LJWorld.com weblogs Faith Files

Clay Aiken concert causes stir in Wichita church


This from today's [Wichita Eagle][1]:Apparently, Central Christian Church, Wichita's largest Protestant congregation, is facing some controversy over its decision to have former "American Idol" star Clay Aiken play a Christmas concert there.The National Enquirer reports this week that "the church received a lot of attacks" over the concert, and that the attacks were related to Aiken's sexual orientation.A church leader called the story "just absolutely false." According to the Eagle, a memo circulated to church leaders defended the concert, saying Aiken has spoken openly about his Christian beliefs, has a holiday CD with songs about Christ's birth and has said in interviews that he is not gay.Also in the memo: "Keep in mind, this is an 'outreach event.' Many of Clay's fans are Christians, however some may never darken the halls of a church, but for this one event."The concert is Nov. 26, and tickets range from $30 to $40._ - Faith Files, which examines issues of faith, spirituality, morals and ethics, is updated by features/faith reporter Terry Rombeck. Have an idea for the blog? Contact Terry at trombeck@ljworld.com, or 832-7145._ [1]: http://www.kansas.com/194/story/197882.html


Deb Stavin 10 years, 4 months ago

If it were not for the Enquirer, we never would have known about the Bat Boy or the fact that Hillary gave birth to an alien.

trombeck 10 years, 4 months ago

Hi, 4th_grade_education: Just a point of clarification. We weren't trying to give credibility to the report in the National Enquirer (people can make their own judgments on that, certainly). Rather, we're just providing a point of interest that a chuch in Wichita is dealing with the story and its fallout.

Thanks, Terry Rombeck faith/features reporter

texburgh 10 years, 4 months ago


The Bat Boy and alien baby were both featured in the now-defunct World Weekly News, not the Enquirer. If you're going after the tabloids at least keep them straight. World Weekly News was like the Onion of tabloids; the Enquirer is more like Fox News.

GretchenJP 10 years, 4 months ago

Enquiring minds want to know. Don't ask don't tell.

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 10 years, 4 months ago

"Gotta love the church. Attacking this guy because he might be gay."

hmm... preemergent preemptive preeminence

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 10 years, 4 months ago

"the fact that Hillary gave birth to an alien"

The question is... Will she find time on the campaign trail to pump enough breast milk to ensure healthy gill development?

situveux1 10 years, 4 months ago

The first paragraph of the Wichita Eagle article cited above:

"A concert by Clay Aiken at Wichita's Central Christian Church will go on as scheduled next month, a church leader said Wednesday as the leader dismissed a tabloid's article that the church was under attack for hosting the performance."


"In June or July, shortly after the church decided to hold the concert, church leaders crafted a memo that addressed, in part, questions that could arise about Aiken's sexual orientation."

So first, the memo was crafted by church leaders, not to church leaders.

Second...tell me again why this is a story that deserves to be published???? I mean, I understand why it would hit the Enquirer, but really, a regular newspaper? Oh, that's right, I forgot, it's the Journal-World. Apparently you now have the same journalistic integrity as the National Enquirer. Just when I thought you guys hit rock bottom, somebody trows you a pickax.

badger 10 years, 4 months ago

Ah, the Journal-World. All the news that's fit to regurgitate from substandard hack publications. Sometimes it seems almost like there are LJWorld writers out there trolling the bottom of any news barrel they can find, hoping to get story numbers up.

Seriously, I echo the "Why is this news?" From the article, it looks like "Oh, the Enquirer says this church is having problems because people think the performer they've engaged is gay! They say no such thing is happening and they're pretty sure he's straight because he sings Christmas music. We don't have any real proof as to whether they're getting threats or harassment, but we thought our readers might not have had time to stop by the Hy-Vee and pick up a copy of the Enquirer yet this week, so we'll just report what they said and call it news."

if a church is getting grief for engaging a performer who might be gay and the whole while developing strategies to reassure people he's not, the only people I'd call would be the irony police, to point out to them that said grief would be an outgrowth of the very prejudices fostered by the religious right over the years, and point and laugh. If they're not getting grief and the article is false, this is just elevating 'rumour' to the level of 'news.'

me1 10 years, 4 months ago

The Enquirer is just a lot of junk...most educated people know that. They perpetuate this rumor, however, because it causes a big stir among everyone. Much of our "media" should be brought to the judicial system, but I'm not sure it works either. I am proud that this church seems to be standing strong about the issue. Churches have a right to their beliefs. And, note this, they ARE having Clay Aiken come sing. Makes you think, doesn't it? church does not want gay singers+ Clay Aiken is coming = Clay is not gay contrary to what some people want to stir up

tangential_reasoners_anonymous 10 years, 4 months ago

"Clay is not gay."

... but his name rhymes with gay.

SwatNSkeeters 10 years, 4 months ago

Maybe you should check the real source; The Church itself. They have said that NONE of this is true. They don't have a problem with Clay and never have. It's all just tabloid rumors of trying to cause a great man trouble. Such as you are trying to do.

situveux1 10 years, 4 months ago

"The Enquirer is just a lot of junk:most educated people know that."

I agree...the LJW isn't educated enough to know this!!!

geniusmannumber1 10 years, 4 months ago

Ah, the LJW commenters ... once again proving that an article of under 100 words overtaxes their reading comprehension skills.

geniusmannumber1 10 years, 4 months ago

I'll do this slowly:

The story is not about the National Enquirer.

It is about the church (hence its placement in "Faith Files")

The Enquirer made an accusation about the church.

The church said the accusation was false. This is the subject of the story.

The story in no way implies that the Enquirer is a credible news source.

In fact, it suggests the opposite -- that the Enquirer printed a story without a factual basis.

Now, if you would like to comment on my reading comprehension skills, you are more than welcome to, although I am not sure what you might find to criticize. If you would like to toss out another snarky ill-informed ad hominem about the journalistic preferences of someone you've never met, then you may continue to act out the stereotype of the LJW commenter as you please. (Apologies to the 1-2% percent of those commenters who can read for comprehension and/or argue a point).

geniusmannumber1 10 years, 4 months ago

Aaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaand . . . that was way too easy.

situveux1 10 years, 4 months ago

Yea right, like you can honestly tell me that if the church said nothing and let the Enquirer have the stage that it would take away from their credibility. Please. You and I both know the LJW would have still printed this story, only instead of two sides (if you can call it that) there would have been one. And instead of talking about credibility, you'd be attacking the church for being 'anti-gay' and because the church said nothing you'd all assume that it was true.

You are right about one thing though, by them acknowledging the story, they give credibility to the Enquirer, however, if they would have ignored it, they would have given credibility to the story and the Enquirer both.

Oh yea, my comment was directed to geniusmannumber1, which is why I wrote 'genius.' Maybe you're the one that's reading comprehensively challenged?

situveux1 10 years, 4 months ago

You know, it never occurred to my reading comprehensively challenged mind that I had to MEET an author before criticizing his ability to write an article. I always thought reading the article itself was good enough. Gee whiz, thanks genius for informing me! And writing in such a way that I can understand! My poor little pea brain just doesn't take things like it used to!!!

Your an idiot genius.

erod0723 10 years, 4 months ago

Here I was thinking that the reason there was so much controversy was because Clay Aiken is a crappy singer.

Tychoman 10 years, 4 months ago

That's what I'd rather the controversy be about. Who pays money to see these people?

And yes, by even mentioning the Enquirer as the instigator of this lunacy, that gives the Enquirer some credibility. With the church responding to the accusation, thereby acknowledging the Enquirer, they are the ones giving it its credibility. There's a reason why Hillary, Oprah and every other celebrity ignores tabloid/whatever newspapers: To protest is to acknowledge them.

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