Yesterday at St. Andrew's Presbyterian Church (PCUSA), Rev. Jeremy Watson, Assoc. Pastor, preached. The first sermon illustration he used was the protest of the Westboro Baptist Church while he was attending the Gay Christian Network gathering a few weeks ago.
I smiled outwardly and inwardly. I wasn't preaching about it (though I used the reference earlier in the month): Jeremy was preaching about it.
There is something empowering when the two ministers--one gay and one not-gay--show solidarity in that preaching moment, talking about it slightly differently but nonetheless using the story as an affirmation of how we should follow Jesus.
Imitation Game, with Benedict Cumberbatch as Alan Turing, had me transfixed toward the end of the film as I watched "Turing" twitching from the effects of the medication he was taken after he was sentenced with "gross indecency" in the UK. He eventually killed himself rather than go through further pain of the medication and the depression of having to deny his humanity. This sentence "gross indecency" was also the bane of writer Oscar Wilde's life.
That's what the public in the UK and the US wanted those of us who are LGBTQ to feel: that we and our lives were guilty of "gross indecency."
The group from Westboro Baptist Church and their minions want to actually go back to the day and age in which I too could be sentenced and found guilty of "gross indecency." That I would be shamed. That I would be given medicine to dull the God given testosterone in me. That I would eventually kill myself. Die of cancer. A heart attack.
The signs of Westboro play in my head. Hopefully the songs like "We are one in the Spirit" will play in their heads.
I know, I know: I am SO behind on blogging. Bad blogger. Bad. Yech.
So: this is the news:
* Got here on Nov. 28, preached on Nov. 30;
* Dean introduced during worship! A first!
* Made it through Advent AND Christmas BEFORE taking off to HI;
* HI was a blessed time of rest and letting the body be healed.
* Back in the saddle again in OR.
Chapel Hill and Carrboro, North Carolina, United States
I am a dad, who happens to be gay, with two amazing young adult children who have taught me, my partner, and their mom what grace, faith, hope, and love are all about. I am also an ordained clergyperson in the Presbyterian Church (USA), involved in congregational life, sometimes preaching here and there, and an oblate of St. Benedict's Monastery in St. Joseph, MN. I taught at Duke Divinity School at Duke University for over a decade, and I currently teach at North Carolina Central University in Durham, NC. I teach Ethics, World Religions, and English. And I am the Director of a religious non-profit, "School of the Pilgrim" (www.schoolofthepilgrim.com), in which I take people on actual pilgrimages to break out of the religion of rush hour in order to find their inner spiritual path. I am also glad to work with and be an advocate with people living with disabilities in faith communities, who teach me more about life in all its wonders and quirks. Enjoy the blog! And for more information about the book ON BEING A GAY PARENT, go to www.onbeingagayparent.com. Email contact: firstname.lastname@example.org, and phone is 919-444-9111