At the news of Jerry Falwell’s death filled the airwaves and the Internet, and as posts of praise and condemnation of the controversial founder of the Moral Majority followed, my thoughts turned to Mel White.
Rev. White was a ghostwriter for Falwell, inicluding on his autobiography, and also ghostwrote for other big-name evangelicals like Pat Robertson and Billy Graham. He spent more than two decades and $100,000 on psychotherapy, electroshock, even an exorcism, in efforts to “cure” himself of his homosexuality.
Ultimately, White accepted the fact that he is a gay man – and an evangelical Christian. After heading the largest gay Christian congregation in the United States, in Dallas, he went on to found Soulforce – the gay civil rights group that has lately been in the news for ongoing protests at Focus on the Family headquarters in Colorado Springs. Since organizing in 1999, Soulforce’s MO is to apply the principles of nonviolence, as practiced by Martin Luther King Jr. and Gandhi, often challenging the same Christian leaders who were once White’s contemporaries –