Saturday, August 11, 2007

"A Terrible Mistake"

Followup to this post: Jim Burroway has an email claiming to be from the partner of the vet who was denied a funeral service because he was gay.

It hasn't been authenticated, but if true, it paints a damning picture. Apparently the pictures presented for the memorial didn't even include 2 men hugging. The night before the service, the family was contacted and simply told a mistake had been made and they couldn't use the church. There were multiple excuses, shifting stories, and it was impossible to get a straight answer from the church leadership.

The email states:

To me personally, I have no problem with the church turning us away. My problem is with the method in which they did it. I happen to know several other members of that church who are also gay, and they had no idea that their church held that opinion on this topic either. If they had told us right away, or even on Tuesday that they were not comfortable with the service, we would have been more than willing to try and come to some sort of compromise, or we could have changed venues. We were never given that option. Someone in a position of power made the decision to cut us off, and didn’t even have the moral courage to tell us the truth to our faces.

Hopefully your reading this helps to make sense of what occurred. I fully understand the church’s right to deny us the use of their facilities. I also served in the military, (US Army, 1987-2002), and I have fought to defend their freedom of religion and freedom of choice.

If just one couple or family can be saved from having to suffer the same as we did, I would consider all this to have been worthwhile. I truly believe all congregations need to have more open communication between all their members, so that the person who had initially welcomed us into their church would have known that is was not acceptable in the eyes of their leaders, and the entire issue would have been avoided. If we had known from the beginning we were not welcome, or the offer had never been made, we would have just continued making the same arrangements we finally had in the end. Nothing we did for Cecil’s remembrance ceremony was changed, other than the location.

Read the entire article. It's worth it. If the email is legitimate.... it hardly paints the picture of Christian fellowship the church would no doubt like to project.

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