(Weekly Column)

It is difficult to tell if some fundamentalist Christians are born again or simply born yesterday. There is no other group in America so easily led, willingly bamboozled, and eager to repeat Glatzewedtomfoolery.

The latest example is the way fundies, such as World Net Daily columnist Art Moore, are cooing over the marriage of former gay activist Michael Glatze to a woman named Rebekah. They are celebrating his marriage as living proof that a gay person can become straight through prayer. A typical comment on Moore’s column about Glatze read: “What a beautiful story, that will give hope to so many people everywhere.”

No matter that it is false hope that will lead to shattered families and ruined lives. It is as if these people are amnesiacs, who have miraculously forgotten that virtually every example of an “ex-gay” transformation made public has boomeranged. Like clockwork, the “healed” homosexuals who have been thrust into the limelight eventually reemerge from the closet to say, “Whoops, I was never really straight, but tricked you, so I could fit in and not be ridiculed.”

In the past two years, Alan Chambers, the President Exodus International, formerly the largest “ex-gay” organization, said that 99.9% of his clients could not shift from gay to straight. Former Love in Action director, John Smid, is now out of the closet. Former Love Won Out director, John Paulk, has come out and apologized to the LGBT community. Jerry Falwell’s favorite example of a healed homosexual, Michael Johnston, is working for the same sex addiction facility in Kentucky that he was shipped off to in 2003. Furthermore, the latest science shows a strong biological basis for sexual orientation.

Yet, once again fundies are allowing themselves to be suckered. As an old saying, applied to these dupes, might go: “Fool me once shame on you, fool me a hundred times, I’ll earn a scholarship to Liberty University.”

Those who are cheering Glatze actually believe that his marriage is somehow proof of his changed sexual orientation. However, anyone, no matter how insincere, can walk down an aisle and slip a ring on the finger of another human being. It proves nothing other than Glatze is willing to potentially ruin the life of his young wife in order to achieve his fundamentalist bona fides. Indeed, this perpetual stage horse surely knows that wedding bells dramatically increase his chance of finding work in the “ex-gay” industry or religious right.

What will these cheerleaders say when Glatze’s alleged transformation fails, as it almost surely will if history is a guide?

Sadly, we already know the answer. These “good Christians” will coldly wash their hands of Glatze and cruelly blame him for being insufficiently Christian. When he no longer fits into their storyline, they will shun his family and pretend Glatze and his broken ex-wife (and possibly their children) never existed. Then, they will impatiently wait for their next phony hero to emerge, and place him or her on a new pedestal – until he/she falls. This is the sick cycle of shame that too many fundamentalist Christians elect to embrace.

The homophobes who support Glatze are not creating more heterosexuals. Instead, they are driving gay men deeper into the closet, where they are, ironically, more likely to practice the very promiscuity social conservatives purport to loathe. Harvard Ph.D. Seth Stephens-Davidowitz, wrote in The New York Times:

“Additional evidence that suggests that many gay men in intolerant states are deeply in the closet comes from a surprising source: the Google searches of married women. It turns out that wives suspect their husbands of being gay rather frequently. In the United States, of all Google searches that begin “Is my husband…,” the most common word to follow is “gay.” “Gay” is 10 percent more common in such searches than the second-place word, “cheating.” It is 8 times more common than “an alcoholic” and 10 times more common than “depressed.”

“I analyzed ads for males looking for ‘casual encounters.’ The percentage of these ads that are seeking casual encounters with men tends to be larger in less tolerant states. Among the states with the highest percentages are Kentucky, Louisiana and Alabama. There is, in other words, a huge amount of secret suffering in the United States that can be directly attributed to intolerance of homosexuality.”

You can probably add Wyoming to the list, now that Glatze lives there, while we can only imagine Rebekah’s sad Google searches a few years removed from the wedding. While anti-gay activists may be celebrating this marriage, they should instead be hesitating and reflect on the damage such phony unions are already doing to the family values they claim to support.