Some of you returning readers to Freethunk may have noticed this video of James Randi posted on the homepage talking about the fact that he’s gay and coming out of the closet in his eighties. Why do I bother posting such material? Are Randi’s accomplishments enhanced by his “gayness”? No, but I come from a background where I was taught several paranoid theories on the gay agenda and on gay people in general. The connection with Randi is that his book “Faith Healers” was one of the first books I read when I really started to challenge my faith. Randi was a bridge to skeptical reading and ultimately later books on science, freethinking and atheism. The reason I call Randi a “bridge” is because even as a Christian I was skeptical of faith healers and it was an issue I could agree with him on and felt comfortable reading about–but it led to a thought: “If these modern day healers are using deceptive tactics to convince people of miracles now, then what about the past? Wouldn’t it have been even easier to fool people in the past?” And thus, if I were to be honest with myself, I had to question Jesus as a faith healer.
Now that Obama has finally just let it all hang out and approved of gay marriage–which he might as well do since Christians who are against gay marriage hate him anyways–it stirs up memories of reading this one book by Randi; kind of an odd thing to remember when the gay community is celebrating and I’m just a straight guy who doesn’t exactly have a stake in the battle (except for common decency in how we treat each other). I once bought into religious superstition including anti-gay rhetoric and the author and thinker who helped me out of that mindset just happens to be gay. Thanks Randi!