After making funeral arrangements with a family, the High Point Church in Houston cancelled the service when they found out that the deceased was gay and that a video that would be played during the service would include some "gay" pictures. Apparently, holding such a service would have been a "celebration" of the "homosexual lifestyle," something that this Church does not agree with.
1) Okay, I get it. A church can hold a service for whomever it wants. Fine. This is a free country, after all (as this gay Gulf War vet knew, of course).
2) I do, however, take issue with this:
"The Reverend told the cheering High Point congregation, "This decision was not based on hate, or discrimination, but upon principle and policy.''"
Hmmm, discriminate. Dis-crim-i-nate, v: To make distinctions on the basis of class or category without regard to individual merit; show preference or prejudice.
Am I missing something or did the Church not allow this funeral on the basis of a category (namely, this man's homosexuality)? And, all other characteristics being the same, the Church would have allowed the funeral if the man was heterosexual?
It's true that a Church does have the right to discriminate. But let's at least call a spade a spade and not let a congregation off the hook just because their reverend "says" they're not discriminating.
3) So, a memorial service for a gay person is a "celebration" of gay life. Are funerals for straight people likewise seen as in-your-face celebrations of straight life?
Think back to the last funeral you attended. Were people more concerned with the deceased's sexuality or were they focused on grieving and, perhaps, celebrating the life of the deceased?
I wish these conservatives would broaden their narrow focus on one aspect of a human being and recognize that what we all have in common is greater than what is different about us.
4) What is most distressing to me is an "Action Alert" that the American Family Association (AFA) is circulating. It has created a petition for people to sign saying they supported the High Point Church's decision, describing the situation as a homosexual "attack" on a church.
The AFA also said, "If those pushing the homosexual agenda get their "hate crimes" bill passed into law, this is only a sample of what churches, pastors and Christians can expect."
By "this" I'm assuming the AFA is implying that "this situation" will lead to hate crimes bills that will force churches to hold funerals for gay people. When, in reality, hate crimes legislation has nothing to do with forcing churches to hold funerals for gay people.
It is irresponsible and ethically questionable for an organization to make patently false statements.
Not to mention that it just seems like an unnecessary, and un-Christian, slap in the face to a deceased man and his family. Especially during a difficult time when they could use a bit of compassion from their fellow human beings. Shame on the AFA for turning this man into a political football and using the unfortunate circumstances surrounding his funeral to exaggerate and turn his death into a false threat to "the family."