But the enemy I see wears a cloak of decency,

All non-believers and men stealers talkin’ in the name of religion

And there’s a slow, slow train comin’ up around the bend.

– Bob Dylan, “Slow Train Coming,” 1979

I guess it shouldn’t surprise me.

I guess I should have seen this coming.

Still, what I am about to tell you illustrates remarkably well just how low our culture has plummeted, just how completely our institutions have been subverted, just how evil men’s hearts are and just how blind we as a society have become to the depravity that surrounds us.

Next month, the American Academy of Religion will hold its annual meeting in San Antonio, Texas.

At this meeting of the national umbrella organization for professors of religion, church historians, theologians, ethicists and so-called scholars in world religions, sadomasochism, transvestism and polyamory will be promoted as a way to better communicate with God.

I was alerted to this outrage by a courageous whistleblower who travels in such circles – Robert Gagnon, Ph.D. and associate professor of New Testament at Pittsburgh Theological Seminary.

As he put it: “Here the slippery slope is greased by the very persons who previously denied even the existence of such a slope.”

The Gay Men’s Issues in Religion Group within the AAR has set for its theme for the program: “Power and Submission, Pain and Pleasure: The Religious Dynamics of Sadomasochism.” It also has another session on the program, half of which is devoted to transgenderism.

Last year, Gagnon says, the group featured a session on the topic: “Love Is a Many Splendored Thing: Varied Views on Polyamory.” (Don’t bother looking up that last word in the dictionary. It’s not there yet. It means having sexual relations with more than one partner at a time.)

About the “Power and Submission” topic, the program explains:

Sadomasochistic or bondage/dominance practice (sometimes also referred to as “leather sexuality”) … offers a particularly potent location for reflecting on gay men’s issues in religion.

One of the papers presented by Justin Tanis of the Metropolitan Community Church, a homosexual “denomination,” if you will, is titled “Ecstatic Communion: The Spiritual Dimensions of Leathersexuality.”

“This paper will … look briefly at the ways in which leather is a foundation for personal and spiritual identity formation, creating a lens through which the rest of life is viewed,” explains Tanis. “All of this based within the framework of a belief in the rights of individuals to erotic self-determination with other consenting adults, rather than apologetics for those practices and lives.”

It gets worse – and more bizarre.

Another paper, by Thomas V. Peterson of Alfred University (though I have to wonder whether it’s not really Alfred E. Newman University), focuses on “S/M Rituals in Gay Men’s Leather Communities: Initiation, Power Exchange and Subversion.”

“This paper uses S/M rituals within the gay men’s leather community to explore how ritual may subvert cultural icons of violence by eroticizing power,” the scholar explains. “Those who exercise power and acquiesce to it in leather rituals meet as respected equals and negotiate the limitations of power according to mutual desires.”

Translation: Violence is OK when it is eroticized in a relationship of “respected equals” in which each partner can take turns victimizing the other in ritual harm.

Then there is the contribution to spiritual understanding by Chicago Theological Seminary’s Ken Stone: “You Seduced Me, You Overpowered Me, and You Prevailed: Religious Experience and Homoerotic Sadomasochism in Jeremiah.”

“(Jeremiah 20:7-18) can be construed more usually as a kind of ritual S/M encounter between the male deity Yahweh and his male devotee,” writes Stone, who, in my opinion, runs a good chance of being turned into a stone by the male deity Yahweh. “This possibility provides a lens with which to interpret both other passages in the book of Jeremiah and the dynamics of power and submission in religious experience.”

Translation: God relates to His people through sadomasochism.

There are many more sessions and they get even more extraordinary in their blasphemy. All I can tell you is I wouldn’t want to be within lightning strike distance of the Henry B. Gonzalez Convention Center in San Antonio on Nov. 20-23.

Read “Homosexual S&M part of Christianity?” in today’s edition of WorldNetDaily.

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