Thursday, December 14, 2006

Prayerfully pissed

Over a month ago, Presbyterian Pastor Brent Dugan committed suicide. I didn't know him at all. Never heard of him. Till now. But I am praying for the repose of his soul.

Apparently a television station was going to air some "expose'" on him. Somehow, they had information (maybe some footage?) of him in an "adult bookstore." It seems that maybe he was, as am I, gay, and in the closet. And they were going to expose him. I guess he felt all was lost, no where to turn. Nothing to do. Would the whole of his ministry be down the drain?

He killed himself. Sadly, that may be the thing for which he will be remembered. SO many of us know what that darkness feels like. No way out. Only abject humiliation and ruin. And we cannot bear to see all we have worked for, done, achieved, prayed, and wept over going down in ruin with our "reputations." It is a lonely place. No light, at all.

I am so angry right now I could spit. I am angry at the religious abuse that the Church puts on so many. And I am angry at those who sit by and let it pass. Too many good men and women, and youth have found no way to face into a darkness created by others, not by God.

This all tests my faith in the Church, that's fer damn sure. But it does not really shake my faith in God, who is so far beyond "the Church." Maybe farther and further than ever, these days. Not distant from us, but just from the damn institutions that presume to speak in God's name.

I am pissed, but not at Brent Dugan. I weep and pray for him. Requiescat in pace, dear brother. Rest in the arms of the One who loves you.


Billy said...

I think there should be more prayerfully pissed people in the world. I'm sorry for the sorrow of this post but glad for the relative hopefulness of the last one. Happy holidays.

Fr. B said...


Hooray. I got through. Thanks for the posting. I too am deeply saddened by this death. We've got to help one another out of the closets that are killing us and those we love.

Fr. B.

Lemuel said...

There but for the grace of God, go I?

How sad.

There was a commentary on the CNN web site this afternoon written by the [punk] son of Jim and Tammy Faye Bakker. He and a co-worker wrote an editorial entitled something like "Whatever Happened to Christianity?" I recommend it (much to my own surprise). I never had any time for his parents - even before the scandals, so I possibly prejudged him.

I am guessing that God is having a lot more mercy on Pastor Dugan's soul than he is planning for those who drove him to his death.

Michael said...

He was a victimzer and when comfronted with the truth, he remained a victimzer by killing himself.
By all means be angry but at a selfish man. Think, of the young gay people who could have helped. The minds he could have opened, instead he perferred to victimize his family, gays and most of all himself. Sorry guys no pity from me.

Anonymous said...

I too am angry
His death is another reason why I won't ever again be in the closet and have others rule me by my vanity

A Troll At Sea said...

Whoa, Joe.

Anger at the churches seems a little out of place when the problem was the threat of the media to expose someone for going to an adult bookstore.

Could have happened to a straight pastor, too, in some denominations.

The problem is the judgemental nature of the Great Unwashed, sorry, the General Public, for whom the media produce that crud.

Sorry, I am angrier at the people who would put someone's reputation at risk to sell airtime or papers...


Michael said...

I guess I have enough anger to go around -- at the media who will do this to make a buck; at the public that devours these stories, thereby making it worth the media doing it to make the buck; at the churches and other institutions -- let's not neglect political parties or school boards -- that foster hatred and division among their followers...

Within the past ten days, a dear friend and a more casual acquaintance have been moved to attempt suicide -- both gay clergy who were finding their lives becoming intolerable because of what they suffered from the treatment of the society around them. Both have loving families and friends, but their pain pushed them into such a corner that they were unable to break through it to reach us or let us reach them. Was their attempt selfish? Yes. But I have never been on fire, so I cannot condemn what a burning person does to find relief.

What I need is not enough anger to go around, but enough forgiveness. I need it because it is the only path to healing for myself. I have been part of the morbid public feasting on the tragedies of other's lives. I have watched the news reports, bought the sponsors products, paid for the newspapers... I have unknowingly but unerringly piled fuel on the flames that burned someone.

Brent Dugan, ora pro nobis.

john said...

I'll say prayer for him.
It's so hard to be in the closet. It's the one place I feel the safest, but it's also a place where I feel suffocated.

Michael said...

God, I'm glad I'm Unitarian. You all knew what the churchs were about, yet you supported them anyway. Even tryed to change them. I never hear any concern about gay homeless teenagers on the street or working the streets. Its impossible for me to believe that you guys didn't know you were gay before you married or join the church-but you did it anyway. Maybe, if you stopped whining about how misunderstood you are and did some goods works within the gay community you could get passed your own self invovlement you would realize YOU are the precursors
I was kicked out of the house at 18 by Pentocostal parent, yet I'm less resentiful then all of you. I'm 50 now.
I don't think any of you will find peace until you become proaction and change the way you live. Then you might be able to forgive yourself and in turn your past.

jeremy said...

Knowing suicide personally, we must remember that a person who commits suicide is only thinking about themselves and no one else.

Sad that he chose this route when there are ways to solve the issue. Was it the stress of being outed, or the fact that he would be ruined like many others?

Jay Bakker said it well last night on Larry King, "we Christians, are the only group who shoot their wounded."

We pray for his soul and pray for the community that was hell bent on exposing him. They aren't very good Christians are they? It is far easier to destroy than to support and build up or repair.

Damed Christians.


Michael said...

It seems to me that Christians are not the only group that shoots their wounded. Gays seem to do that a bit ourselves...

Michael said...

Really, explain?

Ta'fxkz said...

Well all groups that turn into self supporting systems might have started well but they then turn oppressive ... if we find a system that self-destructs every time there is wine that is rawer than the bottle I guess we can say that God’s kingdom has come and that God’s will has been done on earth as it is in Heaven