It was February 4th, 1987 and I was part of a small group of men who had just been hired to sell knock-off “yellow-pages” advertising to businesses in Portland, Oregon. I had heard the news driving in and mentioned it to the group, one of whom was an outspoken Christian. His surprisingly blunt response to my Liberace mention was to say “Too bad he went straight to hell.” I instantly realized he was probably right but I was too intimidated by what the others might think of me to admit I too was a Christian who believed that. I felt ashamed, not because I agreed with him, but that my faith was so weak compared to his. It was a milestone in my Christian walk.
Liberace, a piano prodigy from the age of four, was the most flamboyant homosexual of the 20th Century: described in the Daily Mirror in 1956 as “the summit of sex—the pinnacle of masculine, feminine and neuter. Everything that he, she and it can ever want… a deadly, winking, sniggering, snuggling, chromium-plated, scent-impregnated, luminous, quivering, giggling, fruit-flavoured, mincing, ice-covered heap of mother love.” Liberace always denied being a homosexual, but was outed by both his former teenage live-in lover/houseboy and by actress Betty White who admitted having many times been his “beard” in public (to give him the facade of heterosexual normalcy). Liberace died of AIDS.
From that day forward I carried on an inner struggle against self-censorship on politically incorrect topics. It was only after years of suffering persecution for my faith as the spokesman for a Christian political organization which fought abortion and the LGBT agenda that I finally won that internal battle and experienced the liberation from the expectations of men that is promised in John 8:36 “So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” What He offers is not just freedom from the law of sin and death (Romans 8:2), it is the freedom to believe and speak hard truths regardless of what anyone else thinks about it.