I had a “conversation” with a Greg McCaw, a former CCM insider (he was “no longer needed” after he came out). He estimates that as many as 35% of those in the Christian Music industry are closeted gay.
Based on his experience, Mr. McCaw suspects most who work alongside them within the industry know of their orientation. Just not the general public.
So in reality, people like Marsha Stevens-Pino (For Those Tears I Died), Clay Aiken, Jenifer Knapp, Tonéx, Ray Boltz, et al, were not outsted from the industry because they were gay, but because they admitted publicly they were gay.
According to Greg, “It is OK to be LGBT privately, as long as you don’t say that you’re LGBT. This is especially true if you have a talent that is quite marketable.”
Privately pro-LGBT thinkers keep quiet because they know most of their buyers are fundies. It’s easy to become victims of the hypocrisy of religion.
There are many who make their living from selling “Christian goods” who are sincere believers that do valid ministry. But, as Greg also says, Christian events and “the Christian music industry and the Christian publishing industry… are not primarily about ministry, they are primarily about sales.”
That’s all good and fine, I suppose. Most of us probably already know that anyway. But when people become less than who they are, or must be somewhat decietful concerning their views just to ensure their paycheck…
well, that’s not very Christian at all.
Making your money “off the gospel” is usually a dangerous thing. It’s easy to end up being an ear-tickler. Especially, I believe, in fundamentalist circles.
You can justify your cowardice because, in the words of Frank Schaeffer, “there are bills to be paid, because you are booked up for a year, because this is what you do.”
Yes, the livelihood of many gay Christians, as well as their straight allies, is tied to the CCM industry’s “Don’t Ask. Don’t Tell” policy.
Thank God, the tide of public opinion is turning, brought about in part, by the many Christians and denominations who are taking a stand for equality, consequences be damned. This has happened time and time again throughout history, in relationship to various issues of human rights.
These people are those to whom, in my opinion, true ministry is more important than the Christian Money Machine.