Wednesday, July 22, 2009

The Art Of Human Sacrifice: When Religious Families Become Too Extreme In Their "Love" of God

Has Bryce Faulkner Been Sacrificed to God?

A while ago, we read about a gay teen's nightmare in a Mormon "Boy's Camp" - it was called "Trapped In A Mormon Gulag." Now the gay community is sending up flares about a young man named Bryce Faulkner. Not a teen, but a 23-year-old man who was forced by his parents to go to an "ex-gay" program (the program lasts 14 months!). The Problem? No one has heard from him since.

From Slog:

Where In The World Is Bryce Faulkner?

Posted by Dan Savage on Mon, Jul 20, 2009 at 10:42 AM
Bryce Faulkner, 23, was preparing to come out to deeply religious family in Arkansas when his mother discovered his emails to his boyfriend, Travis who lives in Wisconsin. Bryce was given an ultimatum of being kicked out of his family and put out on the street or going into ex-gay therapy. Before Bryce disappeared his boyfriend Travis received one last phone call on June 15th and was crying uncontrollably saying, "You should have heard the mean and hateful things they said about me. They made me read out loud passages from the Bible." There's a website, there's a YouTube video, there's more info here.

I'm not sure what to make of this case. Bryce Faulkner is 23 years-old; he's not a minor, and presumably he could flee Arkansas—and a hateful family—like so many other gay and lesbian Arkansans have before him. But family ties are powerful things and threats of being cut off financially or emotionally have driven other gay men into quack "reparative therapy" programs.
So is Bryce Faulkner being de-gayed for the "Glory of God"? Sounds vaguely like a human sacrifice. Sanctioned by the Bible, of course.

I've read an "unauthorized" biography of Fred Phelps. His persona would be a more appropriate "Abraham" in sacrificing an "Isaac." He has thirteen children and, make no mistake, they're ALL afraid of him. He repeatedly brutalized his wife and children. (Two of his oldest sons were able to escape the Phelps hell, but the others have been indoctrinated to the point that they make no distinction between God and Fred - which is the way he likes it). In fact, it's amazing that any one of the Phelps children is alive. Yes, Phelps is obvious.

But there are too many "Believing" parents who escape detection or are shielded by their religious community. Then again, no one wants to intrude on "family matters." Truth is, there are more mothers worthy of the image of Piper Laurie's character in "Carrie" than there are June Cleavers.

I'm also having a feeling of deva ju here, but twenty years ago, the situation was unspeakably worse: people were being kicked out of their homes WHILE THEY WERE SICK AND DYING!!

And they're STILL doing that in the African-American communities - read Gil L. Robinson's anthology, Not In My Family. You will find characters like "Bishop" Eddie Long, who led a march against the rights of gays and lesbians.
Long characterized the march as a demonstration in support of family values. But it may well stand as the first time in memory that black people, marching under the banner of civil rights, have essentially campaigned against themselves. - Nathan McCall.

From discrimination against gays to human sacrifice. Quite a leap in reasoning you say? But think: isn't allowing people to die a kind of sacrifice to God - to "appease" Him? Isn't FORCING a person to change from what God has made him into what someone thinks will please God a kind of human sacrifice?


... human sacrifice is a popular theme in the Old Testament. In Numbers 31 when the Israelites slaughter the people of Midian they take all of the cattle, goods, and flocks into their possession, along with the women and children of the Midianites. This displeases God, who sends a plague upon the Israelites for not slaughtering all of the Midianites, and Moses commands that of the captured Midianites all the male children and all the females who are not virgins are slaughtered. Of the remaining virgin women and children there are recorded 32,000, of which Moses divides amongst the people to offer as human sacrifices to God.

Another metaphor: because of the harshness of nighttime desert climates, to evict someone from your house meant certain death (hence the hospitality of Lot to the two angels). The Faulners probably knew the metaphor: "Go to Exodus or die! Your choice, Bryce."

Not much of a choice. Not much of a family, either.

The Faulkners have demanded that Travis and the rest of the concerned gay community remove the website. They've threatened legal action. Travis, however, has stated that the website will remain until Bryce in person tells him to take it down.

Too many people's emotional, mental and physical lives have been sacrificed to God. When will God step in and say, "Enough Already!"

Just a thought.

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