The young man who last Sunday shot and killed two people at a youth ministry training center, then killed two more and himself at Colorado’s New Life Church (Ted Haggard’s former home), was a cast out from the youth ministry, probably because he failed their attempts to make him “ex-gay”.
As noted by Richard Rothstein, Matthew Murray, 24, posted on his blog that he had written letters to his mother, complaining that the church had forgiven Haggard, but not him.
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?”
In 2002, Murray was dismissed from the Youth With A Mission group for what they described as “health reasons.” Youth With A Mission has been described as “associated with the ex-gay organization Exodus International, has been criticized by some as a ‘cult’ and attacked for ‘brainwashing’ members and promoting anti-gay messages.”
Rothstein concludes his above-linked post with, “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.”
Will the Christanist right and the “ex-gay” movement take the deadly example of Matthew Murray and his victims to heart? Or will this horrible incident only strengthen their resolve to continue attempting to pray the gay away? I expect the latter. Look for the Christianists to leverage the Murray shooting into even more ugly vitriol against gays. Bet on it.