By Walter Rutledge
We are re-issuing the two articles on Tonex originally posted in September 1, 2010, due to the announcement by President Obama on gay marriage. For those of you not familiar with Tonex he was an accomplished gospel artist and pastor. In 2010 he decided to become an openly gay man. The backlash from the Christian community ended his gospel career.
His colleague and friend Deitrick Haddon posted some disparaging remarks about Tonex on tweeter, declaring he (Haddon) didn’t have one sissy bone in his entire body. He later removed his comments from twitter . This was written in response to those comments. The second article will be posted on Wednesday, May 16th, 2012. Hopefully one day we will replace hate and bigotry with tolerance and understanding.
Deitrick Haddon, gospel recording artist, songwriter, producer and defender of the faith, has expanded upon his many gifts to now include osteology. Recently Pastor Haddon excited the medical world with his discovery of a new human bone. Haddon has given a tentative name to his discovery pending confirmation from the medical community; he has named it “The Sissy Bone”.
In all fairness, in findings of this magnitude the object is usually named after the person whose diligence made the discovery possible, examples include; Hailey’s Comet, Pike’s Peak, and the Hudson River. Removing all undue modesty Haddon should receive a similar acknowledgement, and since medical discoveries usually adopt ancient Latin sounding names we have decided to call his discovery Haddonus Sissius Bona (Bona for short).
Pastor Haddon was so excited he decided to share his discovery with his followers on twitter. He also informed his followers that upon personal examination he did not have a Bona in his entire body. In what could only be perceived as an act of further selfless modesty Haddon removed the message from twitter, probably waiting confirmation from the American Medical Association.
The location and exact number of bones in the Haddonus Sissius Bona has not yet been established. Doctors have deduced that the Haddonus Sissius Bona (Bona) is probably located in the back. Since Haddon has announced he does not possess a Bona, if the location of the back is confirmed then this could possibly mean that Deitrick Haddon might be spineless.
Satire aside Pastor Haddon has the right to not support and to disagree with the interpretation of the biblical passages Tonex provided concerning his same gender sexual orientation. It was Haddon’s unfortunate remarks on twitter, which referenced the phrase sissy bone, which were hurtful and unnecessary. This is an example of the ignorance and Draconian intolerance that continues to stymie the religious community.
The disproportionately high rate of HIV/AIDS cases in the African American community is evidence of the inability to effectively convene their greatest social resource- the church. To the determent of this community, many (not all) churches have allowed the stigma and stereotypes to prevail. This is not to say there are not forward thinking leaders, but in the arena of public opinion they are the exception not the rule.
Not long ago one of gospel’s true legends was the victim of cruelty, and lack of Christian compassion by many of the very Bible Bigots that now publicly canonize him. In his hour of need he was ostracized, rebuked and had scripture quoted against him to justify the hate mongering. Even posthumously comments resounded ranging from “He deserved it” to “That was God’s way of punishing him”. It is clear that death did not bring absolution.
Many of the very saints who throw stones, now hide their hands; and many others raise their voices and reverently give praise with his words: I don’t feel no ways tired, I’ve come too far from where I started from. Nobody told me that the road would be easy, I don’t believe He brought me this far to leave me. These saints can take comfort in the thought that Brother James Cleveland is looking down from above the clouds; having been absolved by the highest of Judges, he has also forgiven them. How quickly we forget.
If any good is to come out of these recent events it is the fact we should not lower our standards but broaden our horizons. If the interpretation of 1 Corinthians 6:9 is iron clad, Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived: neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind, then why aren’t pastors and parishioners condemning the unwed mothers and their bastard children to hell? That idea and the language seem inappropriate today- step back fifty years and that was the mindset. Adulterers are also mentioned here but I haven’t seen any public stonings in church parking lots on YouTube yet.
In a similar manner why isn’t the church rallying behind I Timothy 2:11-15? I permit no woman to teach or to have authority over men; she is to keep silent. For Adam was formed first, then Eve, and Adam was not deceived, but the woman was deceived and became a transgressor. Yet women shall be saved through bearing children; if she continues in faith and love and holiness with modesty. This is another doctrine written for first century Christendom not the church or world of 2010. To rigidly hold on to some doctrine and dismiss others could be construed as self-servicing and possibly hypocritical.
Condemning what is misunderstood and feared, or having the will of the majority subjugate the minority has been one of great social struggles throughout history. Mary McCloud Bethune eloquently stated, “If we accept and acquiesce in the face of discrimination we accept responsibility ourselves. We should, therefore, protest openly everything… that smacks of discrimination or slander”.
After the name-calling and self-grandiosity has subsided the church needs to seriously challenge itself to embrace all of God’s children. To not be content with keeping pace with the times, but to set the pace the rest of humanity will follow. This should be the next exciting discovery.