Christian Right Weekly Round-Up: Pastor Pillow Shuns the Gays

]PJOHello, I’m Pastor Pillow!

And you must be the secretary filling in for Beverly! Lord be praised, that temp agency always sends us lookers. Think I might spend the next hour or so locked in my office reading Song of Solomon. Want to roll my scroll? Just don’t tell Mrs. Pillow.

Had to give Bev the week off with her heading to divorce court again. So many trials and tribulations, that dish—if only the Lord would provide her with a properly hung husband.

And pregnant, to boot, I understand. That’s 5 children and 3 husbands. Nothing like a little game of zygote whack-a-mole on the pilgrim’s progress.

Say, nice skirt, by the way. Let’s see if we can’t get that neckline a little lower tomorrow, though. I want every male in this congregation to be thinking of your torso when the Cubic Zirconium Cathedral Ministries palladium offering plates hit laps on Sunday morning.

Say, while I’m up here, can you print off a copy of this week’s newsletter? I always like to proof the announcements in advance.

Let’s see. Oh, wonderful, Jamal and Emma Jackson are having a baby! Wait, Jamal and Emma? Well, not much we can do about miscegenation these days. Maybe 20, 30 years ago, but it’s too hard to get anyone to buy the old “Ham shall be a servant” argument anymore.

And look at all these graduations! More homeschoolers than you can shake a volume of Character Sketches at! Looks like a Regent University Law School cream of the crop class to me! Wonder if they’ll graduate in time to serve King Bush III.

Ah, and another baby announcement! And there’s even a picture. What a cute little bologna loaf! Little James, the bouncing baby boy of Margeurite and Joy Hollander. What? Margeurite and Joy? Margeurite and Joy?! What the lava lake of abandoned souls?!

Who put this in here?! You did, Bev?!

I mean, you’re new and all, but do you have any idea what would happen if word got out that we condoned the children of—the children of—of—same-genital-union! Good Lord, what if Brother Bear down at Glory Holy Ministries gets ahold of this. They might think we’ve gone progressive!

Thank you, Bev. Lesbians. Yes, lesbians, I’m familiar with the term! By the way, do you know if they’re hot lesbians? Not that it matters—Jehovah is of course opposed to all innie-innie puzzle piece relationships.-And outie-outie, for that matter.

Phew. Glad I caught that; okay, let’s cut it. Now let’s see who died this week. Oh no, not Francis the groundskeeper! No one could manicure a lawn like that man. He was the most gentle of souls. Loved riding John Deere. Though never did talk about his family much…and now we see why! “Survived by his long-time partner Harrison and their French poodle Vltava.”

Listen, I really love your chest and think you could possibly give Bev a run for her money ultimately, but you’ve got to understand something: we cannot acknowledge The Gays. Not now. Not ever. I don’t care how many frivolously divorced, whore-ravaging, slut-sloppy straight men and women make it into this newsletter every Sunday morning, but over my premillennial dead body are we ever going to acknowledge that we have—or have had!—homosexual parishioners. Do I make myself clear?

Now, I am going back to my office. And I am going to kneel upon my Moroccan leather prayer bench. And I am going to say a prayer of forgive—

What’s this? A letter of resignation?

Dear Pastor Pillow:

I’m a lesbian. I love Jesus. And you, sir, can take your biblical misinterpretations and—well, stick them where the love o’ Christ don’t shine.

The New Chick

Please open your hymnals to No. 69.

You walk around like you’re oh so debonair
You pull ’em down and there’s really nothing there
I wish you would just be real with me

Behold, the Christian Right Weekly Round-Up!

Evangelical Mecca Wheaton College Shuns Alums, via Wheaton Magazine: “Send Us Your Non-LGBTQ News Today!”

As devotees of the Christian Right Weekly Round-Up are aware, the Pastor Pillow satire section is usually followed by summaries of five articles from the Christian Right media that truly blow the camel hair, thigh-length stockings off anything offensive put forward by Fox News, the Washington Times, et al.

As I explained in my essay, “Pastor Pillow Lives Inside Me,” I spend time exposing readers to the rarely seen underbelly of Christian fundamentalism because I was once a “Radical Right banner waver.” Unless you were a once and former fundie, you truly have no idea how bad things can be under the Falwellian Big Tent. There are literally millions of people in this country who need rescuing from their own skewed misinterpretations of all things Bible Belt.

Today we’re going to do something a little different. I’m going to demonstrate what it’s like to be an alumnus of Wheaton College in search of equitable treatment from my alma mater. Wheaton College, considered by many to be the academic mecca of Evangelicalism, resides in an eponymously sleepy, Caucasian suburb of Chicago. Wheaton College is the institutional caretaker of C.S. Lewis’ personal wardrobe and J.R.R. Tolkien’s writing desk. Its most famous alumni include Billy Graham and Wes Craven—by the way, there really is a 1428 Elm Street.

In my opinion, Wheaton College would more or less like to pretend that “practicing” members of the LGBTQ community don’t exist—especially LGBTQ alumni and former students.

Exhibit A: the Wheaton College alumnus magazine’s updated “announcement disclaimer”:

Because Wheaton Magazine is an expression of the College’s commitment to what it holds to be biblical faith and practice, we do not communicate events that, to our knowledge, fall outside of convictions expressed in our institution’s Statement of Faith and Community Covenant.

Gee, I can’t imagine why this statement was recently updated. Perhaps it has something to do with the fact that the Supreme Court is on the verge of legalizing same-sex marriage across the board and Wheaton College has a mastodon up its arse about all things LGBTQ. (By the way, here’s what every American should know about the biblical definitions of marriage.)

Why am I so up in arms about an alumnus magazine at a conservative Christian college?

Here’s what this boils down to. (Yikes, better use proper grammar. My former English professor may be reading this.) Here is the thing to which this boils down:

I am an alumnus of Wheaton College. Yet despite the fact that I have spent nearly my entire adult life in questionable violation of Wheaton’s Statement of Faith and Community Covenant, it is highly unlikely that Wheaton Magazine’s editorial board would have batted an eye at a submission by me announcing some proud endeavor, such as the birth of a child or the recent publication of my debut work of fiction, Birds of a Feather. This, despite the fact that I am now twice-divorced and—zounds!—an adult covert Roman Catholic, definite Wheaton no-nos.

But here’s where things gets a bit nasty. My friend just died. She was one of the most wonderful human beings ever to grace our Little Blue Planet. She was a Wheaton College alumnus. And she was a lesbian. Hell, she wasn’t just a lesbian—she was a champion lesbian—a medal winner at the Gay Games, no less!

Should one of her family members attempt to publish an announcement in Wheaton Magazine of her death, it is entirely likely that all LGBTQ references, including her lifetime work as a professional advocate of LGBTQ causes, would be axed. Perhaps the publication would publish the fact of her death, but would it include information about “her beloved partner”?

Want another example? I have a friend who is a Wheaton alumnus who would like to announce the birth of her child. But guess what, she’s married to a woman. Wouldn’t it be nice if this person’s former classmates and professors could learn that not only did she have a child, but she did so with a spouse named X? Too bad. She’s LGBTQ, which apparently is way worse than me being twice-divorced. (Funny that Jesus whacked away at my marital status yet never hers.)

Those of us who are not members of the LGBTQ community are constantly exposed to stories about same-sex marriage, but even allies cannot truly understand the constant dehumanization that occurs within fundamentalist communities. Trust me: it’s not just about wedding cakes.

As I indicated, today is a specially tailored edition of the “Christian Right Weekly Round-Up.”

I am a vocal ally for OneWheaton, “a community of lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, queer, questioning and allied (LGBTQ&A) alumni and students of Wheaton College (Illinois).”

And as long as I have breath, I will stand up for the rights of my fellow human beings in this and other oppressed communities. And I will fight against dehumanizing institutions and individuals, including Evangelical Grand Central Station, Wheaton College.

Here’s the announcement I recently submitted to Wheaton Magazine:

Dear Editor,

I only just now signed up for Wheaton Magazine. It seems we have a lot of catching up to do! I hope you don’t mind that I’m now Roman Catholic and twice-divorced. Hopefully that won’t stand in the way of publishing the following announcement in full:

I am the author of several recently published books on the subject of Christianity and spiritualty and am building a budding writing career, with regular contributions to Patheos and Forward Progressives. Also, I am a proud ally of OneWheaton. I’m confident Jesus would be—and is!—proud of these accomplishments.


AB, Class of ’95

Below is a list of other articles related to my personal path to becoming a OneWheaton Ally, as well as an article or two about Wheaton College that you may find of interest:

If You’re Happy and You Know It: A Journey from Evangelical Homophobia to Equal Sign

I Confess

A Christian Liberal Arts Education, Minus the Tampons

I Now Pronounce You


Mark Driscoll and the Amazing Technicolor Evangelical Funhouse Mirror Sexual Worldview (Swedish Batteries Not Included)

Please open your hymnals to No. Green.

Rainbows are visions
But only illusions
And rainbows have nothing to hide

Arik Bjorn

Arik Bjorn lives in Columbia, South Carolina. He was the Democratic Party / Green Party fusion candidate for U.S. Congress in the 2nd Congressional District of South Carolina. Visit the archive for Arik’s campaign website, and check out his latest book, So I Ran for Congress. You can also follow his political activities on Twitter @Bjorn2RunSC and on Facebook. And be sure to check out more from Arik in his archives!


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