OWN’s Greenleaf, a drama that centers around mega-church Calvary World Ministries and the family who runs it (the Greenleafs), has featured the story of husband Kevin Saterlee (Tye White) and his struggle with gay desires since last season.
In this latest, second season, Kevin turned to a conversion therapy group to try to fight his urges and make his marriage to Charity Greenleaf (Deborah Joy Winans) work. Charity and Kevin also welcomed a baby boy this season, giving Kevin more reason to honor his family, his vows and his God.
Unfortunately, despite Kevin wanting to be intimate with his wife and stay married, Charity couldn’t bring herself to have sex with him anymore and thus, she asked for, and received, a divorce. Apparently, Kevin only wanted to fight his gay urges for his wife’s sake and not for the sake of his faith or himself, because no sooner had the ink dried on their divorce papers than he found himself succumbing to his desires.
Signs were there that Kevin was attracted to family friend and Calvary’s legal counsel Aaron (William H. Bryant Jr.), but May 4th’s episode left no doubt. As the two got closer and closer, physically and emotionally, on the couch while watching TV, Kevin brushes his hand against Aaron’s leg and Aaron pats Kevin on the back, leaving his hand there to linger and turn into a flirtatious massage. Before long, they are passionately making out, as the scene ends with Aaron removing Kevin’s belt.
It’s a shame that the show took this turn rather than show that many Christian men have found success with conversion therapy. Galatians 1:10 in the Bible reads, “For am I now seeking the approval of man, or of God? Or am I trying to please man? If I were still trying to please man, I would not be a servant of Christ.”
Had Kevin sought to change for God and himself, rather than for his wife or any other human, he may have found it easier to stay straight. But by directing his efforts to the success of his marriage and Charity’s happiness, he was bound to fail the moment she abandoned him.
This was a ripe opportunity for the show to feature the stories of Christian men who have converted or have stayed straight for themselves and their faith, stories you won’t find in the mainstream media. Kevin’s outcome is common in the world of entertainment, so Greenleaf could have stood out if it had been brave enough to show the other side that’s never talked about. A side that can offer hope to those in the Christian faith who wish to lead a straight life.
Unfortunately, instead of taking the road less traveled, they took the easy way out, which isn’t much of a surprise given the Hollywood left’s record on this issue.