Masked or brazen?

By Hermes C. Fernandes

Two Felipes caused an earthquake on social media this week. One, unmasking the holy hypocrisy of an evangelical parliamentarian. The other, being publicly unmasked by his wife who accuses him of being homosexual and pedophile. Although different, these facts are connected by a link: the way the evangelical religion sees homosexuality.

Not even Felipe Neto’s tight skirts inhibited Marco Feliciano’s anachronistic stance on the topic. The vlogger demonstrated that he had done his homework by firing biblical passages, using even the original texts. I even suspect that the boy has been in a church. Or, at the very least, researched a lot before entering the parliamentarian’s office. Feliciano remained firm until the end, and the debate that began with an apology from Felipe Neto for the inelegant way he referred to the deputy on social media, ended with Feliciano’s tear of silk, stating that his daughters are fans of the vlogger. In fact, I liked to know that Felipe Neto comes from Engenho Novo, the same neighborhood in Rio where I exercise the pastoral function.

Nothing moves Feliciano from the conviction that homosexuality is a sin. For Silas Malafaia, his colleague from the pulpit and a private friend, what constitutes sin is homosexual practice. Therefore, if the individual has homosexual desires, but does not reach the end, he will not be sinning properly. This position has been almost unanimous among evangelicals in Brazil. It doesn’t matter what you feel, but just what you do, which, in my view, seems to clash with the original proposal of Christ, who is one of his most important sermons, stated that if a man desired a woman who was not his, in his heart he would have tampered with it, even if it never came to fruition. He also said that if we harbored a feeling of hatred towards our fellow man, it would make us murderers in the eyes of God. It is from the heart that all things sprout, good and bad. But for those who claim to be spokespersons for Christian morals, what matters is appearance, not what is felt in the heart. Therefore, if homosexual practice is sinful, we will have to admit that the homosexual desire is also sinful. So too, if the homosexual desire is not sinful in itself, then neither is its practice.

Following the same line of reasoning, they teach that both love and forgiveness are not feelings, but merely attitudes. Therefore, I must declare that I have forgiven my offender, even though my heart is still broken. I must say that I love it, even if I don’t. Those who abuse this teaching go so far as to say that a cure must be confessed, even if it has not occurred. All of this in the name of a faith divorced from love. What these evangelical gurus teach as truth, Jesus called hypocrisy.

And what does all this have to do with the traumatic separation of pastor Bianca Toledo? All! Bianca came from a traumatic separation when she met Felipe. Six months after the separation, they were married without having given a single kiss during courtship. They became the darlings of the traditional evangelical family and poster boys for the “I chose to wait for” movement. The fact that he had recovered from a deadly illness was proof that God could reverse any situation. And the fact that she rebuilt her love life after the first separation was proof that the same God who would have “raised her” would also raise her dreams. Result: Bianca became a champion of sales of DVD’s, CD’s and books in which she reports her testimony. Her second marriage became a model to be copied.instagram with perfect photos that resemble margarine commercial families. His travels were accompanied by thousands of fans via Snapchat.

Everything went wonderfully until … boom! The truth would have come out. According to Bianca, her husband confessed his homosexuality to her, and as if that were not enough, she attempted suicide after confessing to having abused her only 5-year-old son.

The subject took social networks by storm. It was only talked about during the week. And one of the most spoken phrases was “the mask fell”. And the worst thing is that this is said in a celebratory tone. A question arises that does not want to remain silent: Who really provided the mask? What masquerade did he use to parade at?

I wish the Christians finally understood what the apostle Paul meant to say by declaring that where the Spirit of the Lord is, there is freedom. It is not, as many people think, freedom to worship as we please, jumping, dancing, handstands, etc. And yes, freedom to be what you are, without fear of being judged by anyone.

We are all beings in the finishing phase. Or if you prefer to use a philosophical expression, we are becoming. Nobody is ready. For this reason, Paulo is incisive: if we aim to become better human beings, we have to keep ourselves “with the face uncovered” while we transit in an environment steeped in freedom, love, and mutual respect.

Under the masks provided by religion, monsters eventually form. If they lived in the light, there would be no environment conducive to that.

If Felipe Heiderich is, in fact, a homosexual, he should never have married a woman. On the other hand, it probably would not have been welcomed by the church. Basically, we have nothing against homosexuals, as long as they stay in the closet and don’t bother us. Holy hypocrisy, Batman! If they marry people of the opposite sex, even better. This would prove that our gay healing theory is correct. But this is where things change. A conversion is forged (not only religious, but sexual), and, to prove that he is “cured”, he marries and begins to live a lie. Often, the spouse is an accomplice. In others, it is a victim.

Please stop this litany that insists on linking homosexuality to pedophilia. Being homosexual is not a crime. Although many think it is a sin. However, pedophilia is both a crime and a sin. Furthermore, it is statistically proven that child abuse is rarely perpetrated by homosexuals. They are generally practiced by straight men. If you have abused a child, you should be arrested, but not hated by those who should love you.

The rapist, the pedophile, or any other criminal, cannot escape the rigor of the law. This does not mean that they should be the target of our hatred and contempt. They are human beings, as lacking in divine mercy as each of us.

Judging by the reaction of most Christians, it was not just the mask of that pastor that fell, but that of all of them. All the love we preach went down the drain. Our desire for revenge testified against us, both before society and before God Himself.

Allow me, now, a sincere opinion on the position of the pastor, considered by many, courageous. Was she an accomplice or victim of this whole situation?

According to what was published in the media, both written and television, Bianca had been informed by the nanny that her current husband had abused her son since she was 3 years old. But she did nothing. He preferred to turn a blind eye. The nanny reported having communicated to Bianca that the boy was always without diapers in the crib and that his stepfather was seen constantly leaving his room at dawn, and that whenever Bianca traveled, he dismissed the nanny and slept with the boy in his bed. bed. Why did she just decide to throw everything on the fan?

What about how you made the situation public? Why expose your own child in this way? Wasn’t it enough to handle the case in the private sphere?

She could even expose the fact that her husband has not shown sexual interest in her since the sixth month of marriage, and reveal to everyone her homosexuality and even her suicide attempt. But I see no reason to expose a child who can carry this stigma forever.

And what causes me even more disgust is to perceive the spiritual bias that is trying to be given to the case, as if foreseeing the repercussions and the way in which he can spare his ministry from a scandal, increasing the sales of his material. Already, we will have another bestseller telling how he survived this. I can’t look kindly on such a marketing strategy at the cost of exposing an innocent child.

Imagine twenty years from now, when you are an adult, and do a google search for your name, what this child will come across. All of this could be avoided.

Today, Bianca posted a banner with her photo and the phrase: “Bianca Toledo alerts the church: A storm is going to clean Christian altars across the land.” And more: “See that many others will fall in the coming days because they have consciously stained what is holy and the church will wake up to what it ignores: Satanism infiltrated the leaders, pedophiles, and immortals, corrupt and adulterous, greedy and manipulative. So that there are fear and healing. ”

Before worrying about the church and its ministry, she should be concerned about her little boy. The same apostle says that whoever does not care for his home, how can he care for the church of God?

I even think she should take a break from social media. Take a gap year. Dedicate yourself entirely to your child’s restoration.

Finally, we must consider your ex-husband’s right to go public and expose his version of the facts. To date, there is no evidence that the child has been abused. He is under arrest for precautionary measures, following the protocol in these situations.

Felipe Heiderich’s lawyer, Leandro Muses, used his client’s Facebook profile to say that “the charges against Felipe are entirely false” and that “the police will be able to investigate in order to finally clarify the truth”. According to him, neither the pastor nor the lawyer will go to the media to clarify the facts: “We will not go in search of the media to promote any of our interests, we will rather prove Felipe’s innocence in the police investigation records, trusting the work of the Police and Justice! ”, he explained. “Pray for Felipe so that he has the strength to overcome this serious injustice, and ask God that he only do justice, nothing more!”

If your crime is proven, pay for what you did. But on the other hand, if your innocence is proven, let us be Christian enough to ask your forgiveness for the public lynching to which we are subjecting you.

In the meantime, how about we abandon our hypocrisy and stop projecting our fantasies of perfection on the stars of the gospel world? How about we assume our humanity for good and look mercifully at the idiosyncrasies of others?

More love, less bitterness, please.