The link to the article from which the following has been extracted was sent in by Wade who is "proud to have been on the discernment group for this young man."


By Ben Garren (Integrity Intern)

My uncle wanted to make chicken and dumplings. A simple enough task. As I watched him slowly write out the grocery list in his precise architect’s script, however, I knew completing that task would take much of the day’s energy. Recovering from spinal meningitis decades into his fight with HIV/Aids simple tasks were no longer easy. I sadly mulled this over as I drove to the store with his list. At which point, as always, my uncle made me smile. His meticulous list was arranged to the specific floor plan of the store. Pity ain’t gonna stick to that.

A few years ago my uncle became a confirmed Episcopalian. My memory is of him explaining that it was not a sudden decision, but one he had known for a long time. He talked about Integrity, not in any great way but by the simple fact that Integrity existed. That it had actual purchase in our church’s polity and this meant that the Episcopal Church was a place where he could worship God with his full self. Decades of the Episcopal Church being in the background had made it the place he knew he would go when he was ready once again to enter into a churched relationship with God.

His parish, though, is amazing. There (are) two Episcopal parishes in town. One is actually a continuing Anglican parish that split off when the new prayer book was made. My uncle was at the other Episcopal Church, the hidden Episcopal Church, the Episcopal Church built by Episcopal slaves so they could worship out of sight and mind of their Episcopal owners. It was there that my uncle found welcome, affirmation, and a space where he could worship God in Truth. The first white individual known to be a lay member of that parish.

Our church, our church has its problems, but if the results of one of our most darkest deeds, our party to the enslavement of our brothers and sisters in Christ, is that a former slave parish in the deep south is now a place a gay white man can finally worship God in truth, then there is overwhelming hope amidst our current problems.

COMMENT: Normally such Christ-inspired words would automatically merit the author being given the accolade of "Brick Of The Day." However, OCICBW... is regularly visited by many gay men and style gurus such as KJ, and that tie and the way Ben is wearing it, just do not pass muster. But, apart from this one, albeit unforgivable sin, this young man is a shining example of the gospel infused mission of his church and gives us all hope that, as it has been promised, one day we will overcome. Wade is thoroughly justified in being proud of being part of the process that has given Ben the opportunity to minster to the people of God.



  1. I expect him to wind up in a much different collar eventually so the tie is not all that relevant…

  2. He explains why I am proud to be Episcopalian and ashamed to be “anglican” at the same time.


  3. The tie’s OK—it’s the ill-fitting shirt! (w/ a dark undershirt underneath)

    But wot Wade said. God bless ‘im! (and his uncle)

  4. It’s amazing how the gay aberration has been blown out of proportion. A news story from today:

    Study: US has 4M gay adults; 1.7 pct. of populace
    Associated Press

    SAN FRANCISCO (AP) — A California demographer has released a best guess of how many gay men and lesbians there are in the U.S. Gary Gates puts the figure at 4 million adults, representing 1.7 percent of the 18-and-over population.

    That’s much lower than the 3 to 5 percent that has been the conventional wisdom in the last two decades, based on other isolated studies. It’s also a fraction of the figure put out by Alfred Kinsey, who said in the 1940s that 10 percent of the men he surveyed were “predominantly homosexual.”

    Gates has advised the Census Bureau. He’s a demographer-in-residence at the Williams Institute on Sexual Orientation Law and Public Policy at the University of California, Los Angeles.

    He derived his results from five studies that asked subjects about their sexual orientations.

  5. Just 4 million? That’s about the same number of people exterminated by the Nazis in the various Holocausts. So you and your fellow bigots should have no trouble wiping them off the face of the earth, troll. Then you could relax knowing that the different people weren’t around anymore and everyone was just like you.


  6. There are 100 as many gays dying before their time because of being encouraged into a way of life that results in that fate than there are gays killed by people who hate them. That doesn’t count the high rates of mental illness among them. You should attend to that.

  7. I think we should discourage people from choosing to be Caucasian. That lifestyle has caused more grief and misery on the planet than anything else I can think of. Caucasians have a record of being the most predatory people on the planet. They’ve killed more people (entire populations) and stolen more property (entire continents) than anyone else. Caucasianism is a natural disorder, but fortunately it can be cured through counseling, treatment, and prayer. God clearly made people to be brown. Adam was brown, Moses was brown, Jesus was brown, and so is God. It’s not natural and it’s not right for people to be that pale. It’s high time we take a stand against this very destructive lifestyle choice.

  8. Did you know that Caucasians have the highest rate of violent crime? Look at all the wars they’ve started!
    You should attend to that!

  9. Before I can concur with your statement, Doug, I would have to be absolutely certain that Caucasians are a minority, and a small one at that. The Newcastle Upon Tyne Association of Snivelling Little Cowards has a strict policy of not calling for the extermination of any group of people who might just beat the crap out of us first.

  10. MP, you in particular need to face this. Read this from The UK’s Observer:
    Matthew Todd is feeling uncharacteristically nervous. “It’s a big taboo, we’re expecting it to cause quite a stir,” admits the editor of Britain’s award-winning gay lifestyle magazine, Attitude. Above the obligatory cover shot of a shirtless Adonis-type torso, this month’s mag is labelled “the issues issue”. Todd has good reason to be wary of how it will be received. The theme is the worryingly high rates of mental health and dependency problems among gay men.

    “There is this cliché that we are all having a great time partying, but actually we know, and the research is now showing, there are a hell of a lot of unhappy gay people; far higher rates of depression, anxiety and suicide than among straight men; far higher rates of self-destructive behaviour; substance abuse and sex addiction; and high levels of issues around intimacy and forming relationships.”

    Evidence shows that gay men are more than twice as likely to attempt suicide. A research project at London’s University College hospital found “significantly higher” rates of mental illness among gay men than their straight peers…”We have more expendable income, more expensive houses, more fashionable cars, clothes, furniture than just about any other cultural group. But are we truly happier?”

  11. Perhaps they are depressed because there are so many evil bigots like you around, troll. You certainly depress me and I’m not having a great time partying.

  12. For the convenience of the readers, the word “bigot” is defined here as someone who refuses to be involved in promoting a way of life that has led so many into mental illness.

  13. Anonymous, you’re such a hypocrite. The bigotry of people like you is the only thing that causes “unhappiness” among gay people.

  14. I think bigot is a euphemism for @sshole. Anon sure smells like (an untidy) one!

    [MP, ya wanna rethink the “No Moderation At All” thang?]

  15. The Episcopal Church – Best kept spiritual home secret. I love sharing that it is my faith home, and my affiliation has allowed me incarnational encounters that are hard to imagine if that were not the case.

    I will refrain from any style critique of young Ben as the man who was my boss in the 80s sent me some inconvenient photos this week in which I’m wearing a sweater apparently borrowed from the Bill Cosby Collection. Besides, as pointed out above, the fashion options for this fine young man will become blessedly few as he responds to his calling.

    “Gay aberration” – I’m beginning to wonder if Gospel readings are edited or completely omitted in some church traditions.

  16. Apparently we need a recipe, because we seem to have a hungry troll floating around here. So I give you:

    JERK GOAT LEG (seems appropriate)

    1 leg of goat with bone in
    1 1/2 cup onion, finely chopped
    4 to 6 cloves of garlic, finely chopped
    1 tablespoon fresh thyme leaves (or 2tablespoons dried leaves)
    2 teaspoons salt
    2 teaspoons ground black pepper
    1 tablespoon ground pimiento (allspice)
    1/2 teaspoon ground nutmeg
    1 teaspoon ground cinnamon
    1/4 cup of soy sauce
    1 very hot pepper, chopped,
    or teaspoon hot pepper oil

    Mix or puree together the onions, garlic, soy sauce, and spices to form a paste. Pierce the leg of goat all over and rub the paste all over the meat. Any unused paste (also known as “jerk rub” can be stored in a glass jar in the refrigerator for up to a month for later use). Cover or wrap in foil and refrigerate overnight to allow spices to penetrate meat.
    Preheat the oven to 400 F. Sear the meat loosely covered with foil in a roasting pan at 400 F for 15 minutes and then reduce heat to 350 F. Roast meat for another hour or two depending on weight() until the internal temperature reaches 150 to 160 F. Remove the foil for the last 15 minutes of cooking.
    If you use a tougher cut such as a neck roast for cooking, plan on a longer cooking time and on marinating the meat in a mixture of beer and lemon juice overnight. Put the jerk rub on it in the morning and then cook in the afternoon.

  17. Truth for MP is BORING, but:

    Homosexual people are at substantially higher risk for some forms of emotional problems, including suicidality, major depression, and anxiety disorder, conduct disorder, and nicotine dependence.

    The first study was on male twins who had served in Vietnam (Herrell et al. 1999). It concluded that on average, male homosexuals were 5.1 times more likely to exhibit suicide- related behavior or thoughts than their heterosexual counterparts. Some of this factor of 5.1 was associated with depression and substance abuse, which might or might not be related to the homosexuality. (When these two problems were factored out, the factor of 5 decreased to 2.5; still somewhat significant.) The authors believed there was an independent factor related to suicidality which was probably closely associated with some features of homosexuality itself.

    The second study (Fergusson et al. 1999) followed a large New Zealand group from birth to their early twenties. The “birth cohort” method of subject selection is especially reliable and free from most of the biases which bedevil surveys. This study showed a significantly higher occurrence of depression, anxiety disorder, conduct disorder, substance abuse and thoughts about suicide, amongst those who were homosexually active.

    The third paper was a Netherlands study (Sandfort et al. 2001) which again showed a higher level of mental-health problems among homosexuals.

  18. Mr. Troll,

    In all seriousness if I were your son, I’m pretty sure as an adult I would be reporting poor mental health as well. Likely being called an aberration would have had something to do with that.

    MadPriest, at the risk of Mr. Troll thinking that he’s being anything but annoying as he reveals his inner turmoil, please reconsider non-moderation.

  19. At a higher rate of danger and emotional disorder because of irresponsible, self-righteous, selfish, unholy people like you, Herr Troll.

    Go lie to others, we see through you.

  20. Just a heads-up, btw – apparently either school’s out or somebody’s Mommy and Daddy didn’t get him the game he wanted, because our little “atheist” Tealiban commando is stamping his feet and swearing again.

  21. Anon, you can be cured from your Caucasianism. You just have to want to believe that you can be whole again. We’re throwing you a life-preserver here. Grab on and come back to the Lord! End this lifestyle of sin and predation!

  22. And MP, on behalf of twat-lovers I must object to your equivalence: Either clarify to “twit” or (perhaps better) go with JCF here.

    wv = cutjsac
    (a botched circumcision)

  23. English usage, Paul(A). If you want me to alter my terminology you lot are going to have stop using “fanny” to describe somebody’s bottom.

  24. Well, there are a few people like you in England, Paul. Perhaps it was one of them who complained. Or, more likely, a supporter of the Labour Party who saw it as an opportunity to embarrass Cameron.