I have been waiting for someone to try to pin Matthew Murray's actions in shooting individuals at both Youth With A Mission and at New Life Church on his sexual orientation. Leave it to slimy FOX News to lead the way on this issue. Fortunately, Proceed at Your Own Risk has a post (http://rjr10036.typepad.com/proceed_at_your_own_risk/2007/12/hell-hath-no-fu.html) about this issue that sheds perhaps further light on what drove Murray to snap - lies and hypocrisy among the area Christianists (remember that Focus on the Family, one of the biggest proponents of the "cure" myth, is based right in Colorado Springs). Imagine Murray's frustration if he was thrown out of Youth With A Mission because of his orientation and then he sees Ted Haggard being granted a free pass of sorts and forgiveness after he claimed to be "cured" within a few weeks and announced he was now "fully heterosexual" something we gays know is not true.
To be perfectly clear, I in no way condone the Colorado shootings or violence against other individuals for perceived wrongs EVER. But there would be a certain irony if it were to prove out that Murray's inability to be "cured" as consistently and falsely promised by these Christianist organizations literally all around him is what made him go over the edge. Having tried for over three decades to be "cured" myself before finally coming out and ultimately finding peace with my sexual orientation (after five years of therapy), I can at least catch perhaps glimmers of the rage at God and at Christianists that Murray felt. I myself felt at times that my life had been ruined by religious frauds and liars. I suspect that many in the LGBT community have had a similar experience. Here are some highlights form Proceed at Your Own Risk:
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 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.
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.
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?"
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.
Additional information is set out at the Denver Post (http://www.denverpost.com/ci_7704989) and at this site where what are believed to be some of Murray's postings about his unhappiness and issues with religion can be found: http://www.thoughttheater.com/2007/12/murray_had_confrontation_at_new_life_church_in_200.php