“You may not be able to change the world, but at least you can embarrass the guilty.”
– Jessica Mitford
Did you hear that sound? That loud, heavy ka-thud? That was the sound of yet another right-wing Christian hate-mongering hypocrite hitting the ground like a big sack of bibles dropped from a plane at 14,000 feet. That was the sound of George Rekers going down. If you didn’t hear it, maybe you felt the shockwave underfoot. These guys land hard, and they don’t bounce. Not even the really gay ones.
Who is George Rekers, you ask? You’ve probably never heard of him, and he seems to prefer it that way. Rekers is one of the hidden puppetmaster of the hatemongering, hypocritical Christian wrong. Er, um, sorry, I mean Christian right.
George Alan Rekers is a Baptist minister, an author and a professor of Neuropsychiatry and Behavioral Science Emeritus at the University of South Carolina School of Medicine. He’s written a good deal on the subject of homosexuality and sexual identity. His books include, Shaping Your Child’s Sexual Identity and Growing Up Straight: What Families Should Know About Homosexuality. Homosexuality is Rekers’s favorite topic. Along with his pal James Dobson, one of the Christian right’s most beloved and outspoken hate mongers, Rekers is cofounder of the Family Research Council, which has been declared a hate group by the Southern Poverty Law Center. According to the Miami New Times, “Its annual Values Summit is considered a litmus test for Republican presidential hopefuls, and Sean Hannity and Ann Coulter have spoken there.”
Rekers is also an officer of NARTH, the National Association for Research and Therapy of Homosexuality. NARTH is one of those groups that advocates “conversion therapy” to “cure” homosexuals of their homosexuality. This involves such behavior modification tricks as drugs that induce nausea and electric shock while looking at homoerotic images, watching gay porn, or being shown old TV clips of Paul Lynde and Charles Nelson Reilly. Oh, what’s that? You didn’t know this sort of thing went on in this day and age? O my brothers, I’m afraid so. It seems that not only do these people spend a lot of time concerning themselves with what consenting adults do with their genitals and not only do they harbor a venomous hatred for homosexuals, they’re also really big fans of Stanley Kubrick’s A Clockwork Orange. NARTH claims it is a secular organization but this claim is highly suspect. For one thing, NARTH is bosom buddies – droogs, you might say – with Focus on the Family. Also, there are the words of its cofounder, Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, taken from an article on NARTH at TruthWinsOut.org:
“We, as citizens, need to articulate God’s intent for human sexuality,” Dr. Joseph Nicolosi, President of NARTH, said in CNN’s 360 Degrees with Anderson Cooper, April 14, 2007. At the Feb. 10, 2007 Love Won Out conference in Phoenix, the “secular” therapist told the audience, “When we live our God-given integrity and our human dignity, there is no space for sex with a guy.” Confronted with protesters at their 2006 national conference in Orlando, NARTH instructed its members to “sing a hymn or pray instead,” according to Mother Jones magazine, in its Sept.-Oct. 2007 issue.
Rekers is listed as a participating “expert on the sexual development of youth” on the website FactsAboutYouth.com. The website is a project of the American College of Pediatricians, which sounds mighty important and legitimate, and suspiciously similar to the American College of Pediatrics, from which it broke away after the American College of Pediatrics expressed its support of same-sex parents. The website receives support and assistance from – drum roll, please! – NARTH.
Rekers also has a couple of websites of his own. One is TeenSexToday.com, where he offers teenagers advice about sex and assures them, “So no matter how common or ‘off the wall’ you might think your question is about teen sex, I’ve probably already studied the topic.” His other website is ProfessorGeorge.com where you can learn everything there is to know about Dr. George Rekers.
Well, um … maybe not quite everything.
Do you sense something of a pattern in the above details about George Alan Rekers? Homosexuality … teenagers … Christianity … homosexuality … teenagers … Christianity. Did I mention homosexuality and teenagers? If you have suspicions about Rekers … well, then, you win the gold cock ring.
In April of 2010, Professor/Dr./Reverend Rekers went on a ten-day trip to Europe. Due to a recent surgery, Rekers claims his doctor told him not to lift any heavy objects. With all the luggage he would be carting around, Rekers needed a travel assistant to help him out. So naturally, he logged on to the website of travel assistant agency Rentboy.com to find one.
Wait a second, hold it, just hold it! Rentboy.com, which describes itself as “The world’s largest gay escort and massage site”? For a travel assistant? Yes, that’s right. And he found one! He chose a young man named Geo who had all the necessary qualifications to be a top-notch travel assistant: 132 pounds, 5′ 9″ tall, a lean swimmer’s build, blue eyes, blond hair, versatility, a nice ass, and plenty of uncut foreskin on his large cock. Even better, Geo’s profile claimed that he was available for “Massage, good times, travel, escort for days, nights and weekends. … For a sensual meet or companionship. Will do anything you say as long as you ask.” The perfect companion to haul Rekers’s luggage – and, of course, his ashes. Praise Jesus! Professor George’s prayers had been answered and the lord had led him to the travel assistant of his dreams. And off they went together into the wild, wild, wild blue yonder for ten days of Euro-fabulousness.
But, as the bible tells us, “the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour,” and sometimes he walketh about in the form of a photographer from the Miami New Times. That photographer was waiting for Rekers at Miami International Airport at the end of their ten-day luggage-hauling frolic and snapped a picture … of Rekers handling that luggage that was supposed to be too heavy for him. According to the New Times:
Rekers said he learned (Geo) was a prostitute only midway through their vacation. “I had surgery,” Rekers said, “and I can’t lift luggage. That’s why I hired him.” (Medical problems didn’t stop him from pushing the tottering baggage cart through MIA.)
Rekers did not deny that he contacted Geo through Rentboy.com, only that he knew Geo was a gay prostitute. When the ugly details spread fast, though, Rekers changed his story. In a Facebook message to blogger Joe Jervis, Rekers wrote the following:
I have spent much time as a mental health professional and as a Christian minister helping and lovingly caring for people identifying themselves as “gay.” My hero is Jesus Christ who loves even the culturally despised people, including sexual sinners and prostitutes. Like Jesus Christ, I deliberately spend time with sinners with the loving goal to try to help them. … Like John the Baptist and Jesus, I have a loving Christian ministry to homosexuals and prostitutes in which I share the Good News of Jesus Christ with them.
So, to wiggle out of this whole gay rentboy thing, Rekers is comparing himself to Jesus Christ. A fisher of … men. A shepherd whose rod and staff … comfort.
Contrary to false gossip, innuendo, and slander about me, I do not in any way “hate” homosexuals –
Except maybe yourself, George?
– but I seek to lovingly share two types of messages to them, as I did with the young man (Geo) …  It is possible to cease homosexual practices to avoid the unacceptable health risks associated with that behavior –
But ceasing those practices isn’t nearly as much fun as continuing them, is it, George? Even while you’re devoting your life to punishing others who engage in them.
– and  the most important decision one can make is to establish a relationship with God for all eternity by trusting in Jesus Christ’s sacrifice on the cross for the forgiveness of your sins, including homosexual sins. If you talk with my travel assistant … you will find I spent a great deal of time sharing scientific information on the desirability of abandoning homosexual intercourse, and I shared the Gospel of Jesus Christ with him in great detail.
First, Rekers pleaded ignorance, then he pleaded arrogance. If we are to believe him, then Rekers went to Rentboy.com – “The world’s largest gay escort and massage site!” – searched until he found the “sexual sinner” with just the right stats (Cut or uncut? Paper, plastic, or latex? Would you like thighs with that?) and dragged him off to Europe for ten days to get him to drop to his knees and devote his life to a man who never married and spent all his time with twelve other guys.
The Family Research Council released a statement from its president Tony Perkins (yes, that’s right, Tony Perkins – you movie fans will know why that’s so damned funny):
In the past 24 hours FRC has received calls regarding Dr. George Rekers and his connection with the Family Research Council. After reviewing the historical records we did verify that Dr. Rekers was a member of the original Family Research Council board prior to its merger with Focus on the Family in 1987.
Wait a second, hold it, just hold it! Is this guy actually trying to tell us that the Family Research Council, cofounded by George Alan Rekers, the man in question, had to review “the historical records” because they didn’t know who this guy is? Do they think we’re intellectually comatose? Seriously, do they really think we just fell off the goddamned idiot truck this morning?
Reports have been circulating regarding Dr. Rekers relationship with a male prostitute. FRC has had no contact with Dr. Rekers or knowledge of his activities in over a decade so FRC can provide no further insight into these allegations.
So, at all of those anti-gay conferences held and participated in by the Family Research Council and Focus on the Family – conferences attended by people from NARTH and the American College of Pediatricians and by George Rekers – they were … what? Preoccupied? With what? Hauling luggage around? Is that why they didn’t notice Rekers? Is that why they’ve had no “knowledge of his activities in over a decade”?
While we are extremely disappointed when any Christian leader engages in the very activities that they ‘preach’ against, it is not surprising. The scriptures clearly teach the fallen nature of all people. We each have a choice to act upon that nature or accept the forgiveness offered by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and do our best to ensure our actions, both public and private, match our professed positions.
So the Family Research Council – the organization Rekers founded with his co-kneeler James Dobson – has denounced George Rekers … even though they don’t really know who he is and have no idea what he’s been up to in over a decade. That’s it, Tony – make sure your ass is covered before you bend over for the soapbox. In the end, of course, like all Christians, they blame “the fallen nature of all people.” In other words – everybody’s doing it!
NARTH had a very peculiar response to all of this:
You have as much information as we do. Before this released we didn’t have this much information. All we had was a simple accusation that he was with a “rent boy” so that was all we were able to talk about with him. His answers (as well as his demeanor) showed that the story wasn’t exactly as it seamed [sic]. There are certain accusations that would and wouldn’t surprise certain people about others.
No shit, Sherlock.
This comes as a complete surprise as Dr. Rekers is not only very old –
Very old? He’s 61! Since when is 61 “very old?” And even if it were “very old,” what the hell does that have to do with anything? Old people can’t be gay? Quentin Crisp lived to be 91 – and he was about as gay as you can get the whole time! Of course, Quentin Crisp was man enough to be honest about it.
– and in very poor health –
Gay people can get sick, too, you moronic douchebag! Hey, maybe he has AIDS! Ever think of that?
– but also very nice and soft spoken –
Oh, well, that’s different. “Nice and soft spoken”? Why didn’t you say so in the first place? In that case, he couldn’t possibly be gay!
– so until we have further information or proof of this incident it remains rumor and speculation.
What do they want, video of the two of them having sex? So they could show it to some poor son of a bitch while they try to shock the gay out of him?
This is yet another rendition of a tune we’ve heard Christians sing before. It goes like this: “La la la la, we can’t hear you!”
What makes this story so significant is Rekers’s aggressively anti-gay work. According to gay rights activist Wayne Besen, “While he keeps a low public profile, his fingerprints are on almost every anti-gay effort to demean and dehumanize LGBT people. His work is ubiquitously cited by lobby groups that work to deny equality to LGBT Americans. Rekers has caused a great deal of harm to gay and lesbian individuals.” Along with his tireless attempts to marginalize and demonize the gay community by keeping alive obsolete myths and hateful lies long proven wrong, Rekers has served “in advisory roles with Congress, the White House, and the Department of Health and Human Services and testifying as a state’s witness in favor of Florida’s gay adoption ban.” (Miami New Times)
Please open your hymnals now to that beloved old hymn, “Swing Right, Sweet Hypocrite.” You’ve heard the song before, I’m sure. We can’t sing the whole hymn because it’s really, really, really, really long. But some of the stanzas include people like Mark Sanford, Ted Haggard, John Allen Burt, Roy Ashburn, everyone’s favorite airport men’s room tapdancer, Senator Larry Craig, and many, many, many others. I simply don’t have the space, time or energy to list even half of the scandals involving Christian conservatives. But you get the idea. This isn’t anything new – in fact, it’s getting pretty damned old. But it doesn’t stop.
I’m not trying to say that conservative Christians are the only ones who get caught with their pants down. There’s plenty of pants-dropping on both sides of the aisle. Right now, one of my prime candidates for being strung up by his genitalia from the Washington Monument is that slug John Edwards, who’s firmly on the left side of the aisle. But conservative or liberal – that’s not the point here. The point is hypocrisy. We’re all humans, we all make mistakes. But some of us insist that they have risen above that. Those are the people I’m talking about.
The one thread that runs through these scandals is Christianity. These are Christian men who fly their religious beliefs like flags. They talk about “traditional values” and “family values.” They pass judgment on those who do not live according to their religious beliefs – whether they share them or not. They work hard to legislate against the rights of gay people, to determine what women can and cannot do with their own bodies. Meanwhile, they’re screwing around on their wives, engaging in gay sex and fucking children, and when they get caught, they invoke the name of their savior and brag about how forgiven they are and tell everybody how wrong it is to judge them.
Look, as long as everyone is of age and consenting, you can do whatever the hell you want as far as I’m concerned. Unroll the rubber sheets, break out the jumbo vibrating dildos, put on the scuba gear and call in the naked Episcopalian dwarves – I don’t care! In fact, I’m all for people doing things that make them happy because we only get one life and we should make the best of it. As long as nobody’s getting hurt, I say have yourself a party!
But if you’re a Christian and you’re determined to make sure that everyone knows you’re a Christian — as if that somehow makes you better than everyone else — and if you like to spend your time sticking your nose into other people’s personal business so you can make it known far and wide that you don’t approve of their personal business, if you work to limit the rights of those people, and it turns out that you are engaging in the very behaviors you have condemned, then you, my friend, have made yourself a big fat target. You can talk all you want about how much Jesus loves you and forgives you and thinks you’re just swell. But keep in mind that Jesus isn’t here. He’s not talking. He’s not posting your bail and he’s not coming to your defense. And his angry, bloodthirsty, vengeful father is not the one you should be worried about. Worry about the people you’ve hurt, the people you’ve condemned, the people whose lives you’ve damaged. And keep in mind that you’re on your own, pal. As the saying goes, Jesus may love you, but everybody else thinks you’re an asshole.
When I was a little boy, my cousin Kenny and I used to love to pretend we were Batman and Robin. First, we’d fight over who had to be Robin. Then we’d don our capes – blankets or towels or whatever our mothers had handy – and we’d hunt down Catwoman, take her back to the bat cave and make her undress. We were very imaginative. But I digress. Do you know why we pretended we were Batman and Robin? We had no choice – because we weren’t Batman and Robin. We had to pretend. But the reality was that we were just a couple of dumb kids running around in towels looking like idiots.
That’s what these moralizing Christians do. Christianity is a game of “let’s pretend.” It’s the towel they pin around their necks and call a cape. Then they prance around and tell everyone how moral and righteous they are. They use lots of catch phrases and buzz words. They support the family and traditional marriage, they say. They have core values that are Christ-centered and biblically based. They live by the Christian principles upon which this nation was founded. They have rules they must follow – they have to oppose and condemn homosexuality and abortion and anything on the left. As long as they oppose those things loudly enough so that everyone can hear and everyone can know how moral and righteous they are … well, then, they can go about the business of being human beings who live on planet earth. But you know what? Sometimes human beings are gay. Sometimes human beings find themselves in situations where an abortion is the best choice they can make. Sometimes when people follow their conscience, they find themselves on the left side of the aisle. And best of all, some of those people are actually honest about all those things.
The brilliant comedian Lenny Bruce once said, “The ‘what should be’ never did exist, but people keep trying to live up to it. There is no ‘what should be,’ there is only what is.”
Those who live in the world of what they think should be rather than what is do so at their own risk – especially when they hurt others while doing it. Sooner or later, “what should be” falls apart and you’re left with “what is.” If you’re a moralizing hypocritical Christian who imposes his beliefs on others, “what is” can be a very lonely and unpleasant place.