Friday, November 5, 2010

A Truly Moral Preacher? Gay Megachurch Bishop Comes Out ... for a Good Reason

Now here's a story I like. Jim Swilley is gay, but few people knew it. He kept his sexuality a secret for decades because he was founder and bishop of Conyers’ Church in the Now, a "megachurch" in Rockdale County, Georgia.

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.


  1. might wanna proofread that last paragraph some

  2. I sent him an email myself, praising and congratulating him for his actions. He deserves our utmost praise, and I'm proud to be an atheist as so many have come to support him.

    I watched his entire coming out video, it was very timid at first, yet entirely heartfelt, he knew he had to do it, but the amount of possible backlash scared him. I feel his is the best kind of bravery, I applaud Jim Swilly and what he's done for gay youth, who knows how many he may save from his actions.


Dear readers -- I am no longer blogging and after leaving these blogs open for two years have finally stopped accepting comments due to spammers. Thanks for your interest. If you'd like to write to me, click on the "Contact" link at the top. Thanks! -- CJ.

Note: Only a member of this blog may post a comment.