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Tuesday, July 16, 2013

Meanwhile in Muncie

Posted by on Tue, Jul 16, 2013 at 1:19 PM

The Star Press—Muncie's daily paper, which is owned by Gannett—published an opinion piece on July 13 that is hard to take seriously. Pastor James C. Johnson saw a "startling photo" of two men kissing on the cover of USA Today—which ran after the Supreme Court declared DOMA unconstitutional—and, after taking some time to reflect, the good pastor came to the conclusion that the world went completely to shit after they started showing fictional married straight couples sleeping the same bed on the teevee.

A huge difference in America today and America 50-years-ago is that sin is now showcased in newspapers and on TV. Remember when “I Love Lucy” was on television and Desi and Lucy couldn’t sleep in the same bed? There was a day when the FCC wouldn’t allow bra commercials on TV. Our society has accepted this gradual shift of public displays of immorality as the way the world is now. Some Christians have stopped taking a loving, Christ-honoring stand against sin, and have started to accept the immoral condition of our society.

And all of those sinful bra commercials and fictional straight married couples king-sized, Satan-approved beds—such immorality!—greased up the ol' slippery slope and now there are men kissing on the front pages of our nation's lousiest newspaper. But Christians share in the blame:

The apathetic Christian is part of our problem. When a family member announces that he is homosexual to his family, many families respond with indignation. They feel that the family name will be ruined, and often the response is to disown the family member. It is not a Christ–like response to have either an “I don’t care” or “get them away from me” attitude. Unequipped Christians pose another problem. Some have come to believe that if you call homosexuality a sin that you are using hate speech and are discriminating against someone’s civil rights. These unequipped Christians have not taken time to study the Bible and, therefore, do not have the tools to stand where Christians should stand on this lightning-rod issue.

Yeah, Pastor Johnson, the problem with you Southern Baptists is that you've all been way too apathetic about homosexuality. How brave of you to speak up and break the silence at last. Maybe you'll inspire other Southern Baptists to raise their voices against homosexuality, bra commercials, and king-size marital beds.

Jesus fucking Christ.

Pastor Johnson goes on to argue that Christians should love their gay kids but throw Leviticus in their faces at every opportunity. Love the sinner, hate the sin, beat the bible:

If you have a loved one who is involved in a homosexual lifestyle, let them know that God loves them and that Christ offers forgiveness and victory over sin.... If you do nothing, you will accomplish nothing. Opening your Bible and showing them the love of God through the Word of God is always better than just explaining what you think about their lifestyle.

This kind of rejection—love you, kiddo, but hate your sexuality because Jesus—harms LGBT children. It contributes to higher rates suicide, substance abuse, and depression among LGBT youth. It kills kids. Here's a deeply sad piece written by a grieving mom who now regrets taking parenting advice from ignorant, hateful shitbags like Pastor Johnson.

The editors of the Star Press should be ashamed of themselves. Politely tell them so:

Executive Editor Lisa Nellessen-Lara:
General Manager Cheryl Lindus:

And Pastor James C. Johnson of Temple Baptist Church should be ashamed of himself. You can politely tell him so via email——or on Twitter: @JamesCJohnson4.


Comments (40) RSS

Oldest First Unregistered On Registered On Add a comment
for the record, on the teevee machine, it was RICKY and Lucy. not DESI and and Lucy.

fuck sake.
Posted by Rowlf on July 16, 2013 at 1:27 PM · Report this
Pope Peabrain 2
Maybe the pastor has never heard things like "love your neighbor" or "judge not lest you be judged". No, I suppose not. Then maybe he's never heard how Christian institutions like the Catholic church has been raping and torturing children? No, I suppose not. How about the inquisition? No, I suppose not. How about witch trials? No, he's too busy preaching hate to pay any attention to his own religion's history because when you don't pay attention to history you repeat it!
Posted by Pope Peabrain on July 16, 2013 at 1:33 PM · Report this
Griffin 3
But you see, Pope Peabrain, those are Catholics, not Christians. There's a difference. This guy genuinely believes that his way is the only one.
Posted by Griffin on July 16, 2013 at 1:40 PM · Report this
--MC 4
No, he's right. I saw an ad for the Playtex 18-Hour Bra on the TV one evening back in 1971, and it turned me into a violent pervert and criminal, wallowing in the most base of behaviors for the sake of the occasional sick thrill or cheap high. No, wait, it was actually a commercial for Lite Brite ("making things with light") and it gave me an earworm that will haunt me on my deathbed. Call me and I'll sing it to you.
Posted by --MC on July 16, 2013 at 1:42 PM · Report this
Any good Catholic will tell you that if a man sees a woman wearing a bra, he will have an occasion of sin, which will be the woman's fault for allowing herself to be seen that way. Don't even get me started on a woman letting a man take her to a restaurant with white linen tablecloths, or a woman wearing patent leather shoes!

The world has gone to Hell, I tell you! It's gone to Hell!

Posted by Clayton on July 16, 2013 at 1:50 PM · Report this
My heart goes out to these parents...misguided as they were.
Posted by BG on July 16, 2013 at 1:51 PM · Report this
Fortunate 7
Ignoring all the other bullshit in his comments, can someone please tell me what was immoral about Lucy and Desi / Ricky sleeping in the same bed?

On the show they were supposed to be a married couple. How is showing a married couple in the same bed showing sin?

In real life Desi and Lucy were married, so its not even that you can say the actors weren't really married, so them being in the same bed was a sin. They WERE really married. A married couple portraying a married couple on TV in the same bed is sinful why???

Sorry, can't get past this one supremely stupid statement to even tackle the other stupid statements.
Posted by Fortunate on July 16, 2013 at 1:54 PM · Report this
fletc3her 8
There's so much wrong it's hard to comment, but at least the pastor is honest about his desire to live in the fictional world of fifties sitcoms.
Posted by fletc3her on July 16, 2013 at 2:01 PM · Report this
So umm... Should someone tell him that Jesus never said a single word about homosexuality? 'Cause it sounds to me like someone needs to go back and actually read the book he is recommending.
Posted by MiscKitty on July 16, 2013 at 2:08 PM · Report this
Posted by Max Solomon on July 16, 2013 at 2:15 PM · Report this
It takes a lot of twisting and turning to get from "God loves and accepts all of us just as we are" to "Gays are going to Hell". With people like that, I don't even know where to start.

But at least I am "unequipped" to hate people properly. Glad I got something right.
Posted by SeattleKim on July 16, 2013 at 2:18 PM · Report this
@7 If you saw a man and a woman in bed, it might make you think about them having sex, which would be sinful, because people sin in thought as well as in word and deed.

I can't say that Lucy and Ricky ever caused me an occasion of sin, but Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore? They were hawt!
Posted by Clayton on July 16, 2013 at 2:24 PM · Report this
Bras are immorality? One would think that going without a bra was more likely to be associated with immorality.
Posted by DRF on July 16, 2013 at 2:26 PM · Report this
lolorhone 14
That piece with the mother in grief was terrible. The whole time they actually thought their abuse was love. And no doubt an asshole like Pastor Johnson would consider it a failure of resolve on the parents' part. Disgusting.
Posted by lolorhone on July 16, 2013 at 2:40 PM · Report this
@13 What must the "good" pastor think about breastfeeding in public!

This pastor is a weeping boil on Jesus's behind. He's doing Christianity all wrong.

As counterpoint, I offer this from the Hicksite Quakers of Indiana:

"Ohio Valley Yearly Meeting Friends have been led by the Light of the Living Christ to understand that God’s love extends with equality to all people regardless of sexual orientation or gender identity. The understanding that Christ has given us as Quakers today leads us to three conclusions. We affirm the full humanity of lesbians, gay men, bisexuals, and transgender persons. We are committed to their equal status within the Religious Society of Friends and the wider world. We celebrate their covenant relationships, including marriages under the care of our constituent meetings, as just as sacred, just as valid, and the cause for just as much joy as those of any other persons."

Posted by Brooklyn Reader on July 16, 2013 at 2:47 PM · Report this
Fnarf 16
@7, it's porn unless one of their feet remains on the floor. Even in the moovies.

Though the actual "Hays Code" of 1930 did not mention beds (or feet) at all:…

The Hays Code didn't apply to TV; they had a separate set of guidelines, The Code of Practices for Television Broadcasters, adopted in 1951 (and written in part by KING-TV's Dorothy Bullitt), was even vaguer, saying only "The use of locations closely associated with sexual life or with sexual sin must be governed by good taste and delicacy":… . This code was abandoned in 1983, during the administration of The Great Pornographer himself, St. Reagan.

However, in reality, decisions on what was and wasn't allowed were made by each network's Standards and Practices department, and while this is where the "twin beds" rule originated, things varied considerably. And this dildohammer is wrong about TV: the first TV sitcom to show a married couple together in the same bed was "Mary Kay and Johnny", on the Dumont network, from 1947. Noted reprobates Ozzie and Harriet slept in the same bed. And even in "I Love Lucy", which he holds up as the beacon of all that is pure and untainted, one episode showed Ricky and Lucy, and Fred and Ethyl, in the same bed at the same time (as couples, not all four).

Amusingly, I've just been watching a ton of episodes of the British show "QI", which doesn't show anybody in bed at all, but does feature a near-constant stream of "fuck", "shit", "arsehole", "cock", "pussy", and other dirty words, as well as much discussion of masturbation, ejaculation, hard-ons, farting, shitting, anal sex, blow jobs, and so on. In an episode from 2009 I watched last night, comedians Rob Brydon and Ben Miller, who look startlingly alike and were wearing extremely similar shirts, embraced and kissed passionately as host Stephen Fry recoiled in horror. And yet Britain still stands.
Posted by Fnarf on July 16, 2013 at 3:15 PM · Report this

of course, we all know that danny's way is the only one.


Posted by Intolerance is OK as long as you are right on July 16, 2013 at 3:16 PM · Report this
Sargon Bighorn 18
Religions WAR on children continues.
Posted by Sargon Bighorn on July 16, 2013 at 3:47 PM · Report this
saxfanatic 19
If you're looking for historical pop culture precedents then you're all wrong. Fred and Wilma were pushing the envelope during the stone age fer crissakes!…
Posted by saxfanatic on July 16, 2013 at 3:52 PM · Report this
Fnarf 20
@19, not true. As described above, "Mary Kay and Johnny" was the first, in 1947 -- and Lucy and Ricky, while they did sleep in separate beds at home, were shown in the same bed in an episode from 1955.
Posted by Fnarf on July 16, 2013 at 3:56 PM · Report this
ScrawnyKayaker 21
@13 Wearing bras is moral. TALKING about bras is very close (wink, wink, nudge, nudge) to talking about breasts, and breasts, of course, are just about the most immoral things in the world. Therefore, talking about bras, or advertising them, is immoral.
Posted by ScrawnyKayaker on July 16, 2013 at 4:03 PM · Report this
I rolled my eyes in disappointment when some 50-something co-workers of mine sniggered and made jokes about the photo on USA Today's cover that "startled" Pastor Johnson. They reminded me of junior high boys from the Three's Company era--"Ha ha! Watch Mr. Roper squirm when Jack Tripper pretends to be gay! Gay people make him--and me--uncomfortable! Ha ha!"

Those sniggering relics from the 1970's seem positively modern compared to Pastor Johnson, whose writing style and world-view sound straight from the 1930's.
Posted by Functional Atheist on July 16, 2013 at 4:06 PM · Report this
Original Andrew 23
Guess this a$$#ole somehow missed Melrose Place in the 90s. Dr. Kimberly Shaw would've eaten his balls for breakfast (then tried to kill Michael again!).
Posted by Original Andrew on July 16, 2013 at 4:09 PM · Report this
RainMan 24
Evangelical Christians whine and moan about their voices allegedly being silenced by the secular media. Then they make statements like this and wonder why the rest of us think they have too much of a voice? If they spent half as much energy into combatting poverty, racism and other issues as they do obsessing over sexuality maybe their voices would be more welcome.
Posted by RainMan on July 16, 2013 at 4:31 PM · Report this
@22 Are you sure you're not maligning the 1930's?
Posted by Brooklyn Reader on July 16, 2013 at 4:35 PM · Report this
This is from my hometown newspaper. Plenty of loud and not so loud voices like the Pastor in my hometown to go around. Makes me sad but I read similar comments like his many times in the Letters to the Editor section so it comes as no surprise. Slightly surprising it was a featured editorial as the paper seemed a teensy bit more progressive on this issue. The town/city has a small but thriving gay community (centered around one gay bar in business for about 40 years) and is home to a university of 20,000 students. But this world view and brand of religion and attitude are not unfamiliar to me and again, not surprised by the Pator's beliefs at all.
Posted by Citizen X on July 16, 2013 at 4:58 PM · Report this
Wow. With the way his screed reads, particularly with that 'remember when' thrown in, I was expecting the good pastor to be a crotchety 80+ year old fossil who's still upset at JFK for ruining men's hat makers, but no. Dude can't be much older than I am. Certainly no more than 40. What a poser.
Posted by Avi on July 16, 2013 at 5:31 PM · Report this
The Star-Press used to be a decent paper, but since it changed hands a few years ago it's become Fox News: Print Edition.
Posted by Pope Buck I on July 16, 2013 at 5:32 PM · Report this
Fnarf 29
Am I the only one here old enough to remember when models advertised Playtex Cross-Your-Heart bras by wearing them OVER THEIR SWEATERS?

Of course, perverts wanting to see ladies in their brassieres had been able to see them in such filthy coffee-table porn magazines as "Life" and "The Saturday Evening Post" since the 1920s, or in the venerable Sears and Monkey Ward's catalogs.
Posted by Fnarf on July 16, 2013 at 5:43 PM · Report this
Typhun 30
That bit by the grieving mother. Holy fuck. That is just fucking tragic.
Posted by Typhun on July 16, 2013 at 6:40 PM · Report this
nocutename 31
@Fnarf: Bra worn over the sweater, indeed. Except when it was shown on a clear plastic torso.

Lucy and Ricky may have been shown in one bed once or twice, but typically they slept in twin beds, while wearing matching pajamas. Lucy was no doubt wearing her Playtex bra under her pajamas.

It was Rob and Laura Petrie (Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore) who were the first tv couple to share a double bed.
Posted by nocutename on July 16, 2013 at 6:47 PM · Report this
nocutename 32
The letter from the Christian mother who got it, too late, broke my heart.

The more I read these things, the more Seattle Blues posts, the more Pastor Johnsons I see (on the Internet, because thankfully, I don't know anyone remotely like him in real life), the more I'm convinced that it is a lost cause trying to break through to these people. They no more share my culture or value system--or I, theirs--than do the Bushmen of Papua, New Guinea.

I don't mean that the cultural divide isn't lamentable, and it's not like I don't feel for the innocent victims of it, in the same way I feel for the shunned, ostracized, tormented other innocent victims of other groups. But we speak different languages, Pastor Johnson and I; we believe in different realities. We worship different truths, and I am as unlikely to change his mind to my way of thinking as he is to change mine to his.
Posted by nocutename on July 16, 2013 at 7:19 PM · Report this
This guy has no credibility. What is he doing about the God-forbidden eating of shellfish? Nothing, that's what. When are we going to go after the REAL sinners?
Posted by PoorYorick on July 16, 2013 at 7:41 PM · Report this
Lucy and Ricky may have slept in separate beds, but somehow they managed to conceive and give birth to the first TV baby. I remember, it confused me.

Mom was a home health care nurse in the 60s - 80s, there were books geared towards kids explaining human reproductions laying around the house in strategic locations by the time I was 8. (Don't ask me where she found them.) So I knew how babies where made. Well the mechanics anyway, sort of, I couldn't figure out how Ricky and Lucy had a kid if they never slept together.

Maybe it was Cuban jumping sperm.

Posted by Machiavelli was framed on July 16, 2013 at 8:47 PM · Report this
scary tyler moore 35
i do remember those ads, fnarf. and the 'i dreamed i conducted a symphony in my maidenform bra' ads, too. not to mention the beautiful woman in a gorgeous designer dress descending a staircase with the only copy "Modess Because". you'd never know it was an ad for sanitary napkins.
Posted by scary tyler moore on July 16, 2013 at 11:11 PM · Report this
Beds, bras, bah! The country went all to hell when they started selling sanitary napkins without the brown paper wrappers.
Posted by tamiasmin on July 16, 2013 at 11:56 PM · Report this
@32, you're not the only one. That really left me in tears, mostly because I am randomly acquainted with some of her "befores." People who claim to love their kids or all kids or all people, no matter what, but only want to lead them "back to god." People who wouldn't shout a slur at anyone but casually tell people who don't conform to their belief system that "there's another way." They honestly think they're being loving, but it takes something like this to shock them back into reality. While I'm so, so sorry she went through that, especially since she came to her senses and tried to do the right thing, seemingly before it was "too late," I'm posting that on my Facebook page for all those "loving christians" to see. Be kind, for everyone you meet is fighting a hard battle, and all that...
Posted by Ms. D on July 17, 2013 at 1:41 AM · Report this
@31 Rob and Laura Petrie (Dick Van Dyke and Mary Tyler Moore) most assuredly slept in separate twin beds. By the time Dick's second sitcom rolled around in the '70s, he and Hope Lange were sharing a bed. But, y'know, Mike and Carol Brady beat 'em to it. Yes, I watched a lot of TV as a kid
Posted by Cork on July 17, 2013 at 10:33 AM · Report this
Darrin and Samantha Stephens had a double bed, too. There's a little-known '60s sitcom called "John and Mary" (I think) that was technically the first, but I think "Bewitched" was where most home viewers were able to see a married couple share a double bed for the first time.
Posted by Pope Buck I on July 17, 2013 at 11:14 AM · Report this
nocutename 40
Ooops--How could I have gotten the Petrie marriage so terribly wrong?!

All I know for sure is that by the time Bob Newhart married Suzanne Pleshette, they were sleeping in a king-sized bed with a plaid duvet that matched the lampshades.
Posted by nocutename on July 17, 2013 at 11:26 AM · Report this

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