Saturday, August 11, 2007

No, really?

OK. I admit that this is a very sad story. I'm totally against discrimination, I like most of the gay people I know better than the straight people I know, and Raging Conservative Christians usually just piss me off.

However.

Did his family really think that a Texas Mega-Church would allow a gay-friendly service? I mean, seriously. He was their janitor. Not a member. (Though they wouldn't've held it even if he'd been a member.) Besides,

"...the church offered to pay for another site for the service, made the video and provided food for more than 100 relatives and friends."
How much more can you realistically expect from a Conservative Christian Mega-Church for a gay man? I personally think that what they provided was exceptionally kind. I mean, that's like expecting a traditional Muslim ceremony, paid for by and held at the local mosque, for a hooker off the street. I'm fairly certain it ain't happenin'.

9 comments:

hannah said...

Probably backed by X gay advocacy group testing the waters for future litigation; similar to Rosa Parks refusing to give up her seat on the bus or Brown vs Board of Education.

Impetua said...

As a card carrying lesbian I have to say that it would indeed have been foolhardy to expect the church to go through with it, I'm sure they must have known better, and I'm not sure why people feel they have to poke at others who are different just to piss them off. And why would they want their beloved brother's funeral to be held in a place that would not have been welcoming to him in the first place? Where's the dignity in any of this? Certainly they must have had some idea that the church would object to the man's sexual orientation and to piss and moan that the church withdrew just before the ceremony shows that they took no responsibility for making sure the venue was a good fit for the event.

I'm all for being respectful. Sure, it'd be fantastic if everybody was accepting of everybody else, but since that's not likely, why is it that the church has to be respectful of these people but not vice versa?

It's not often that I side with a bunch of (to my mind) intolerant bible thumpers. But in this case, what choice do I have?

scalpel said...

He should have tried the Episcopal church.

Sabra said...

Scalpel, I was just about to say that. (I'm cradle Episcopalian.) If this fellow was the janitor, I am certain he knew their teachings. There are such things as gay-friendly churches. Even in Texas. Probably even in Arlington.

Anonymous said...

As a "bible thumping" Christian I have to say I find it intolerant of the church to have canceled and I am sick at heart. Jesus accepted all people and all sinners. This church not having the funeral due to his "gayness" was wrong. If they had gone ahead with the service it would have looked like they were following Jesus' teaching of acceptance for all sinners (who ask for forgiveness).

Impetua said...

That too, anonymous. Nobody took the high road here.

PS also a Christian but one of the super tolerant types. :)

Jeff Deutsch said...

Hello MonkeyGirl,

Your first paragraph is quite interesting. It seems a tad on the defensive side. To begin with, if you agree with the church's actions, you haven't shown just why you think it's a sad story. And the rest of my paragraph sounds like the standard "Some of my best friends are...."

In short, it strikes me as hypocritical window-dressing right before you side with the church and its anti-gay actions. I might be mistaken with regard to your feelings, but all I have to go by is what you wrote, and what you wrote is approval of the church's behavior.

Let's take note of a couple of things your blog post doesn't mention at all:

1. This was a funeral, not a wedding. If the church had been asked to celebrate a same-sex wedding and refused because they didn't want to be seen as endorsing homosexuality, that would be understandable (albeit wrong IMHO). But a funeral is neither heterosexual nor homosexual.

2. The church had initially agreed to hold the service, then backed out giving only 24 hours' notice. Nice thing to do to the grieving survivors. The dead man's sister says the church knew the deceased was gay from the git-go (not that I think that should matter; see above); the pastor says the church only knew when pictures provided for the funeral showed men hugging and kissing (meanwhile, the sister says there were no such pictures).

Even if everything the pastor said is totally correct, the church should have realized they had made a commitment, which they couldn't back out of as freely as they could have refused the service to begin with. If there were such gay pictures, the church could have simply refused to show them, not canceled the funeral.

Duly noted, the church offered to pay for an alternate site and provided a video and food. But the church should have provided the survivors with a choice, and I think the survivors would have preferred to hold the funeral there as planned.

3. The deceased was a Gulf War vet. I think he would deserve extra respect, and the church should have been proud to host his funeral, on those grounds alone.

Also, so what if Sinclair had been a janitor (your emphasis) there, as opposed to a church member? The church itself found that sufficient connection to offer to host the funeral. Fittingly enough, I might add, given what every church's inspiration had to say (and do) about the humble and the meek.

Last but not least, I will say this: the church may have been too homophobic to host a gay war vet's funeral, even to abide by a freely made commitment to host it. But they never sank so low as to compare him to a hooker.

Jeff Deutsch

MonkeyGirl said...

Wow. Congratulations on completely missing the point of my post.

If you are expecting a response to this, feel free to e-mail me (my e-mail address is on the sidebar), and we can discuss it somewhere other than in the comments section.

Otherwise, have a nice day.

Jeff Deutsch said...

Good evening MonkeyGirl,

Actually, I've said my piece. You can respond or not as you please.

If you want a private discussion, here's how we can arrange that: as you can see, I've posted non-anonymously, with my Blogger account. You can be all of two clicks away from having an email window up on your screen with my address already in the To: line.

In any case, have a good night.

Jeff Deutsch