Monday, February 28, 2011

This Is The BIG ONE! It Even Beats Eddie Long!: The Hypocrisy of the Year Award Goes To ...

An Anti-Decadence Pastor 

Accused Of Public Masturbation
And Pedophilia!

From WDSU in New Orleans:
METAIRIE, La. -- Grant Storms, a conservative pastor who has staged protests against New Orleans' Southern Decadence Festival, was arrested Friday on accusations of masturbating in a public park.
Great hypocrisy stories, like income tax refunds, should always be treated as windfalls. Journalists and bloggers have to take advantage of them because it would be ridiculous to waste a great story by relegating it to ho-hum regular news. And this one is a gem. 
Storms told deputies he was just having lunch at the park when he had to go to the bathroom, so he relieved himself in a bottle.
Imaginative stories like that can be the mark of desperation: two women were witnesses and they precisely testified that he wasn't urinating in any bottle!

Every day, dozens of google-alert "Pastor arrested"s fill my email box. So why is this one so special? Because of the adjoining copy:

Storms is known for staging protests against Decadence, an annual gay celebration in the French Quarter. In 2003, he organized a march in opposition of the event, calling it "nasty" and "depraved."
"Nasty." "Depraved." WTF? 

OK, let's step back: 
  • Pastor
  • Anti-gay activist
  • public park
  • children
  • play ground
  • masturbation
  • urination. 
Couldn't get better on the hypocrisy scale, could it? Then there's his name: Storms. It can (and will) be linked to the story in a myriad number of ways. I'm trying to think of one now, but my head's still trying to fathom how stupid this guy is. Maybe he hated Southern Decadence because it was not the kind of "playground" he enjoyed. Maybe a long time (months or years, who knows?) of ogling kids in public parks has changed Storms' mind about what is "nasty." 

The REAL Southern Decadence

Alright, I'll eschew the sarcasm. It's just that I feel so giddy. 

Campaigning against immorality has been the stock-in-trade of the Christian Right for centuries. The tactics haven't really changed, it's just that today's media has made it closer. The media has also highlighted the faults of extreme religionists who do practically nothing but campaign against morality. The stridency of some people creates suspicion. Oh, the public may not always want to recognize hypocrisy, but covering it up has gotten increasingly hard to do. There are, of course, hypocrites who think that their titles and Bibles will shield them, but they are delusional. Eddie Long, the I'm-David-and-I-haven't-thrown-a -rock-yet pastor found out the hard way. But hubris is a drug to which many pastors become addicted and they tend to do stupid things with abandon.

Stupid things like masturbating in a public park, after you've become known as the most vocal enemy of a gay event that calls itself "Southern Decadence."

If you look up "decadence" in the dictionary, you're apt to come up with this definition: "a luxurious self-indulgence". Self-indulgence, however, is very relative: while most people think of self-indulgence as being sheer love of the body, e.g. sexual gratification, self-indulgence can be had by "luxuriating" in just about anything. Grant Storms was luxuriating in self-righteousness when he spearheaded protests against Southern Decadence. Tony Perkins of the Family Research Council luxuriates in demonizing people:

  • Almost all child sexual abuse is committed by men; and 
  • Less than three percent of American men identify themselves as homosexual; yet 
  • Nearly a third of all cases of child sexual abuse are homosexual in nature (that is, they involve men molesting boys). - - This is a rate of homosexual child abuse about ten times higher than one would expect based on the first two facts. 
Actually, Perkins luxuriates in lies and is completely decadent with them: in 1992, A. Nicholas Groth, (then a major researcher of sex offenders) complained about his work being totally distorted by FRC:
Since your report, in my view, misrepresents the facts of what we know about this matter from scientific investigation, and does not indicate that my studies on this topic reach conclusions diametrically opposed to yours, I would appreciate your removing any reference to my work in your paper lest it appear to the reader that my research supports your views.
So, the Southern Decadence of Grant Storms' beautifully hypocritical scenario should not be lost on the public. And Eddie Long? Well, at least he didn't get caught with his zipper down and his eyes on little kids.