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A Hypocritical Fundie? Pull the Other One!
2006.01.06 (Fri) 14:00

No, it isn't headline news when a Christian fundamentalist loudly preaches about morals, then turns around and promptly ignores the bullshit "morality" he's trying to force on others — just leaf through our site, and we're sure you can find many examples of such behavior. But that doesn't stop us from laughing when we read about it. Alert reader Federico Contreras pointed us to the following article (which has also been covered by Les, PZ, and Brent):

Tulsa Pastor Arrested In OKC On Lewdness Charge

OKLAHOMA CITY — An executive committee member of the Southern Baptist Convention was arrested on a lewdness charge for propositioning a plainclothes policeman outside a hotel, police said.

Lonnie Latham, senior pastor at South Tulsa Baptist Church, was booked into Oklahoma County Jail Tuesday night on a misdemeanor charge of offering to engage in an act of lewdness, police Capt. Jeffrey Becker said. Latham was released on $500 bail Wednesday afternoon.

Latham, who has spoken out against homosexuality, asked the officer to join him in his hotel room for oral sex. Latham was arrested and his 2005 Mercedes automobile was impounded, Becker said.

The article also mentions his previous public stance on homosexuality:

[Latham] has also spoken out against same-sex marriage and in support of a Southern Baptist Convention directive urging its 42,000 churches to befriend gays and lesbians and try to convince them that they can become heterosexual "if they accept Jesus Christ as their savior and reject their 'sinful, destructive lifestyle."'

Hello...Pot? Kettle? Black? As we said, instances in which supposedly devout Christians turn out to be "guilty" of the very "sins" they are preaching against are not uncommon. Christianity by its very nature teaches a form of self-loathing that, for true believers who happen to be homosexual, almost inevitably leads to repression and hate. And if Latham wasn't such a vocal opponent of homosexuality, we would probably feel sorry for him. Instead, we just find ourselves laughing.

Make no mistake, we don't think that what Latham did should even be criminal. First, it isn't clear that he was offering to pay for sex — the article mentions a lewdness charge, not a solicitation charge. This seems to mean that he was arrested simply for suggesting oral sex to someone. That is absolutely ludicrous. In addition, we believe that prostitution shouldn't be a crime anyway, so even if there was an offer to pay for said oral sex, what Latham did should not have landed him in jail. All that said, we're pleased as punch that he's been exposed as the hateful hypocrite that he is.

And what is Latham's response to all this?

When he left jail, he told Oklahoma City television station KFOR:

"I was set up. I was in the area pastoring to police."

The arrest took place in the parking lot of the Habana Inn, which is in an area where the public has complained about male prostitutes flagging down cars, Becker said. The plainclothes officers was investigating these complaints.

And...that's the story you're sticking to, Lonnie? You were in an area well known as a hangout for male prostitutes in order to..."pastor to police officers"? And you somehow knew that the plainclothes officer, posing as a prostitute no doubt, was in fact a police officer and not what he pretended to be? Then, while preaching to him — about, what, how he should be more tolerant of the people he was there to arrest? — he slapped the cuffs on you and concocted this whole story about you asking him for a hummer? You're lucky that stupidity isn't a crime in Oklahoma as well, or you'd be going away for a long, long time.

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FC Lover, 2006.01.06 (Fri) 18:52 [Link] »

Hehe, yeah "I was set up. I was in the area pastoring to police." This is gold. Excuse me I need to go "pastor" to my big hairy mexican boyfriend (he has fabulous boots!). I got 7.5" of Christ's love right here and I want to make sure that he is filled with Christ's love before the evening is out!

Crosius, 2006.01.07 (Sat) 14:33 [Link] »

This behaviour fits in pretty well with the attitude the nuttier fundamentalists express regarding sin.

They "know" athiests can't be moral because we don't see the "Holy Rolled-Up Newspaper of Obedience" shaking over our heads.

They "know" everyone will fall to temptation without legislation criminalizing "wanton" behaviour.

It's clear they believe all morality is coerced.

Why? Because the individuals who espouse these views only respond to moral coersion, and are incapable of believing anyone else can behave in a fashion morally superior to theirs. It's Egotism.

The argument runs something like this:
"I can't resist temptation without external pressure. I'm the most moral person I know. Ergo everyone else needs more external pressure than me to be moral."

So in the above case, the pastor would clearly feel we need stronger anti-gay legislation with stiffer (whoops, a double-entendre!) penalties, because it's clear the current legislation isn't enough to stop him from straying, so it certainly won't be enough to stop lesser men from "catching teh gay."

The Rev. Schmitt., 2006.01.07 (Sat) 18:20 [Link] »

I have to say that I do feel pity for him and find it a bit difficult to find something to snark about. Without knowing anything about his personal life, it seems likely that he grew up around people constantly - as you say, teaching him self-loathing, pressuring him to hate part of who he is - which is a very sad state of affairs. It's a pity that the very same pressure is what leads him to express homophobia of others and ignore all empirical evidence that homosexuality can't be (indeed isn't something that should be,) driven out of a human being.

-The Rev. Schmitt.

The Two Percent Company, 2006.01.08 (Sun) 00:49 [Link] »

We hear what you're saying, Schmitt, and we do feel a certain amount of pity for Latham. However, as we suggested above, that pity takes a back seat to a schadenfreude justifiably elicited by the fact that he has been (and, we'll hazard a guess, will continue to be) a vocal opponent of gay rights, and he has vocally referred to homosexuality as a sinful, destructive lifestyle.

We feel sorry for anyone raised in an environment in which they are made to feel that they must repress their own true selves at all costs. But not everyone raised in such an environment becomes as vocally anti-gay as Latham has. If he had kept his mouth shut and simply repressed his homosexual tendencies, then his outing would generate nothing but pity from us. Instead, he chose to become a vocal opponent of gay rights, and as a result, we find ourselves enjoying his impalement on the blade of his revealed hypocrisy.

bijou, 2006.01.13 (Fri) 23:38 [Link] »


This is hilarious. However, I'm in the United Kingdom, and want to ask about this particular part of the article:

Lonnie Latham... was booked into Oklahoma County Jail Tuesday night on a misdemeanor charge of offering to engage in an act of lewdness...
Latham... asked the officer to join him in his hotel room for oral sex.

Is this against the law in america? Or is the implication that he was offering to pay (and hence securing the services of a prostitute). He's a hypocritical old bastard, but surely to god it's not illegal to pick someone up for sex in a private hotel room in the US if money's not changing hands? I'll have to remember next time I visit...

Fan-man, 2006.01.14 (Sat) 13:23 [Link] »

bijou, I found this quote in an article I read on CNN.com:

Oklahoma county district attorney Wes Lane said Oklahoma law prohibits a person from offering to engage in a lewd act "regardless of whether money is sought for or engaged".

As 2% said earlier, it's a silly law and has nothing to do with homosexuality---- and I'm willing to bet that the law practically never gets enforced. What I mean is, if the undercover officer was in the area looking for drug dealers instead of homosexual prostitutes, we wouldn't be talking about it today. Essentially, I can approach an attractive woman on a public bus, compliment her and ask her back to my place for a few drinks and whatever else we can get ourselves in to. I can not, however, ask to take her back to my place so I can rip her clothes off and fuck her stupid. My latter suggestion should get me slapped, but not arrested if an undercover cop happen to be listening.
I believe the ACLU has now come to lewd Lonnie's defense, so who knows what will happen. Personally, I think it's just god's way of "fucking" Lonnie over for being a hypocrite.

The Two Percent Company, 2006.01.17 (Tue) 22:16 [Link] »

Yeah, there's no way that simply offering to have oral sex with someone should be a crime, but apparently it is, in fact, illegal to do so in Oklahoma (since Latham doesn't appear to have offered money to the object of his affections). That's certainly not the case in all parts of the United States, bijou, but it's scary enough that it's illegal anywhere.

Oh, and we have our own simple rule of thumb for folks visiting the United States — don't visit Oklahoma! Believe us, there are plenty of reasons to avoid that state other than the legal status of oral sex. (Boy, that ought to flush out any Oklahoma lurkers, huh? If there's anyone who can sell us on this seemingly not-for-visitors state, we're semi-willing to listen.)

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