Last week Bishop Swilley decided it was time to stop living a lie and come out as gay. But it wasn't because of a scandal, or because someone was threatening to "out" him. Bishop Swilley came out as openly gay to support the gay youth of America.
"I know a lot of straight people think it is a choice. It is not. ... As a father, thinking about your 16, 17 year old killing themselves, I thought somebody needed to say something.What a wonderful, generous man.
Those of us in the atheist/agnostic/secular/humanist blogosphere are quick to point out the flaws of church leaders who are caught in scandals. We're fast to report on a megachurch leader caught with a prostitute, or a homophobic preacher is caught with another man, or when a "man of God" is caught embezzling millions from his parishioners. Some of my fellow bloggers even seem positively gleeful when these stories make the news.
So now I think it's time we all acknowledge the bravery of a man who had the courage to do the right thing. Bishop Swilley is a man who cares more about our children than the consequences to himself. If that's not an example of Christian (and Humanist) ideals, I don't know what is.
He must know there will be serious consequences to his announcement, particularly the part about "it's not a choice." This goes directly against the beliefs of most conservative Christians. I don't know much about Bishop Swilley's other beliefs and teachings – I suspect I would disagree with him on many important questions – but on this one I congratulate the Bishop.