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Let me hip y’all to some game. Church folks love “Empire.” Now, the show might have lost some followers once Lucious started calling himself God; (Not after he shot Bunkie in the eye though.), but with 16 million views last night, many among them, were church folks.

And they noticed that there was a Donnie McClurkin reference. “Fashion Queens” star Miss Lawrence appeared on the show. Lying on top of a piano, in a sequin blazer he hyped Becky’s life by mentioning that Donnie McClurkin would be attending an LGBTQ award show.

In case you missed it, there’s a clip from the moment on Instagram.

It’s interesting to say the least. Lee Daniels is an openly gay man and Donnie McClurkin is a reformed homosexual. It was clearly a dig.

McClurkin didn’t take too kindly to the reference and issued this press release.

“There’s no explanation or understandable reason for the actions people take under the guise of entertainment.  When did the art of creative writing resort to penning scripts for shock value and controversy? During the premiere of FOX Television’s hit show, Empire, the writers targeted gospel artist Donnie McClurkin. 

There are several ways one can respond to this new form of bullying and the pastor, singer songwriter took to Twitter to share his comments:

“It was brought to my attention via social media that my name was included in a “back-handed”  manner during a scene in the FOX show, Empire. What might have been meant for evil, God uses for good! Despite the scripting used by @leedanielsent it has helped bring attention to the gospel of Jesus Christ that I sing and preach, an empowering moment! To my brothers and sisters, thank you for your support, encouragement & love! No negativity towards @leedanielsent let’s show the love of Jesus,” says McClurkin.

“Let this experience be a reminder that as loving Christians we’re called to share the good news of Christ and be examples of God’s love on the earth.”

I have to be honest, at first I was thinking that Donnie was doing too much. I thought, as a public figure who has been very vocal about his own deliverance from homosexuality and his disagreement with the Supreme Court’s ruling on same sex marriage, this is kind of par for the course, what you sign up for.

But then I stumbled across this article titled “No Longer A Victim.”

In it, McClurkin explains that his first sexual experience was rape, at the age of eight-years-old, at the hands of his Uncle. And then at 13, that same Uncle’s son molested him. And when McClurkin found the Lord, instead of the men in the church helping him heal from the abuse, they exploited his confusion and introduced him to a secret, homosexual lifestyle.

McClurkin says it wasn’t until years later, with help from God, he began to finally heal from the hurt of being raped, molested and abused at the hands of men in the church.

You should certainly read the piece in its entirety, as it is very illuminating.

McClurkin has been through some very, traumatic life events that only God could help him come through.

I don’t agree that homosexuality is a sin. And as such, I don’t agree with his stance on marriage between two, consenting adults, who happen to share the same gender. But I can understand how he internalized his rape, molestation, abuse and exploitation as painful, dirty and not of God. Those experiences were all those things. He wasn’t given the opportunity to explore his sexuality appropriately or healthily. And He does not want to be considered a homosexual man. As a Christian, he believes that God has delivered him from that. As a human it is his right to define himself as he sees fit, whether people like or understand it.

However we interpret the events of McClurkin’s life and his subsequent sexuality, his story didn’t deserve to be used as some sort of punchline on a network television dramedy.

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