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When hummers don’t help.

Sometimes a headline tells you all you need to know: “Accused NJ Pastor Extracted Evil Spirits From Young Men Through Oral Sex.” That’s really the gist of the story, but I think my readers deserve more details, and I’m only too happy to provide them.

“Several young men are speaking out about a Presbyterian minister in New Jersey who used Native American exorcism rituals, gemstones, and even oral sex to extract ‘evil spirits’ from men undergoing crises in their lives,” the Bridgewater Courier News reports. (The story was picked up by Towleroad, which wrote the headline at the top here and is where it came to my attention.)

According to the Courier News, “The so-called healing acts, which date to 1999, were allegedly performed by the Rev. Dr. William Weaver, a prominent Presbyterian minister who served as pastor at Linden Presbyterian Church for 39 years, one of two Presbyterian churches in Linden, a city with a population of over 40,000. He also held several public roles, including chaplain for a county police department.”

The good pastor also used feathers, buckeyes, coins, and Ziploc bags, into which he spat pieces of metal that he claimed were evidence of the evil spirits that were plaguing the victims and that he averred to have internally extracted from the cum he’d swallowed.

Now before we get carried away with this story’s inherent amusement value — and I do think the story has it in spades — the damage done to Weaver’s victims is real and very disturbing, even excruciating. No blowjob is worth it. One of men Weaver prayed — excuse me, preyed — upon, William Weist, said in a written impact statement he sent to Presbytery officials and was provided to the Courier News, that Weaver was able to take advantage of him because he “was at such a low point in his life…. ‘I felt so small and worthless, like a piece of trash in the street. I just couldn’t face what had happened to me.’”

Here’s another funny one, in a sick sort of way: “Tennessee Deputy, Pastor Calls For Execution Of LGBTQ People.”

So reads the headline of a story in HuffPo by Sebastian Murdock. The subhead is, shall we say, equally arresting: “‘Have a trial for them, and if they are convicted then they are to be put to death,’ detective and pastor Grayson Fritts said during a sermon.”

Seriously, where do they get these names? If you were to write a broad parody of Appalachian hillbillies, you couldn’t do much better than Grayson Fritts. My question is: convicted of what? As far as I know , there are no sodomy laws left on the books in this country, so Fritts’ little murderous fantasy couldn’t be enacted in real life.

“Knox County Sheriff’s deputy Grayson Fritts is no longer on active duty,” Murdock reports. “On Wednesday, video surfaced of a hate-filled sermon he gave to his congregation on June 2 at All Scripture Baptist Church in Knoxville that called for the execution of anyone found to be LGBTQ, Knox News first reported.”

Naturally — or maybe it should be unnaturally — Fritts employed the standard metaphor when describing his project: “‘I’m sick of sodomy getting crammed down our throats,’ Fritts said during his sermon.” Do straight people always lack creativity? Once, just once, I’d like to hear some benighted het complaining about having sodomy shoved up his ass. Why is it always crammed down their throats?

“‘Send the police in 2019 out to these LGBT freaks and arrest them,’ Fritts continued [forgetting the final Q]. ‘Have a trial for them, and if they are convicted then they are to be put to death. Do you understand that? It’s a capital crime to be carried out by our government.’” He apparently means that the punishment is to be carried out by our government, not the crime.

Murdock continues by quoting various government officials distancing themselves from this crackpot, but he has the good sense to close with the crackpot: “Meanwhile, Fritts defended his comments in another sermon on Wednesday night, saying he wasn’t calling on civilians to commit violence, but that it was instead the ‘government’s responsibility.’

“‘I’m not calling anybody in here to arms,’ he said. ‘I’m not calling anyone here to violence. I’m saying it’s the government’s responsibility, is what I said.’”

In what might be considered a touch of irony, Fritts has been placed on sick leave.

From Business Insider: “Pete Buttigieg, a breakout 2020 Democratic candidate, said that it’s ‘statistically almost certain’ the US has had a gay president in the past.

“Speaking to Axios on HBO on Sunday, Buttigieg defended himself against critics who say he would be too young, liberal, or gay to be elected commander-in-chief.

“‘People will elect the person who will make the best president,’ he said [displaying a singular lack of awareness of current events]. ‘And we have had excellent presidents who have been young. We have had excellent presidents who have been liberal. I would imagine we’ve probably had excellent presidents who were gay — we just didn’t know which ones.’”

Oh Lord, please don’t make it Millard Fillmore. I just couldn’t live with the knowledge that the nation’s first gay president was named Millard Fillmore.

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