FOX, always vigilant when it comes to the gay scourge, is now reporting that Matthew Murray, the deeply troubled young man who shot and killed himself and members of Ted Haggard's New Life Church and the church's Youth With A Mission program was gay.
In fact, he may be a victim of the church's ex-gay reparative therapy program. Having failed to find heterosexuality through Jesus it appears that Murray was booted out of the youth program and out of the church. Crushed by this rejection and overwhelmed by rage and despair thanks to the curse of homosexuality, Murray went on a killing spree that ended with himself.
I would hope "and pray" that America's reaction to this would be a growing realization that homophobia--and Christian homophobia in particular--is a deep and pervasive poison in our society that does much harm to our culture, our spiritual and political health and the human spirit.
Murray's rage seems to have had several layers. He was furious that the Church had forgiven Ted Haggard but not him. He believed that he had done everything he was supposed to do according to New Life Church counselors but was still booted out for being queer. And, perhaps most perfidious of all, Jesus had failed to cure him.
Betrayed by the Church and crushed by the curse of unholy same sex desires, Murray chose that most American of Constitutionally protected solutions to his life problems: He purchased a small arsenal that included assault rifles and an assortment of semi-automatics and then he went on his All-American shooting spree.
We easily talk about the cost of homophobia in terms of teen suicide, substance abuse, shattered self-esteem and chronic depression, but we shy away from the impact homophobia may be having on all of us, not just troubled queers.
Is homophobia at the core of fascist politics, hate-based religion and much of the domestic violence that plagues the American family?
We badly need to more closely examine the pathology of homophobia and the closet as these onerous institutions drive men to an intense state of self-loathing, self-delusion and much harm to themselves and, it appears, to others.
Clearly, the neo-Republican party seems to have become an outlet for deeply disturbed gay men who seek salvation and release from their personal devils through the destruction of their own kind and even our democracy. Ted Haggard, Mark Foley, Larry Craig, Karl Rove and perhaps even George W. Bush himself suggest a very ugly pattern. How much of the negativity that poisons and permeates the national agenda is fueled by homophobia and pathologically self-loathing repressed gay men and women?
Police say Murray was motivated by revenge.
Revenge for what? The answer seems to be in Murray's blogging, according to the FOX report.
After trying to "go all out for God" and failing, Murray wrote he fell into a deep depression.
Murray, 24, was dismissed from Youth With a Mission in 2002 for what the training center has described only as health reasons.
Last summer, he wrote, "People like us are going to go to hell, according to Christians." He lists several reasons why. Reason number seven is bluntly stated, "I'm bisexual." In other postings, Murray wrote, "... I can never get a female date. I am at least able to get some male action."
And later, he wrote about confronting his mother about his bisexuality.
Murray wrote that he told her, "Using drugs, alcohol and having gay sex, I'm just trying to do what any Christian pastor would do. At least I'm not doing meth like Ted Haggard."
Murray also noted that the Church forgave Haggard.
He posted, "I want to know where was all the love, mercy and compassion for my supposed imperfections?"
As the deeply tragic story of Matthew Murray plays out in the weeks and months to come, these are all questions that must be explored and explored with wisdom and transparency by the gay and straight communities alike. This is a deeply troubled land, driven by a political and religious climate of hate, fear, superstition and bigotry. Homophobia may be a symptom or it may be a root cause, but in either case until homophobia is addressed intelligently, the Matthew Murrays and the Matthew Shepards of this nation will continue to add to a bloody and horrible body count.
At least in Iran, the executions of gay men are swift. In the United States we prefer to slowly drive our gay children insane so that they grow up to be monsters.