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Fathers and Sons
November 17, 2006 10:18 PM   Subscribe

Jamiel Terry, the gay son of charismatic anti-gay activist and Operation Rescue founder Randall Terry, wrote an article for Out magazine about growing up in a fundamentalist household. Randall Terry responded to his son's article. Interviews with Randall and Jamiel about the exchange.
posted by Falconetti (106 comments total) 2 users marked this as a favorite

 
Washington Post article about their relationship.
posted by Falconetti at 10:19 PM on November 17, 2006


Wow. Wow. I hadn't heard about this; thanks.
posted by Ricky_gr10 at 10:33 PM on November 17, 2006


Here's the point where I copy a particularly repugnant quote from the article and point out Randall's inherent hypocrisy with biting sarcasm. Unfortunately, I can't choose just one.
posted by killy willy at 10:37 PM on November 17, 2006


killy willy wrote...
Here's the point where I copy a particularly repugnant quote from the article and point out Randall's inherent hypocrisy with biting sarcasm. Unfortunately, I can't choose just one.

Oh, please do go for it. There are some of us who can't even bring ourselves to click on a link with Randall's name on it.
posted by tkolar at 10:51 PM on November 17, 2006


What struck me about this was not the obvious angle of "ha ha anti-gay activist has gay son" but the very sad and very human family drama and two people who love one another but have come to an unsolvable moral impasse.
posted by Falconetti at 10:53 PM on November 17, 2006


I'm not sure that Randall does love his son. It seems more like he loves what he wishes his son were.
posted by owhydididoit at 11:01 PM on November 17, 2006 [2 favorites]


That alone was probably not much of a giveaway, but my soft voice

Dad must've brought him up in a world of stereotypes? Can gay men not have deep voices?
posted by raysmj at 11:04 PM on November 17, 2006


In March of 1988, my then-wife and I took Jamiel in as a foster child when he was 8 years old. We also took in his baby sister (almost 3 years old)) and their older sister (12 years old). We adopted him and his younger sister when he was nearly 15 and she was 9. He came to us as a deeply troubled boy, from a very dark home. He was literally born in jail.

poor kid.
posted by three blind mice at 11:06 PM on November 17, 2006


Possibly the saddest thing (to me anyway) is the deep denial Randall Terry is in. He seems to have rewritten his own memories to allow himself an out - he's unable to retreat from his "moral" position, so suddenly Jamiel has gone from his son, someone he loved and supported and trusted, to just another product of a broken home, a failed experiment, and an example to all parents about the dangers of secular values.
posted by RylandDotNet at 11:24 PM on November 17, 2006


pwned in the eyes of the Lord.
posted by Effigy2000 at 11:38 PM on November 17, 2006


Here's a blog post from Jamiel's myspace page from September of 2005. It has links to his dad's online radio shows, but I couldn't get them to load. Maybe it'll go back up.

Anyway, it helps paint a picture of how their relationship has changed since the interviews.

I have deep respect for this Jamiel guy.
posted by premiumpolar at 11:42 PM on November 17, 2006


"What kind of radical Christian makes jokes about having a homosexual relationship with someone - on national radio?"

"'Terry interrupted the questioning (and neatly tried to change the subject) by asking Colmes, "Are you drinking Red Bull... You're like on drugs... Are you snorting coke? I think that it's time that you and I just admit to the whole world that's listening that we used to be homosexual lovers, we had a fight and now you're...

Colmes (interrupting): I know you're attracted to me, and I understand you're vehemently anti gay [...]"

We report. You decide.
posted by TweetleBeetleBattleBookie at 12:04 AM on November 18, 2006


Kid seems to be pretty okay, considering he's gotten stuck with deadbeat loser parents twice in life. He deserves a lot better.
posted by stenseng at 12:14 AM on November 18, 2006


Also like Randall's firt implication that Jamiel is just doing it for the cash.
posted by PenDevil at 12:29 AM on November 18, 2006


suddenly Jamiel has gone from his son, someone he loved and supported and trusted, to just another product of a broken home, a failed experiment, and an example to all parents about the dangers of secular values.
posted by RylandDotNet


my thoughts as well. so much heart ach for ideals that become an end rather than a means to an end.

example: homosexuallity is wrong because it is a distructive lifestyle. don't believe me? watch me disown my own son over it. thats right, i'll wrecking ball my family over it. take that homo. your sick need to 'be' is tearing this family apart.
posted by nola at 12:51 AM on November 18, 2006 [3 favorites]


this is just a modern retelling of that age old story about a son who didn't want to follow in his father's hand crafted wooden dolls business, but rather make glass birds for ladie's hats. so his father won't speak to , or of him, disowns him , and tells him "never to return, to shtocholindorff , for you are a disgrace to you vamily"

so the son leaves , starts a family in the far away city of pilsnerland only to be shocked and horrifed that his son wants nothing to do with the glass bird business. and so on and so forth, till on day the great great great great great grandson of the glass bird maker is shocked that his son , who is studying at the university of alabama likes boys more than girls , and all hell breaks lose, again.
posted by nola at 1:04 AM on November 18, 2006 [3 favorites]


*loose* but why start spell checking my self now.
posted by nola at 1:08 AM on November 18, 2006


Frankly the moment you start putting more trust in the "platonic ideal" of things rather than what they really are, it truly seems like a bit of schizophrenia. To Randall one cannot be "healthy" and gay, and therefore if you're gay it's because you're not healthy. Furthermore if you're gay and claim to be healthy you must be doing a)for money and b)to spite and hurt him.

The mental gymnastics that this man must go through in order to shield himself from reality are astounding. Perhaps Randall Terry can no longer distinguish reality from his vision of the world when said world refuses to obey him.
posted by clevershark at 1:11 AM on November 18, 2006


thats right, i'll wrecking ball my family over it.

Actually, if you read the articles, you'd know that there wasn't a lot of family left for Randall Terry to wrecking ball. Dumped his wife for a younger model, two daughters were teenage mothers.

Terry is as much a "Christian" as Fred Phelps is. Well, maybe between Phelps and Pat Robertson. He still has a little bit of influence, as his lampreying onto Terri Schiavo's parents showed. He lives on the contributions of others and spends his days popping up on Fox News and in front of Florida TV cameras.

The only movement he represents is his own.
posted by dw at 1:20 AM on November 18, 2006


maybe it's the bushmills cavorting through my veins , but i find myself not liking your tone , when you say "Actually, if you read the articles, . . ."

rrr u say'n i can't read? *hick!* or rrr u zay'n i dinnt read? czzz i read it bud, i read it.
posted by nola at 1:28 AM on November 18, 2006


Calm down, dear.
posted by imperium at 2:02 AM on November 18, 2006


alright, i'll just go to bed then. it's been a rough year.
posted by nola at 2:09 AM on November 18, 2006


The only movement he represents is his own.

If only that were true.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 2:44 AM on November 18, 2006


"The only movement he represents is his own."

I had a movement in the smallest room that reminded me of what R. Terry represents.
posted by Dipsomaniac at 6:24 AM on November 18, 2006 [4 favorites]


This is just so sad.
posted by caddis at 6:25 AM on November 18, 2006


nola writes "this is just a modern retelling of that age old story about a son who didn't want to follow in his father's hand crafted wooden dolls business, but rather make glass birds for ladie's hats. so his father won't speak to , or of him, disowns him , and tells him 'never to return, to shtocholindorff , for you are a disgrace to you vamily' "

Actually, it's nothing like that whatsoever. Not following in Daddy's career footsteps is a choice.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 6:44 AM on November 18, 2006


As for the divorce, in my eyes, he was doing something wrong. So I was like, if he's doing something wrong and it's making him happy, and God knows his heart, then God knows my heart, and I want to be happy too.

I don't doubt for an instant that the kid is gay and always has been, but I found this line interesting. While it's obviously true, and it's holding his father to the same standard to which he's trying to hold his son, at the time time, there's an overtone of punishment here. It sounds almost like he's saying he came out to punish his father for divorcing.

That said, I can't really blame him. The father is vehemently preaching Christian values, but can't be bothered to actually practice them himself.

A wise friend of mine who was very into Buddhism had a saying: "Put your own house in order before trying to straighten someone else's."
posted by Malor at 6:50 AM on November 18, 2006


Oh, and one more quote, from the father:

I know my son, and believe me, he has not obtained peace or happiness.

And Randall Terry will do his best to make sure he doesn't.
posted by Malor at 6:56 AM on November 18, 2006


Not following in Daddy's career footsteps is a choice.

So is coming out.
posted by thirteenkiller at 7:00 AM on November 18, 2006


im in ur family ridiculing ur hypocrisy
posted by matteo at 7:02 AM on November 18, 2006 [3 favorites]


Terry's description of his own son is a riot, but probably sincere because, of course, he wouldn't lie about his son would he ?

Jamiel is incredibly gifted. He is articulate and handsome. He sings like an angel, he plays the piano, he's a great cook, and he's a great debater. He would make a powerful lawyer and a formidable politician. People like him. I love him.

Ok this looks fine, isn't it ? It cooks like a God, looks like a God and he could have a career in politics.....oh yeah he could because...

my son's life is in shambles. He was recently arrested for DWI; he is knowingly writing bad checks on a closed bank account; he dropped out of school; he doesn't have a job (and refuses to get one)

and I omitted all the other allegations you can read for yourselves, basically the description of a bold faced liar, some trait that is indeed useful in politics.

Very missing , imho, is the admission that Terry is using "methods" that are a failure. Indeed, rumor is both of Terry's adopted daughters became pregnant outside of marriage, which effectively ended their relationship with their father; one later became a Muslim.

Possibily one cause could be that he is still too attached to the God copt-out and a firm believe in the actual existence of God or some kind of Design and indeed
Why are some people given to homosexual feelings while others aren't?
I think most of it is behavioral. A crisis occurred in their youth. [..]. But I believe that a traumatic event happened for most of them in their youth, whether it involved sexual molestation or abuse or viewing pornography, an absent father, or a sexual contact in the pubescent years. God did not design the human being to have these things happen and then to function as if everything was fine.
Again, God is the explanation for things he doesn't understand. He says :


Motives are known only to God. Behaviors are weighable by us.


And by thinking so he doesn't bother checking the motives behind the behavior , or describes them as caused by some removed event-in-the-past ; he doesn't bother with understanding the behavior, all he pretty much seems to be concerned about is to reshape the behavior by merely repeating that we are responsible for our own behavior and that no matter which "evil" changed us or "how" it changed us, we can reshape ourselves in what... God wanted.

Forget understanding motives of evil or how it works, it is your own fault anyway. Why ? Motives, only God knows. BUUUULLSHIT.
posted by elpapacito at 7:31 AM on November 18, 2006


I am amazed that Social Services left foster kids in a home that was apparently receiving death threats.
posted by Idcoytco at 7:32 AM on November 18, 2006


"The Bible," Randall notes, "doesn't condemn divorce, but it does condemn homosexuality."

I hate divorce, says the Lord God of Israel. (Malachi 2:16a)

Whosoever shall put away his wife, and marry another, committeth adultery against her. (Mark 10:2)

Maybe he should actually read the thing?
posted by myeviltwin at 7:41 AM on November 18, 2006


What foster placement agency decided to place this home was a good place to put kids anyway? Politics aside, the danger Terry's activities would put the kids in would rule him out, you'd think.
posted by jonmc at 7:43 AM on November 18, 2006


Maybe he should actually read the thing?

Oh I bet he did a lot of times. Yet the motives of his not remembering (some in the elite circles call it selective memory)are know only to God, but you can weight his behavior. Have fun weighting or sumthin'
posted by elpapacito at 7:43 AM on November 18, 2006


Hmm. The articles are from 2004. Since then it looks like Jamiel is doing pretty well.... Excerpts from his MySpace page:

Status: Single [he broke up with the partner he had in 2004]
Income: $100,000 to $150,000
Thoughts First Waking Up: why the fuck is it morning?
In the past month have you gone Skinny Dipping: yes
Do you get along with your Parents: not as well as I used to
Number of things in my Past I Regret: we dont have time for all that

It says he's president of "The Equality Fund." As far as I can tell, that's a program of the Human Rights Campaign although it doesn't seem to have it's own web site.

Anyhow, I wish them peace, both son and father. Sad story, but we haven't read the ending yet.
posted by Robert Angelo at 7:45 AM on November 18, 2006





Oh, sweet, sweet hypocrisy. (from the post article)

He also opposed birth control and divorce -- "Families," he wrote in his 1995 book "The Judgment of God," "are destroyed as a father vents his mid life crisis by abandoning his wife for a 'younger, prettier model.'"


. . .


A few years back, Randall Terry divorced his wife, Cindy -- who once said her husband was touched by the divine -- and married a much younger woman.


. . .

"The Bible," Randall notes, "doesn't condemn divorce, but it does condemn homosexuality"*



*That bit cracked me up, because the passage from the new testament that is often quoted to support that is actually DISTINCTLY forbidding divorce, but just happens to describe marriage as between a man and a woman. A great example of seeing what you want to see.
posted by [insert clever name here] at 7:51 AM on November 18, 2006


"Can gay men not have deep voices?"

The deepest voice I've ever heard in real life was my old neighbor's boyfriend Michael. Wonderful basso, very gay.
posted by dozo at 7:53 AM on November 18, 2006


"Can gay men not have deep voices?"

How else would they fill out the choruses.
posted by jonmc at 7:55 AM on November 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


From the WaPo article:
"Overall, the article isn't unfair to me," he says. "But that isn't the issue. He prostituted my name."
So, the dad basically says the son's article was a fair representation of the dad, but the bigger issue is that the son had the bad taste to reveal those things to the world.

Great. Just great.
posted by darkstar at 8:34 AM on November 18, 2006


> What foster placement agency decided to place this home was a good place to put kids anyway?

Foster placement agencies don't have a lot of choice. In college I was a counsellor at a (free, run by Methodists) sleep-away camp for "disadvantaged" kids (hate the word, it's so cover-up-the-reality) from downtown Atlanta. The camp was crammed, all beds full, even the broken ones, kids sleeping on floor pallets in the aisles between the bunks, and then the Sheriff's dept. showed up with another busload of children with no place to go. We took them anyway, overcrowded or no, because the guy from the Sheriff's said "If you don't take them, they sleep at the jail. We have no other place." All these kids had "issues" (another nasty word, for the reality of being malnourished, abused, retarded, really really crazy in one way or another, having long arrest records at 11, etc. etc.)

Any family willing to take on a kid like that are saints, however soiled, and if the parents don't actually have needle tracks or outstanding arrest warrents the placement agency is very likely to feel that going with even a questionable family is better than any other alternative they have to offer the kid.

To all you folks on such high horses about the Terrys, have you adopted any needy kids? Provided any better options to the thousands of other Jamiels out there than 1. a bad placement or 2. sleep at the jail for a while and then back on the street? No? Then STFU, you haven't earned the right to criticize or support either one of these men.
posted by jfuller at 8:36 AM on November 18, 2006


To all you folks on such high horses about the Terrys, have you adopted any needy kids? Provided any better options to the thousands of other Jamiels out there than 1. a bad placement or 2. sleep at the jail for a while and then back on the street? No? Then STFU, you haven't earned the right to criticize or support either one of these men.

No, I haven't adopted any kids. Becaues I realize that right now I wouldn't be a very good parent. My wife and several close friends of mine have spent time in the foster care system, so I am aware of it's flaws. But using your logic, a guy who adopted kids for medical experiments, say, shouldn't be criticised, since, hey, at least he adopted some kids.

Weak, man, very weak.
posted by jonmc at 8:42 AM on November 18, 2006


To all you folks on such high horses about the Terrys, have you adopted any needy kids?

To all you folks supporting the invasion of Iraq, have you signed up for service yet? Rinse and repeat.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 8:58 AM on November 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


And the list of conservatives with gay/lesbian children grows longer ---

Phyllis Schlafly whose oldest son, John, is gay, Dick Cheney's lesbian daughter, Mary; and Alan Keyes' daughter, Maya.
posted by ericb at 9:01 AM on November 18, 2006


To Randall one cannot be "healthy" and gay, and therefore if you're gay it's because you're not healthy.

In related news -- Pentagon Upgrades Homosexuality: No Longer Classified as a'Mental Disorder'; Now 'Defect'
posted by ericb at 9:07 AM on November 18, 2006


In related news -- Pentagon Upgrades Homosexuality: No Longer Classified as a'Mental Disorder'; Now 'Defect'

Start a campaign against it: It's Not A Bug, It's a Feature!
posted by jonmc at 9:10 AM on November 18, 2006


So, he's gay because he was adopted?
posted by arcticwoman at 9:37 AM on November 18, 2006


On the issue of foster placement - it's possible this was a private arrangement between the children's mother and the Terrys. This would be called private fostering in the UK - not sure about the US. Again in the UK, social services would still have a duty to assess the private foster placement and to visit regularly, though if they weren't informed about the placement they wouldn't know to do so. They would have to be involved in the adoption process of course.
posted by paduasoy at 9:39 AM on November 18, 2006


I was with Jamiel until he said he wouldn't have come out if his father hadn't divorced his mother. I can understand being angry at a hypocritical parent, but that is just vicious.

Not that I disapprove of being vicious to Randall Terry, necessarily.
posted by QIbHom at 9:39 AM on November 18, 2006


"My son sold me out, so let me tell you about the mess HE calls a life!"
posted by arcticwoman at 9:39 AM on November 18, 2006


So, he's gay because he was adopted?

Randall is saying that it was events that happened before his son was adopted that caused him to be gay. Don't blame Randall, it's not his fault.
posted by The corpse in the library at 9:46 AM on November 18, 2006


I also liked the part where he said "My son's story is full of lies. He claims he was adopted t 5, he wasn't! We adopted him at 15, although we did take him in at 8 and he was taken away from is family at 5. Still, it's a LIE!!!"
posted by arcticwoman at 9:47 AM on November 18, 2006


The anti-gay movement is "civil disobedience"? The far right has been stealing ideology and using it as armor for awhile now. Must work on the masses or something? Because it's not fooling anyone with a dictionary.

I've always loved the phrase "special rights", which means, of course, that rights are special if a group that you've withheld the rights from after giving them to your own group wants them. What's special is that they have the nerve to demand the same rights as you. Just like when women wanted to vote.

Randall Terry is a real fucking asshole.
posted by luckypozzo at 9:57 AM on November 18, 2006


The thing that bothers me the most about this situation is that Randall here is completely ignoring how much love his son has for him. The Out article is very respectful to him, paints his as a wonderful father, shows a lot of adoration for him. Randall ignores all of this and sets out to do nothing more than talk shit about his son.

That's reprehensible. And certainly not one of the "family values" with which I am familiar.
posted by The Great Big Mulp at 10:11 AM on November 18, 2006


The fact that fools like this are 'leaders' in the 'evangelical' camp just goes to show how dark these times really are for anyone who calls themselves a Christian.
posted by koeselitz at 10:20 AM on November 18, 2006


I love the way Randall Terry excoriates his son for selling out the family's privacy, and then --- in a magnificent example of Christ-like turning the other cheek --- unloads this:

... by anyone's standard - homosexual or heterosexual - my son's life is in shambles. He was recently arrested for DWI; he is knowingly writing bad checks on a closed bank account; he dropped out of school; he doesn't have a job (and refuses to get one); he bounces from house to house living off other people; he's racked-up huge bills for friends and family that he cannot pay; he's been taken to court by former friends to get him to pay money he owed them; he's lied to his friends, telling them his "famous dad" was going to send him money to pay for his debts (I get calls or e-mails from college friends looking for money); he has "borrowed" money from countless numbers of my friends; he has a trail of wrecked friendships and family relationships because of deceit, money fraud and crossed boundaries - a mirror image of the home he was in from birth to 8.

What makes this so howlingly funny, is that Randall Terry makes the deterministic claim that Jamiel's horrific early years are the explanation for his present life being in "shambles." But Randall Terry's explanation isn't matched by any sense of compassion --- just a desire to lash out publicly against his son, humiliate his son, etc.
posted by jayder at 10:25 AM on November 18, 2006


Also, this stuck out at me:

Randall Terry (from third link): "The average death age of a male homosexual is 42 years old because of disease, because of suicide, because of alcoholism, because of drugs, because of violence. It's just not a good world."

I believe it. The world is very, very hard, especially on certain people. There are ways to fix it. Hint: one of them isn't throwing political stones at a group of which your son is a member.
posted by koeselitz at 10:25 AM on November 18, 2006


jonmc: My wife and several close friends of mine have spent time in the foster care system

I always thought you were a dude.
posted by econous at 10:40 AM on November 18, 2006


thirteenkiller writes "Not following in Daddy's career footsteps is a choice.

"So is coming out."


Coming out? Sure it's a choice.

Choosing between hiding who you are and living in misery, or fulfilling yourself and being honest. Tough call there, buddy. Tough call.

The corpse in the library writes "Randall is saying that it was events that happened before his son was adopted that caused him to be gay. Don't blame Randall, it's not his fault."

Well, actually, can't disagree with him there. Kid was born gay, period.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 10:54 AM on November 18, 2006


QIbHom: I was with Jamiel until he said he wouldn't have come out if his father hadn't divorced his mother. I can understand being angry at a hypocritical parent, but that is just vicious.

I can understand the conflict. On the one hand a gay teen/boy should be able to come out no question. But on the other hand should he make it a media event? Obviously no, unless, on yet another hand, his daddy is an 'out' gay hater.
posted by econous at 11:06 AM on November 18, 2006


I always thought you were a dude.

Um....I am a guy. what part of that sentence contradicts that?
posted by jonmc at 11:14 AM on November 18, 2006


Malor:

A wise friend of mine who was very into Buddhism had a saying: "Put your own house in order before trying to straighten someone else's."

Someone else said "Do not judge, so that you may not be judged. For with the judgement you make you will be judged, and the measure you give will be the measure you get. Why do you see the speck in your brother’s eye, but do not notice the log in your own eye? Or how can you say to your neighbour, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye', while the log is in your own eye?" Same idea.

It always amazes me how many Christians miss the huge emphasis that Jesus placed on condemning moral and spiritual pride and hypocrisy.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 11:14 AM on November 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


Jesus is ok, but his dad is c**t.
posted by econous at 11:17 AM on November 18, 2006


Also: The Terry story reminds me of something in my own extended family. My sister-in-law wrote to her fanatically Pentecostal mother a few years back to tell her that she (my sister-in-law) is a lesbian. Her mother's response included these memorable lines: "It's not too late for you to accept God's love. After all, Moses killed a man. And even Ted Bundy is in heaven, since he accepted Christ before he died."

In other words: If my sister-in-law doesn't give up teh gay, she will burn in hell, while Ted Bundy (and her mom) smile down on her from heaven. The inhumanity of this kind of religion astounds me.
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 11:19 AM on November 18, 2006


"It says he's president of "The Equality Fund."
Does that set off alarms for anyone else? Given his history, I have a feeling that won't end well.
posted by 2sheets at 11:28 AM on November 18, 2006


In other words: If my sister-in-law doesn't give up teh gay, she will burn in hell, while Ted Bundy (and her mom) smile down on her from heaven. The inhumanity of this kind of religion astounds me.

The inhumanity of one interpretation of Christianity astounds you. This stuff (called 'justification by faith alone'), not to mention homosexuality, divorce, etc, is pretty hotly debated within Christian circles if my casual reading and conversation is any indication.
posted by jonmc at 11:59 AM on November 18, 2006


Income: $100,000 to $150,000
Pah, I pay that it in toenail growth tax a week, according to my MySpace.
posted by econous at 12:08 PM on November 18, 2006


dirtynumbangelboy, I have to say I agree with thirteenkiller.
"Choosing between hiding who you are and living in misery, or fulfilling yourself and being honest." can easily be applied to being forced to follow in your parent's career. My mom is a janitor, I am a high-achieving student with aims at a PHd. If I had to follow in my mom's footsteps I would be hiding my true potential and living in misery. Luckily, the last thing my mom wants for me is misery, which is why I am studying what I am, and why I am an openly gay woman.

No one is saying that being gay isn't a choice, but coming out certainly is, and I know many people who have "chosen" not to come out, just as I know many people who have "chosen" a career that doesn't fit them in order to conform to familial pressure.
posted by arcticwoman at 12:08 PM on November 18, 2006


Not following in Daddy's career footsteps is a choice.

So is coming out.


I don't know if I believe there is always such a clear line between what is and what is not a "choice." Can an artist "choose" to be an investment banker? Can someone who viscerally despises the feeling of compartmentalizing (right word?) "choose" to stay closeted? I get wanting to emphasize that people don't (generally -- I know a few people who feel that they do) choose their sexual preferences. But I think there can be additional paths in life that feel so deep and important that the language of "choice" doesn't fit correctly, either.

By the way, great story, great links, very interesting.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 12:15 PM on November 18, 2006


Hmm, Terry Randall divorced Cindy in 2000, when he was 41 years old. He then married Andrea Kollmorgan, who was 16 years younger, or 25. Half of 41 is 20 1/2, plus 7 is 27 and 1/2. Under the AskMe formula [TM], Andrea was too young.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 12:32 PM on November 18, 2006


jonmc: Um....I am a guy. what part of that sentence contradicts that?

Nothing really I suppose, just Randalls' reasoning that his son being fostered 'made' him gay. Then you mentioning that your wife had experience with fostering... please see where I'm going with this. I guess the thing is if a joke needs to be explained it were never funny.
posted by econous at 12:40 PM on November 18, 2006


arcticwoman, You seem to be equating being gay with being clever.
posted by econous at 12:47 PM on November 18, 2006


Hellohhhh,

God to all christians.

I would prefer that you all be a little less judgemental in my name.

Thank you very much.
posted by notreally at 1:08 PM on November 18, 2006 [1 favorite]


In this case, choosing to come out, recuses him from joining in his father's business.

You know, the business of persecuting those like his son. Did I use the word recuse correctly? Is it a real word?
posted by elr at 1:17 PM on November 18, 2006


You seem to be equating being gay with being clever.

I'm not sure you get that. I am equating having supportive parents with having the freedom to openly be what I feel I am.
posted by arcticwoman at 1:28 PM on November 18, 2006


I happy that you have all that. Just don't equate.
posted by econous at 1:32 PM on November 18, 2006


jonmc:

The inhumanity of one interpretation of Christianity astounds you.

What I wrote was "The inhumanity of this kind of religion astounds me."

I didn't think I need to clarify that I wasn't talking about all Christianity, but no, I certainly wasn't.

I did quote Christ right before that post. And depending on my mood and the day of the week, I might profess to being sort of a Christian myself. (But then, I see Christianity -- and any religion, really -- as a network of metaphors used to describe things which are ultimately indescribable, which is probably a little too loose for many people's comfort.)
posted by Artifice_Eternity at 1:37 PM on November 18, 2006


Coming out? Sure it's a choice.

Choosing between hiding who you are and living in misery, or fulfilling yourself and being honest. Tough call there, buddy. Tough call.


Kind sir: Firstly, I of course do not mean to imply that being inclined to homosexuality is a choice, although I think people can craft and control their own identity quite a lot. But, I also believe people can choose to repress their various inclinations and desires in order to please their parents and carry on the family business, be it crafting wooden dolls or porking women. As R. Terry mentions, he might be a bit less mortified if his son had chosen to live celibately. J. Terry probably didn't choose to be gay, but he did choose to come out publically and be involved in a homosexual romance.

And I don't blame him! Really, who would want to be repressed enough to please Randall Terry? But still, it's a choice.
posted by thirteenkiller at 2:17 PM on November 18, 2006


Just curious-- does everyone here hate their Dad?

Ok, so a preacher is offended by his adopted son's homosexuality- I think that's pretty understandable? We can say he's wrong, or closed minded, or judgmental, or whatever, but I think it's pretty unreasonable to assume he's going to just say, "oh, you're gay? Good luck with that."

And I'm not saying he shouldn't come out and live his life. But it is way disingenuous to think that J. did the Out article without malice. So your oppressive, possibly hypocritical father didn't accept-- no, let's postulate hated-- you because you were gay?

Well boo-fucking hoo. That gives you the right to drag his name publicly through the mud? Bad man or good man, he did take you in, did take care of you. Maybe thanks would be asking too much, but shutting the hell up and quietly living your life wouldn't be asking too much?
posted by tomrac at 2:47 PM on November 18, 2006


That gives you the right to drag his name publicly through the mud?

As far as I've seen, Jamiel's comments about his father have been fairly gracious.
posted by thirteenkiller at 2:53 PM on November 18, 2006


Does Randall Terry still live in windsor? Thats like 3 minutes away from me.
posted by ryanissuper at 4:11 PM on November 18, 2006


Has either of them filed a defamation lawsuit?

If not, why?
posted by JekPorkins at 4:14 PM on November 18, 2006


That gives you the right to drag his name publicly through the mud?

Soooo...admitting in Out magazine that you're gay == dragging your father's name through the mud?

Bad man or good man, he did take you in, did take care of you.

Adopted kids should be more grateful than other kids? They should never hold their parents responsible for abuse or bad behaviour? Parents can hold this adoption thing over their heads for the rest of their lives?

Maybe thanks would be asking too much, but shutting the hell up and quietly living your life wouldn't be asking too much?

Okay, so, he's not allowed to be a public figure because he was adopted? He's not allowed to talk about his life to Out magazine because he was adopted? Would you say the same thing if he was a blood relative of this man, or is these special rules reserved for adopted kids?
posted by Hildegarde at 4:41 PM on November 18, 2006


Maybe thanks would be asking too much, but shutting the hell up and quietly living your life wouldn't be asking too much?

Er, he was put in the public spotlight by his father.
posted by desuetude at 5:12 PM on November 18, 2006


Er, he was put in the public spotlight by his father.

Really? When? How?
posted by JekPorkins at 5:12 PM on November 18, 2006


Hmm, Terry Randall divorced Cindy in 2000, when he was 41 years old. He then married Andrea Kollmorgan, who was 16 years younger, or 25. Half of 41 is 20 1/2, plus 7 is 27 and 1/2. Under the AskMe formula [TM], Andrea was too young.
posted by ClaudiaCenter at 12:32 PM PST on November 18


Not to drag the thread off-topic, but AskMe formula? Whuzzat?
posted by kosher_jenny at 5:34 PM on November 18, 2006


Just curious-- does everyone here hate their Dad?

Wow.

Anyway, the kid didn't "drag his Dad's name through the mud", unless expressing publicly a position that differs with your father is inherently dragging your parent's name through the mud.

It is the extremist rhetoric and very highly public profile of his father that makes it noteworthy at all. If the Dad can be a public figure expressing his views, why is the son prohibited from doing so?

I think the worst thing about all of this is that the son was fair and gracious, where the dad came out with knives flashing and just savaged his son on any number of personal and character points.

Seems like the son was being far more Christian than the father, you know?
posted by darkstar at 5:46 PM on November 18, 2006


Er, he was put in the public spotlight by his father.

No, he wasn't.

Jamiel has acted mostly in good faith, although I think he is being somewhat disingenuous about his reasons for doing the Out article. Randall is very disingenuous and pretty pathetic in his rationalizations and hypocrisies about how his son came to be gay. Randall's daughters have also strayed mightily far from the flock and he has divorced his wife.

I imagine him old and frail on his deathbed, when all his self-lies and deceits fall, like scales, from his eyes and he sees with clarity the slomo destruction his pursuit of grace has caused; alienating his family, dispersing his congregation and members. At least I hope people like that have a flash of horrific truth before they pass into the afterlife. Some earthly punishment before the celestial award that may or may not await.
posted by Falconetti at 5:53 PM on November 18, 2006


Er, he was put in the public spotlight by his father.

Really? When? How?


He's the son of a public figure who made his kids part of his public persona. That's putting your kids in the spotlight, in my book. (I don't mean that Randall put the issue of Jamiel's gayness in the spotlight.)
posted by desuetude at 6:30 PM on November 18, 2006


And you had heard of him before his self-penned article?

I mean, if Randall paraded him around in events and TV and stuff, that's one thing, but just being his son isn't exactly "in the spotlight" by itself, is it?
posted by JekPorkins at 6:32 PM on November 18, 2006


Adopted kids should be more grateful than other kids? They should never hold their parents responsible for abuse or bad behaviour? Parents can hold this adoption thing over their heads for the rest of their lives?

No, No and No.
posted by mkim at 6:56 PM on November 18, 2006


Hildegard: "admitting your gay= dragging his name through the mud?" Hi. Seriously? All he did was admit he was gay? He said, "hi, I'm gay, I'll go about my business, nothing to see here?" Weird. I thought he had helped write an Out magazine article in which he explicitly criticized his father only because hew was a famous evangelist.

"They should never hold their parents responsible for abuse or bad behaviour?" Oh, it's abuse now?

He's not allowed to talk about his life to Out magazine because he was adopted? I'm sorry, I was eating crack. I thought he was writing an article specifically about and critical of and angry at, and possibly maligning to the point of libel, his father. I hadn't realized this was to be filed in the 900s in the Dewey Decimal System.

Darkstar: If the Dad can be a public figure expressing his views, why is the son prohibited from doing so? I must have read a different article in Out. The article I read had nothing to do with the son expressing his views, it was a pathetically veiled attempt at self-aggrandizement and political hackery pretending to be a conflicted reminiscence. Again, I must have read the wrong article.
posted by tomrac at 7:11 PM on November 18, 2006


Apparently so! Too bad about that.
posted by Hildegarde at 7:14 PM on November 18, 2006


It's kind of difficult and unreasonable to just shut the hell up about your father when he's spreading a message of hate about your sexual orientation in a very public and somewhat powerful manner. Doing such is the equivalents to bending over and taking it up the ass.

No man with such an agenda deserves respect and quietude from his adopted gay son.
posted by luckypozzo at 7:25 PM on November 18, 2006


No man with such an agenda deserves respect and quietude from his adopted gay son.

Which is a good thing, since his article pretty much shows that he didn't show him any respect from day one. Oh well. Two articles written by jerks being jerks to each other. Freud would have loved it.
posted by JekPorkins at 7:30 PM on November 18, 2006


That WaPo article was nice, it had some very subtle jabs. They didn't come right out and say Randall Terry is a hypocritical jackass, they just presented some biographical tidbits and quotes with expert timing. There's the divorce thing that [insert clever name] points out. Also striking was how the father was appearing to say it was a "like mother like son" thing with Jamiel. Anyone else notice how when Randall calls Jamiel's mother a prostitute, the WaPo deftly re-quotes Randall: "he's prostituting my name"? Damn.
posted by Arthur "Two Sheds" Jackson at 8:50 PM on November 18, 2006


Two articles written by jerks being jerks to each other. Freud would have loved it.

I thought you liked multiple opposing views?
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 10:23 PM on November 18, 2006


I thought you liked multiple opposing views?

You weren't reading, then. Besides, these jerks' views aren't opposing: They both think they're related to bad, bad people by adoption.
posted by JekPorkins at 11:21 PM on November 18, 2006


You weren't reading, then.

A few people noticed your call for multiple, opposing views, for fairness. Just sayin'
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 11:44 PM on November 18, 2006


From Randall's article:

For the uninformed, Out magazine specializes in bringing homosexuals "out of the closet." Out is committed to the homosexual agenda - homosexual marriage, special "civil rights" for homosexuals, promoting the fallacy that their sexual activities are normal and even laudable.

I lost all sympathy for the man right there and then.

It bothers me to no end that men as shallow and blind as this are essentially in control of America.
posted by rougy at 5:23 PM on November 19, 2006


And tomrac - you are one of those shallow and blind sickos.
posted by rougy at 5:30 PM on November 19, 2006


A few people noticed your call for multiple, opposing views, for fairness. Just sayin'

The call was for a standard to make political FPP's not be pure advocacy.
posted by JekPorkins at 8:44 PM on November 19, 2006


This is obviously a political issue. Or at least politicized. If we're going to have rules about what we can say, we should apply those rules fairly.
posted by Blazecock Pileon at 7:27 AM on November 20, 2006


Agreed. Opposing views should be presented. That doesn't mean that everyone has to subscribe to one of the presented views, obviously.
posted by JekPorkins at 8:11 AM on November 20, 2006


Wow. And I thought I had irreconcilable differences with my parents. I'm going to give them a call right now.
posted by Fotofixer at 4:24 AM on November 21, 2006


And you had heard of him before his self-penned article?

Those who spent any time paying attention to Terry, particularly in his heyday, were well aware of his family and how it came to be put together through his adoption of children from "unfortunate and difficult circumstances." He definitely used the line "When my wife and I adopted..." on more than a few occasions. I don't know that he mentioned Jamiel by name or if he ever had him up on a stage with him for a "portrait of the misogynistic, homophobic power vampire as a loving family man" moment but it wouldn't surprise me. Being very visible and very scrutinized and very judged and very maligned within your church/movement/denomination/whatever is par for the course when you're a pastor/evangelist/missionary/organization-like-OR-leader's kid. There's a reason why there are support groups for those of us who grew up in such circumstances.
posted by Dreama at 1:37 PM on November 21, 2006


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