The Reverend Mel White was a good evangelical soldier for a long time. He ghost-wrote books for Christian leaders like Jerry Falwell, Billy Graham and Pat Robertson. But he had a secret that caused him torment for many years. He was gay. After many years of “reparative therapies” that included electric shock and exorcism, he finally made peace with his sexuality. In 1993, he came out publicly, writing a book called Stranger at the Gate: To Be Gay and Christian in America. Needless to say, it was the end of his cozy relationship with evangelicalism. But not the end of the relationship altogether.
In an interview with the Southern Poverty Law Center, Reverend White talks about his continuing work to fight against the bigotry and hatred perpetrated by “Christians” against gays and lesbians. White is the founder of Soulforce, an activist group based upon the civil disobedience tactics of Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. Soulforce is behind the Dear Dr. Dobson site I wrote about a few months ago.
One of the most interesting things I read in the interview was that Reverend White and his partner Gary Nixon have actually been attending his old friend Jerry Falwell’s church in Lynchburg, Virginia for the past two years and whenever Falwell says anything derogatory about homosexuals, they stand in silent protest. I wonder if anyone talks to them at the church socials.