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Jonathan Merritt "deserved to be outed"

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Good piece by Jason Farago in the Guardian about the anti-gay religious right young leader who was recently outed.
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Faith writer Jonathan Merritt is the Paul Ryan of homophobes – an ambitious, not very bright self-promoter who has cottoned on to the media's desperation for "balance" and has made a handsome career out of it. When some Christian fanatic rails that gay people should be thrown in jail or penned behind electric fences, you can count on the tsk-tsking Merritt to serve as the polite face of bigotry. Just because gay people face eternal damnation doesn't mean we all can't get along!

So in the midst of the debate surrounding the bigotry of the Chick-fil-A president, he must have seemed like a godsend to the Atlantic's editors, who published his op-ed defending the good old American way of non-ideological fast-food consumption. When it comes to gay rights, the evangelical boy wonder intoned, "we must learn to have level-headed disagreements". Self-styled moderates everywhere nodded sagely.

Thing is, Merritt has a taste for both fried chicken and other young men.
I don't pretend these are easy questions. My own view is that outing often does more good than ill, and that appeals to privacy reinforce the damaging belief that gay life belongs behind closed doors. But in truth, the only fair stance towards outing is a critical ambivalence. It's no good to insist that everyone must be out and proud, nor that we all have an unchecked claim to being left alone. You need to think hard, and act when it's right. When somebody isn't just living a closeted life, but is actively profiting from homophobia, then the circumstances are much clearer. The harm of outing people in the business of gay hatred is a trifle compared to the harm of letting them go on.

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