Hey thanks, I was looking for critiques of my Rich Mullins presentation. I'm understanding you to suppose he was straight because the song "Doubly Good" seems kind of straight…because of Occam's Razor.
That's a pretty amazing razor, is all I can think to say.
The song is not a love song, is not sung to a girl, or about a girl. Why it would be used at a wedding is mysterious. As I note in my Roctober profile, the song "seems to revise a traditional Irish blessing, and concerns a romance which has yet to occur."
From the lyrics:
“And if you find a love that's tender
If you find someone who's true
Then thank the Lord
He's been doubly good to you”
When Mullins tells the fiancé story the chronology and other details wander around. The girl is never named. The story only appears in the mid-1990s when he's pushing 40. He’s oddly not as heartbroken when singing it on the 1994 FBC stage, when he recalls playing “Doubly Good” for Amy Grant, explaining: “Oh because at the time I was engaged — I said well you know I wrote this song for — For my wedding which actually didn’t happen, thank God.”
The fiancé story actually matches the details of Beaker, who goes on to marry a girl, and the chronology seems to match. So I’m thinking Mullins tells a story that is half-true. He’s not wanting to lie, but he can’t be truthful.
The original songs might’ve had more gender material before being revised for commercial release. Note a few 80s-era performances of "Love of Another Kind" on Youtube. The Amy Grant version: “The love I know is a love so few discover.” He had: “I feel you’re closer than a brother.”
The narration Mullins tells of a young gay man having a talk with Mullins’ father might have a feeling of “tolerance” in that the young is not totally rejected as a son (or friend)—which is the usual Evangelical treatment. Here is what he quotes his father saying:
“You need to decide what’s most important to you and do it. You can’t do everything. And uh, you know what the Bible teaches and uh, decide if you can live with the Bible or if you can live without it.”
So if not an outright personal rejection, Mullins father is attempting to push this young man out of Christianity, and saying the Bible is not available to him as a theological resource.
About Beaker as co-writer, I have to wonder how much he was doing. We don’t know, alas, as Beaker refuses all interviews for all biographical projects. I’ve wondered if some of the credits might be putting Beaker on as co-writer as a behest.
I’m more struck by details you seem not to find interesting—like the “secret sin” interview. And the vagueness also seems telling. He had to be obscure for some reason, to keep telling these detail-less stories.
Here for example is a bit from the Countdown memorial interviews, where he narrates his 20s. We’d notice no girlfriend or fiancé.
My twenties were very very disturbed years because it was the time of the real battle between my will to submit my will and my will to assert my will. I wanted to love God and at the same time I resented God for being who He is because if He was God then I couldn’t be. And I would flip-flop back and forth between saying thank you God that you are the Lord and that I am not because even I am a rotten steward I would be a terrible Lord. I would flip-flop between saying that and saying yeah but we are going to do this my way right now. So I do love you but I’m going to go my way and so blink for a long time. You know, by the time you’ve gone through that long enough after you have beaten your head up against that wall for a good decade, you come out of it and you have accomplished all of the damage that God wanted to save you from. All you can do at that point is go, “Wow! I am so sorry that when You told me to walk in faith, I refused to do it. And now I know why You gave the commands that You gave. Now I know why You say what You say. And I wish that I didn’t have to know that in order to obey it.
My own reading is that Mullins is talking about feeling tortured by sexuality since a young age, and now haunted by the idea that the “sex rules” he’d flouted had been divinely intended as a barrier to STDs.