Praying The AIDS Away

According to a new play from a North Carolina minister, you can pray the gay AND the AIDS away!

A play featuring anti-gay and “ex-gay” religious themes will be showcased at Winston-Salem State University by a traveling, Atlanta, Ga.-based Christian production company headed by an African-American minister and his wife. The duo claims a person can be healed of HIV/AIDS through prayer and say an associate pastor with their company has done just that.

Winston-Salem State is a historically black university. The high rate of HIV infections among African-American women and men who have sex with men make these messages particularly controversial.

On Sept. 28, the actors and actresses of “Church Mess” are slated to perform at Winston-Salem State’s Williams Auditorium. According to C 3 Entertainment, the play “features the religious church mother, the money hungry deacon, the financially strapped college student that is having an affair with the deacon, the choir member that lives an alternative lifestyle, the members that are in love with the pastor, the ‘down-low brother’ that’s hooked on pornography, and the playboy minister of music.”

C 3 Entertainment’s management, the Rev. Chad Everette Cooper and his wife Alicia Robinson Cooper, also describe the play as portraying “the church as the best institution in the world for complete healing and deliverance.”

In a February interview with “Praise the Lord,” a program aired on Evangelical Christian broadcasting network TBN, the Coopers described homosexuality as a condition in need of a cure. They also related the story of an associate pastor who was “healed” from homosexuality and AIDS.

Cooper told the TBN audience that Kofi Hemingway “was living a homosexual lifestyle 10 years ago. He gives his testimony at the end of the play about how he was so engulfed in this lifestyle that all of his partners died of AIDS.”

You might recall the “ex-gay” Exodus leader who also claimed he’d prayed the AIDS away. He died in 2004.