Posted by: Georgy | Oct 9, 2007 8:43:26 PM

Everyone: You are free to make as many comments as you like. But please, in the sense of honesty, use the same handle when posting rather than using multiple screen names that point back to the same IP.


Posted by: G-A-Y | Oct 9, 2007 9:04:02 PM


Posted by: georgy | Oct 9, 2007 11:43:06 PM

It's interesting that Mr. Paulass used his post for two reasons. One to say he did not recant and two to point out that Mr. Aiken did not answer yes or no when asked by Larry King and Diane Sawyer. And while there was a discussion,Larry King did not ask him if he was gay or not.I don't know about Diane Sawyer.Mr. Aiken did not equivocate.He was very clear that he had already made the decision and he was not going to discuss it any more.

A recant is a recant,whatever tone you choose to adopt to get it across.Simply because you say it is sarcastic does not make it so,and even if it did,it is still a recant.This goes to the question of credibility.If you choose to take back what you have already said, then be prepared for people to question your integrity and honesty.It cannot be hidden behind "it was sarcastic","it was satire","it was a joke" or "it was a sarcastic retort".And it certainly cannot be hidden behind "it was taken out of context and manipulated and lies" as he posted in his blog.

The "sarcastic retort" excuse is the funniest.Yes indeed, a 1000 word retort which conforms exactly to what a retort is-namely "a reply, especially a quick, caustic, or witty one." There was nothing quick,caustic or witty about it.

If Mr. Paulass is going to carry the banner for gay rights,and I really don't think that is his motivation, then the place to start would have been at the Gay Pride Day held not too long ago in his home area. He did not attend. He admired Kim Locke because she supports gay rights and she came to his home area in the summer and he was going to support her.He did not attend her concert.

So what is his motivation now with the National Enquirer and his involvement with the church in Kansas? It's too bad really that his motive is revenge. He spent two years taunting Clay Aiken fans about being in contact with Mr. Aiken and being an insider to events in Mr. Aiken's life, only to find out just a week ago, that he had been duped by Aiken fans. What's that line? "Hell hath no fury like a....scorned".He was furious.He was going to get Mr.Aiken and he knew how and he posted the plan on his blog. Since he could not really get at the fans,he choose the next best thing to the fans- Mr.Aiken himself and he resurrected the sexual encounter story and his recant,combined it with the upcoming concert in Kansas and made it clear what his goal was-have the church cancel the concert because Mr. Aiken was gay.When that didn't seem to work,he had a second tactic.He called on Mr. Aiken (on his blog) to cancel the concert because to go there would be a slap in the face to all gay people. Mr. Aiken would be "damned if he did"and "damned if he didn't".

First,he erased all his blogs with any reference to Mr. Aiken and said there would be no more discussion.Then he came roaring back like a lion warning that if Mr. Aiken's fans did not stop talking about him and calling him a liar with reference to the recant,they would feel his wrath.Thus the National Enquirer story.

At this time,,all references to Mr.Paulass and his blog have disappeared. All that remains is THANK YOU.He then went to another blog and said he was taking a break from blogging and thanked all those who were like "family".

As someone said earlier "control and attention by absence".

Posted by: Donna | Oct 10, 2007 3:24:05 AM

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