Three For Me, But Not For Thee

« November 2010 »

Memo to Cedric Miller: YOUR OLD NEWS IS HILARIOUS.

Over the course of YAD's long history, we've covered any number of sexual peccadilloes from the midst of the churchy set. But they usually fall into two general categories. First, there's generic Jim Bakker-style infidelity, and then there's Jim Bakker-style infidelity, except with a dude, and sometimes the dude's a male escort, and sometimes there's drugs involved, too.

So kudos to Miller, the pastor at Living Word Christian Fellowship Church in Neptune, New Jersey, for breaking new ground in the field of church sex scandals, and shame on him for almost making me title today's column "Men Are From Mars, Women Are From Venus, But Swingers Are From Neptune".

Here's the deal. Last week, Miller did one of those things that is guaranteed to get you a bit of national "look at this fuckhead" attention. He got up on the pulpit, and he told his congregation to get the hell off of Facebook. And not because Farmville is stupid, or because Facebook is in danger of turning into AOL's deepest, wettest dream - a parallel Internet where people never need to leave the walled community. No, it's because Facebook leads to fuckin' around. ACTUAL QUOTE TIME!

"What happens is someone from yesterday surfaces, it leads to conversations, and there have been physical meetups. The temptation is just too great." - Miller planned to ask his entire church leadership to delete their Facebook accounts.

Of course, if you're going to attract that kind of media attention, you'd better hope there aren't any easily-located skeletons in your closet. You know, like court transcripts from the turn of the millennium detailing a bit of, shall we say, very focused couples therapy?

Here's my supposition based on media reports that carefully wrote around what was going on. Pastor's wife was banging a Dude. Pastor knew, encouraged, watched, and helped. And a couple of times, Dude's wife came to party and/or joined in. Now, obviously, Facebook wasn't part of the equation. It was 2000 or thereabouts, so I assume they found each other on Yahoo! Anyway, they met up after bible study and Sunday services, read from the book of Freakonicus, and it all came out in '03 when Dude was on trial for something.

Now that someone from yesterday has surfaced, and it's led to conversations, the temptation to mock Miller is just too great. I don't care what they did, I'm sure it was fun for a while. But having that secret in your past, then blaming Facebook for infidelity in the national media? That's just stupid. Facebook may cause infidelity, but Google's your real villain here.

Now that his glory days are public knowledge, Miller is handling it... better than most. He did call it "old news", which is not exactly true, since while the events are ten years old, the revelations are, like a Penthouse letter from this month's issue that starts "I never thought this would happen to me. I was a pastor in a small New Jersey church..."

And he called his actions "foolish", referring to the sex stuff, not the bit just now where he waved a red flag at the national media and invited them to gore him in the thigh. And he's offered to resign, but in classic style for upholders of moral responsibility, only if his bosses decide they should fire him.

""Should the elders and leaders now deem me unfit for duty, I love the church enough to step down immediately."

Loving the church is tricky business. Loving it enough sometimes means leaving it because you loved it a bit too much. Or at least spanked it while you watched your wife love it too much. Don't ask me. I'm often confused by theology.