Gerald Dols, self-proclaimed "Boy from MN" in Milk, weighs in on Pastor Muehlhauser case
Dols (right), the self-proclaimed "Boy from Minnesota" in Milk and an ex-gay therapy supporter, says he's "disturbed" to hear about the allegations facing Pastor Muehlhauser (left).
Last month, we told you about the felony criminal sexual conduct charges facing Ryan Muehlhauser, the senior pastor at Lakeside Christian Church in Cambridge. Muehlhauser, 55, is accused of coercing young men who were seeking his services as an ex-gay therapy counselor into sexual relationships with him.
-- Senate rejects effort to block tax dollars from being used for ex-gay therapy
-- Marcus Bachmann's clinics still practicing ex-gay therapy, says new undercover report
-- Anoka-Hennepin school board says 'no' to ex-gay therapy
The allegations prompted Chaplain Gerard Dols -- an ex-gay man perhaps best known for making the controversial claim that he's the "Boy from Minnesota" in Milk -- to write a letter to the Isanti County News' editor entitled, "We need to focus on restoration and healing."
Here's the entirety of Dols' letter:
I am writing this letter in response to the downfall of Pastor Ryan at Lakeside Christian Church.
My name is Chaplain Gerard Dols with Midwest Chaplains. Currently, I am working at the Capital Prayer Network during session, and the Minneapolis Salvation Army. I had the honor of living in Cambridge from 2002 thru 2004. At that time, I was attending Church at River of Life with senior Pastor Tom Porta.
Thirty three years ago I made the decision to leave the homosexual lifestyle. It was not an easy road for me, but it was the best decision I made for it brought reconciliation between my dad and myself. This reconciliation brought healing and closure to the both of us. This past weekend, I returned to Cambridge for a visit and was disturbed to hear of Pastor Ryan's downfall. I grieved for his family and the community. What amazed me was how people were shocked and hurt by this. I myself wanted to restore the community, his family, and ultimately Pastor Ryan. We all ultimately have to take responsibility for our actions and ask for forgiveness when wronged. We as Christians need to extend forgiveness to the ones who have hurt us. By doing this, we can walk in freedom.
There are many people who have left the homosexual lifestyle like myself who do not use their position to influence others. We all need to adhere to boundaries so as to protect others and ourselves from accusations. When someone in authority requests you to keep a secret that even he knows is wrong, you must speak up and report it to the legal authorities. That is the right action to take. If you have been abused there is no shame or guilt to tell legal authorities. We must tell so that we can break the cycle of sexual abuse. If you are one that has been abused, please tell so that it does not happen to others. My heart for the Cambridge community is restoration and healing.
Chaplain Gerard Dols
Back in early 2009, Dols called City Pages to claim he's the "Boy from Minnesota" and explain how he first became acquainted with Harvey Milk. In the film, the "Boy from Minnesota" character is a wheelchair-bound closeted youngster who can't leave his homophobic parents in Minnesota. But he eventually strikes up a correspondence with Milk via letters and phone conversations that culminates with him taking a bus to California, where after arrival he calls Milk to thank him for his support.
Dols claims he became disillusioned with the homosexual lifestyle when riots broke out after Dan White received only five years in prison for Milk's murder. From his conversation with City Pages:
I felt very hopeless [after Milk's murder]. Everything was lost. I chose to no longer live the lifestyle.
I am now a chaplain by trade. I work at an alcohol/drug rehab center and one of the homeless shelters.
Anyway, I am the Minnesota boy in the Milk movie. I am the boy from Richmond. I am now a born-again Christian. I have a strong faith. I'm the happiest I've ever been in my life.
But some don't buy the claim that the ex-gay Dols is the "Boy from Minnesota," as detailed by this blog post.
In any event, with ex-gay therapy subjected to increased scrutiny and criticism in recent months, Dols remains one of the practice's most ardent backers here in Minnesota.
-- Hat-tip: Bluestem Prairie's Sally Jo Sorensen --
Get the This Week's Top Stories Newsletter
Every week we collect the latest news, music and arts stories — along with film and food reviews and the best things to do this week — so that you’ll never miss City Pages' biggest stories.