We talked a lot on the show yesterday about Tom Brock, church pastor in Minneapolis who said that a tornado there was God's wrath against homosexuality, and then was outed by a local gay publication , Lavender, after a reporter went undercover into a supposed 12-step "reparative therapy" program. A lot of discussion focused on the ethics of the reporter but there's no doubt this guy is a hypocrite and needed to be exposed. Well, now the church says he won't be booted because he is in the "ex-gay"cult trying to deal with his supposed "problem:"
Hope Lutheran's executive pastor, the Rev. Tom Parrish, said when confronted with the article, Brock "simply said he indeed has been attending this Christian group, both going there and being honest about temptations he has, and is being held accountable so he never would do anything with that temptation."
Parrish said Brock was put on leave from the job of senior pastor at Hope Lutheran when the article came out, but likely will return after an internal investigation.
"What they've done is unconscionable," Parrish said of Lavender's covert infiltration of Faith in Action. The group is the Minnesota affiliate of the Catholic Church's Courage program, described on its website as a "spiritual support system which would assist men and women with same-sex attractions in living chaste lives in fellowship, truth and love."
The discussion on the show, and the calls from many listeners, really convinced me this was the right thing to do and this is not any real, respected "12-step program" but a dangerous cult group whose entire premise is a lie. The man went out in public, to a group recognized by medical and mental health authorities (American Psychiatric Association, American Medical Association, American Psychological Association, etc.) not only as a fraud but also potentially harmful.
Most reporters, if they'd received a tip about the pastor from someone in such a program, would surely have tracked it down, seeing a story there, even if perhaps not going undercover in the program or using that as the sole sourcing or as anything but background. I personally would have gotten other sourcing -- people who had sex with the guy, for example -- but I can understand the reporter in this case, John Townsend, not seeing this as a 12-step program in line with those that help people with universally recognized problems such as alcohol and drug abuse. I'm even more convinced it was right after seeing the church's response, and hope the paper keeps up the reporting. Like every other deluded "ex-gay," this guy will never be straight and will surely be getting it on with a rentboy -- or someone else in the program.
UPDATE: You can watch Tom Brock's rant about the tornado being God's wrath on the gays below.