1. TANK says

    I fail to see how this could possibly be inspiring. A man who doubtless led a homophobic congregation for decades while living a closeted life is now coming out in old age and is being stripped of his title within his superstition.

    Hmmm…what some find “inspiration” in is quite sad. It’s more pathetic than anything else.

  2. Steve says

    Watch the long video. It’s really nothing of the sort. He is not of those self-loathing homophobes. As an atheist I cringe at the whole Jesus/faith-speak, but what he says comes from the heart and he has the fully support of his parents, his family and it seems a large part of his congregation.

    At the end there are some other speakers. One of them is a lesbian who hid it for most of her life. She is now an interracial relationship and lost her job because she “has become gay” and dating a black woman. It’s really infuriating how stupid people can be there.

  3. TANK says

    No? I think a georgia megachurch pastor who is being “defrocked” due to his coming (belongs to a homophobic denomination) out led a largely homophobic church, and for much of his career was closeted and outwardly presented a heterosexual identity. I wouldn’t doubt that he preached against gay people, and was complicit in the problem. Also, a man who hid his sexual orientation for most of his life (probably about all of it until very recently)…isn’t a role model for people to aspire, let alone inspire…and if that doesn’t indicate self loathing, nothing probably will to someone like you. Of course, the beauty of being infected with belief in the supernatural is that you justify and spin anything–if you want to believe.

  4. TANK says

    Yes, he is 59, and most men live to be about 77 in the united states, so most of his life is actually over by that metric. Damage? No…it’s honest. The man’s practically sixty years old. That is old age…when over 75% of your life is over.

  5. Steve says

    You’re a total and complete idiot. He didn’t preach against homosexuality. He maybe the exception down there, but his church was always inclusive.

    And his wife knew was gay when they married. That’s also not exactly typical.

  6. Jeremy says

    @Tank – I don’t know what he has preached to his congregation for the 25 years prior, but if what he said just before the 1 minute mark of the news clip is true, then he preached tolerance and acceptance. At least that is what I get when I hear the words “being who you are… God loves you as you are…”

    It is sad that it took the suicides of those kids for him to finally come out, but thank goodness he did.

    I say good for him and “welcome”.

  7. TANK says

    Really? I think you’re not actually an atheist, but a dyed in the wool believer. Um, what is the megachurch’s position on same sex marriage? I’m sure it’s something you could justify to yourself.

  8. TANK says

    I think it’s vitally important to figure out just what kind of “inclusivity” that pastor preached before throwing up our hands and singing hallelejah…embarrassing idiots. Also, apparently the threat of his congregation leaving over this is real…doesn’t bode well for your narrative that it’s a gay friendly and inclusive church.

  9. Philwin says

    Uh. Did any of you actually watch the longer video? Multiple times he said he is 52. Never preached hate. Personally, I was moved by his message and especially moved by his congregation’s reaction. Should be interesting to follow this story.

  10. mikenola says

    if you watch the full movie and also bother to read his church website and archived blogs etc you will find that he was not preaching the homophobic mantra of the typical megachurch.

    I am not a religious persons but i would go see him speak if he was in the area.

    the lgbt community needs to find and support churches of this type and people who come out instead of those who are “found out”.

    As for the poster “tank”, you are an imbecile if you believe what you posted.

  11. Sargon Bighorn says

    This is no longer something that inspires. What inspires me is a Pastor that stands up and preaches EQUALITY for all citizens. A Pastor that challenges his religious peers and calls them out on their hate speech. A Pastor that preaches new ideas and ways of thinking and acting. Coming out of the closet at his age suggests he has been “outed” against his desire which I suspect is the case.

  12. Josh says

    Yes, Tank, it would obviously be better for him to have stayed in the closet and live the lie, encouraging other older people that if they haven’t come out by now then why bother?

    Also, obviously the fear of professional or social repercussions means that no working closeted person should come out, ever.

    Right on!

  13. KEW says

    Tank and sargon bighorn,
    I can’t believe you are making comments dissing the guy when you obviously have NOT watched a second of the video! If you had, you would realize everything you’re assuming is quickly refuted by both him and his wife, who knew he was gay before she married and had two kids with the man. Yes, He is inspiring and a breath of fresh air to this agnostic. He has the potential to turn the talibangicals on their head!

  14. TANK says

    Yeah…that’s just awesome. So I guess according to some true believers here, he was never in the closet to come out in the first place. His marriage to a woman, and four kids…he out and about. As to whether or not this megachurch preaches homophobia or has a homophobic congregation, that has yet to be resolved. I have a different criterion than your typical church faggot on that score, though. Your typical church faggot will take opposition to same sex marriage but “tolerance” of the “sin” as a cue that it’s an inclusive and gay friendly church. These people are not to be consulted about gay equality.

  15. TANK says

    As to older closeted people coming out, more power to them…after the majority of their lives have been spent essentially reflecting shame about themselves and homsoexuality, they finally came out. Why not. It just doesn’t make that big of a difference to anyone but themselves…and the reason is that they’ve lived their lives…it’s not completely over (of course), but their lives are pretty well defined, and that’s that.

  16. LiamB says

    With each post, Tank, you continue to prove what a moron you truly are. It’s amazing that a worthless piece of wasted flesh as yourself has managed to survive this long in life.

  17. says

    The long video (“A Real Message to Real People”) is entertaining, and informative, to say the least. Too bad he didn’t give this sermon 20 years ago. But then he wouldn’t have built his megachurch.

  18. jason says

    Swilley is bisexually oriented, not gay. Stop trying to turn him into a Gay Inc pin-up boy. He’s got 4 children for Pete’s sake. You can’t have 4 children if you aren’t at least a little turned on by women.

    I think he’s playing the gay pity card just like that other bisexually oriented man, Jim McGreevey, former governor of New Jersey.

    In any case, I applaud the fact that he’s overcome the stigma on the same-sex component of his bisexual orientation.

  19. jpeckjr says

    I’m always glad when a person, at any age, finally is open with themselves, those they love, and their community about being gay. I’m also sad that they waited so long.

    But, I’m more than a little annoyed that this man, who is my age, is going to get lots of publicity for something I did when I was 18. I am myself a Christian pastor, in the United Church of Christ, which first ordained an openly gay man in 1972. 1972, people, just three years after Stonewall! There are hundreds of openly gay and lesbian ministers serving in the United Church of Christ. I have never hidden my sexual orientation from the congregations I serve.

    But Jim Swilley gets the “courageous” award after deceiving himself, his wife, his children, and his congregation for over two decades. I wish him no ill, but, I’m more than a little annoyed when people wait until their success is assured before they come out.

    I will watch the videos later. I’ve got my own sermon to prepare.

  20. silverskreen says you go off talking smack about things you don’t know. Sheesh.

    No one said you had to like the man or agree with him, but at least inform yourself before hand.

  21. TampaZeke says

    JASON, you’re working on challenging TANK as the craziest commenter on the thread.

    You’ve actually argued with ME about MY OWN sexuality. You angrily argued that the fact I had sex with women and have children is PROOF that I’m bisexual. It ISN’T proof of any such thing. It’s simply proof that I insemenated a woman, nothing more. I can write my name, very poorly, with my left hand. I guess you’ll also argue that I’m not right handed but ambidextrous?

    I’ve heard countless arguments on whether or not male bisexuality exists with ridiculous arguments on both sides but arguing with people who tell you that they are gay is probably the most ridiculous argument of all.

    I had a friend who had seven children and he will tell you that he was never bisexual, just desperately trying not to be gay and having kids because it was the only thing about heterosexual marriage that made it bearable because he loves his kids.

  22. wtf says

    Uh, Jason, you do realize we get to self-identify in this lifetime right? He identifies as GAY not BI. Just because someone fucks both men and women doesn’t make them bi. There’s a bit more to it than that.

    Oh BTW: there are PLENTY of men who’ve fathered children and are NOT attracted to women. Please educate yourself on the subject before spouting off next time.

  23. TANK says

    Oh lookee, I just got sassed by a whore. You’ve sassed your last, whore! LOL! Seriously, you’re about as perceptive as navel lint, zeke.

    I have watched the videos. None of my questions have been answered by them…none. What is the church’s stance on gay civil rights? Is the congregation homophobic? Has he ever “compassionately” expressed “christian love” for homosexuals by condemning them in a sermon to play to that congregation’s bigotry? Has he allied his church with homophobic churches? You mean he wouldn’t have been able to create a lucrative megachurch if he gave this speech twenty years ago…what, after his first marriage to a woman? Why is that? Why is he being demoted? Hmmmm, couldn’t possibly be homophobia…not in christianity! You FOLKS uncritically eating this up are…the salt of the earth…you know, idiots.

  24. ratbastard says

    LOL….The Gay ‘Community’ is vicious….no wonder there are so many suicides. Next time one of you internet sages post about how it’s all societal homophobia,8 years of Bush and the Republican’s fault, try a hard, honest look in a mirror. I’m Agnostic, but admire that some devout Christians and others preach we’re all sinners [flawed human beings] and really do practice forgiveness and understanding,within reason. This is a far cry from the holier than thou, walk on water,narcissistic personalities [of every political and ideological persuasion] who rant online.

  25. mad1026 says

    Tank, 59 is not old. I’m 62. Your ageism is a little misdirected. And I agree, your doctor needs to up your med level. Your own self-loathing is coming through.

  26. Philwin says

    Gentlemen, Swilley is 52. Not that it matters, but it proves many people commenting have not watched the videos. Yet feel informed enough to comment. Which is pathetic. And, had you bothered to inform yourself before demonstrating your idiocy, you would have known that is exactly one point Swilley touches upon in his eloquent speech. But, I suppose, investing an hour to learn about something before demonizing it would be asking too much. And that is beyond pathetic.

  27. TampaZeke says

    Just took the time to watch the whole video. AMAZING! I recently renounced my Christianity and am now an agnostic, humanist Buddhist but this man really moved me with his sincerity, his wit, his power to speak truth to Christians in a way that few people can. I would love to give this man a hug, tell him welcome to your life and wish him all the best in his personal life and in his ministry.

    And WOW, the mother of his children frickin ROCKS!

    I truly believe that it will be people like him who will effect the new Christian reformation and that can only be a good thing.

    Thanks to both Rev. Swilleys and their church. I hope you are a HUGE success.

    And TANK, bless your little ole heart. Watching you get your panties in a pissy bunch is just adorable. Having you sling insults at me just makes my day. When I’m on YOUR wrong side then I know I’m on the right side of sanity. Please, please, please keep it up. Love ya, mean it, don’t change a thing!


  28. TANK says

    Hey, that’s great. You are an absolute flake, tampazeke…and your name will forever remind of a certain character in pulp fiction…a certain rather detestable character who got exactly what he deserved…not to suggest that you deserve anything like that. I’m sure you and that character are very different…I hope, anyway.

  29. Ccc says

    ***If you have ever been really hurt by going to a service where they decried homosexuals***

    …watching the long video may help create a(nother) little space for you inside that feels better about having gotten through the experience. It’s good to create love within ourselves, but it’s also good to hear it from others as well. Just mho.

    PS (Presenting: Ms. Georgia Megachurch…lol.)

  30. GregV says

    “But Jim Swilley gets the “courageous” award after deceiving himself, his wife, his children, and his congregation for over two decades.”

    @Jpeckjr: I haven’t watched the second video, but the news report gives no evidence that he decieved himself or his family.
    He told his wife he was gay before they were married. It sounds like the couple decided together to put up a fake front for the church community.

    I would hardly say he has received a “courageous award.” It does take some bravery to finally own up to the truth after all those years of pretending, but that doesn’t negate the fact that it takes a lot of (and maybe more)courage to have been honest from the beginning, even in decades when the threats and misunderstandings were much greater.

  31. flatlander_48 says

    As far as I’m concerned, it makes no difference WHEN someone comes out. The important thing is that they do. What it does is signal that point in ones life where a positive step is taken to reconcile ones internal and external selves. To me, it’s one more family member for The Tribe and that’s always a good thing.

  32. says

    the whole religious thing taints all aspects of human development. Using superstitions to build ones own wealth is such a wolf in sheep’s clothing to begin with.. all of this BS just shouts intellectual dishonesty !

  33. FunMe says

    Who cares what “tank” writes. I usually see who is writing a post, and if it’s this UGLY self-loathing queen, I just PAGE DOWN

    seriously, no one should even bother responding to this OLD closet queen writes. It does NOT MATTER What he says only provides COMIC RELIEF if he does say anything worthwhile, so INGORE HIM!

  34. Alex says

    If you watch the whole coming out video you will see that he has ben preaching inclusion for years, has never preached against gay people (and the tapes exist to prove it).

    He has other preachers on staff who are openly gay too , who got up and spoke.

    He made very clear that he is for inclusion of ALL people …stragiht/gay/black/white, etc.

  35. DR says

    Wow, bitter party of three. Between the whining “why is he being applauded” of a supposed UCC minister, Tank’s usual piss and venom, and Jason having to in some way critique the guys sexual orientation, I can’t imagine why more people aren’t coming out.’

    Sick and pathetic. Especially the supposed minister. At least we expect the craziness from Tank and Jason.

  36. TANK says

    Yes, it’s just insane and…self loathing (oh my goodness, there’s a reason why your lives are doubtless the way that they are…failed) to point out the obvious about this case and christianity, and to reject the narrative being spun by church fags, who, if they had the opportunity, would whip themselves with chains as apology for their existence.

    Yes, I just won’t…uncritically accept this and praise the closeted old reverend (and saying nothing for over twenty five years is a negative action)…hmm, or anything any of you were to say, actually.

  37. TANK says

    Oh, and just in case you didn’t get it the first time: I don’t think that this is “great,” “inspirational,” or that he’s a role model…and if you do, you’re fucked up. Really fucked up (to be polite, actually) to put a deeply closeted christian megachurch preacher (who also serves homophobic congregants, btw…and I guarantee that his message of “tolerance” isn’t nearly as aggressive when it comes to lgbt as just about any ucc pastor) on a pedastal….he’s no one gay youth should aspire or be encouraged to aspire…his closeted life is no template for “success”. He could very well be a nice guy…I’m not disputing that.

  38. anon says

    Where in the video does he admit to ripping off his congregation by promising them that if they donate to his church he can get them into heaven in the next life? Megachurches make megabucks by telling their congregations how wonderful they are. It’s the congregations that are self-loathing. Flattery will get you far.

  39. Bodhi says

    I applaud his courage – and his coming out in front of his Congregation. I do NOT believe he was outed in any way, I accept that it was something that he and his wife talked through thoroughly before she asked for a divorce, freeing each other to move on in other relationships if that should occur. I do hope that it is given coverage in the right-wing press – Clearly at least SOME people will become accepting … Although I am a non-Christian, I am a full member of MCC Toronto, and would certainly attend any service at which he was asked to speak in my area …

  40. Fenrox says

    Good for him.

    Also, NOTHING ABOUT THAT IS BRAVE, LOOK THE WORD UP. BRAVE would have been doing it as a teen. You are just using the wrong word, like calling someone who catches a fly ball a ‘hero’.

  41. darkmoonman says

    Tank, you’ve succeeded: everyone here knows you’re a moron. Now, go troll somewhere else.

    Having lived in GA, I understand his being closeted even if I disapprove of it. I came out at 21 because I knew I could survive the repercussions: my job was secure, I had several close friends, and I didn’t give a rip what my biological family thought. That said, to come out at 52 in front of a church congregation (even if that congregation thinks of itself as ‘welcoming’) *is* an inspiring act – it shows that even the most fearful in the closet can come out and act to improve the life of others.

  42. Parker LA says

    I didn’t do the megachurch route, my churches were of the medium to small variety. Regardless of the size, coming out while a minister is a traumatic event. Instead of killing our own for their bravery and making it easier for all men and women to come out, we should applaud this man’s courage for his rather difficult decision. If you’ve never been a part of organized religion from the inside you can never fully appreciate the type of pain these people experience. My kudos to this man for having finally gained the courage to live his life openly and to borrow a phrase that is currently in the public domain: “it gets better.” Believe me.

  43. Louise says

    Does this man believe ANYTHING that the Word of God says? God says in his Word, “I can do ALL THINGS through Jesus Christ who STRENGTHENS ME.” I was an ALCOHOLIC. I went to church and continued to drink, but the Holy Spirit was dealing with me to quit. I tapered off, because the scripture is TRUE, that as Christians, we can surely do all things through Christ Jesus. Do you believe that preacher???? We FIRST must have a desire to turn away from the SIN. (and DON’T TELL ME YOU CAN’T, AS YOU ARE MAKING GOD A LIAR)!! He should have QUIETLY left the church. LESS DAMAGE WOULD HAVE BEEN DONE. Those who stay, based on the Word of God, are “partaking in this man’s SIN.” Lost people will now justify their homosexuality, based on what this man says. I too, care about the FEW TEENS who committed suicide, but WHAT ABOUT THE POSSIBLY MILLIONS THAT WILL THINK THEY WILL ENTER HEAVEN BY LIVING A HOMOSEXUAL LIFE-STYLE, (based on this man’s FALSE teaching), AND WILL GO TO HELL,FOR ETERNITY, AS THE BIBLE SAYS THAT THIS BEHAVIOR IS UNNATURAL AND BRINGS SPRITUAL DEATH!!!! I believe with all my heart, that this man has no intentions of giving up this life-style as he loves it. I also will add, that the scripture says, that in the LAST DAYS, men will call evil good, and good evil. No wonder so many non-christians laugh at us, and want no part of Christianity!!!

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