Opinion » The Rant

The Rant (November 20, 2014)

About that COGIC ex-gay testifier ... and Facebook messages.

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Screenshot from the viral YouTube video
  • Screenshot from the viral YouTube video

Well, I'm not quite sure where to even start. If you haven't seen the viral "I don't like mens no more" video, just drop whatever you are doing right this second and go to YouTube. Really. Hurry and do it now. It was filmed recently at the Church of God in Christ (COGIC) Holy Convocation in St. Louis, and it defies description, though I'll try.

A young man gets "delivered" from being gay and, with a grand dose of pomp and circumstance, shouts to the churchgoers, "I'm not gay no more!" "I don't like mens no more!" "I like women, women, women, women!" "I will not date a man!" "I will not carry a purse!" "I will not wear makeup!" "I will like a women!" And then he does some incredible dance moves on his own... right before he begins dancing with several men. Or mens. And then the minister gives him 100 bucks (one can only assume for turning straight right there on the spot).

Then he shouts that there are probably about 50 other people in the crowd who need to be delivered, and he invites them all to come on down to where the action is taking place. Suddenly a stampede of men pushes forward, and they all start dancing, and it looks like a giant gay bar. This is real, people.

At least I think it must be real. It does look like a spoof at first, but I just don't think anyone could have scripted this — unless the young man really thought this through and practiced it. Scary. I read somewhere that he has now turned his famous "deliverance" into a ring tone on iTunes, so maybe he's laughing all the way to the bank with more than just the hundred bucks the preacher gave him.

At first, I kind of felt sorry for him, knowing that millions of people would see the video and laugh at him. And I was thinking he would probably look back one day and realize that he didn't really turn straight and might never live this down, but I think he might really believe it. He did a radio interview and talked about how it was God's will that the video is "in homes" and that because of his good looks he has dated "ministers and celebrities," but he isn't going to do that anymore.

As it turns out, the minister in the video is from Memphis. I'm not sure where the young man is from. A lot of people accused him of simply trying to get his 15 minutes of fame and staging his deliverance, but he has spoken out, saying that it was not scripted and that he is really a changed man.

He also said he'd been bullied for much of his life. No one should have to go through that. And the church's public relations department issued a statement citing the many other good things that happened during the convention, including helping children learn to read, providing food and clothing to people in need, cleaning up blighted areas of St. Louis, and that "224 Christians were filled with the Holy Spirit." Exactly 224. So no, I'm not poking fun at COGIC. I have friends who are members of that church. And I love their liturgical dancers. But I have my doubts that the young man suddenly turned straight — which is almost as fascinating as the fact that at 21, he has published 14 books. Those I really want to read. Right after I buy the young man's ring tone. And wish him the best of luck because I have a feeling he might need it.

On a completely unrelated note... Are automobile manufacturers really going to install Facebook and other forms of social media on car dashboards? I just saw a news segment about this new form of "infotainment," and it worries me. A guy just said people are going to be able to post "LOL" on cat videos while driving 60 miles an hour. Forget that all we need are more distractions while we're driving. The real question is, why have we reached the point where we can't go to the store without being on Facebook?

Right now I'm in the process of learning the detailed ins and outs of social media for work, and it's frightening. I accidentally did something to my phone, and now I get Facebook comments via text on my phone. I also just realized I have something like 452 friend requests on my rather dormant personal Facebook page, and these people probably think I'm ignoring them. Granted, I've never met or heard of most of them, but I still don't want to offend anyone. 

Oh, and the messages. There are dozens and dozens of them dating back years, and I had no idea they were in what I assume is my newsfeed. I didn't even know I had a newsfeed. And I had no idea that so many people I know now communicate almost solely on Facebook. So, Sally, I'm sorry I didn't return your message from 2011 until the other day! I'll get the hang of all this soon, even though I'm told you can do only so much, because it's all based on algorithms and people's personal social media behavior.

I'm scared to death that I am going to do something so monumentally wrong that I might either shut down the entire Facebook site or alienate everyone I know. And does this mean that I'm going to have to be able to answer everyone while I'm driving, because if that's so, I'm not gonna like Facebooks no more! I will not send Facebook messages to ministers and celebrities no more! I'm gonna Facebook message "a women"! So now I want my 100 bucks and a dance party. I'll post something about it later once my algorithm kicks in.

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