Saturday, August 11, 2007

A New Nausiating Low in Christian Homophobia

According to a news release on a "mega-church" in Arlington, TX has done the unimaginable. A 46 year old Navy veteran of "Desert Storm" died recently and was refused a funeral at the "High Point Church" of Arlington. Surely this was a low point in the life of High Point Church!

The deceased man who had risked his life for his country in war-time developed a heart condition 6 years ago. While waiting for a heart transplant, complications set in and he died. His brother was a member of High Point Church and so a funeral was initially arranged. However, when the family gave the church photos of the man to memorialize his life, the church was offended that the photo array included pictures of him hugging and kissing his same-gender life-partner.

Rather than deciding that the funeral was for the man's loved ones and not a tool to promote the anti-gay doctrine of that particular church, and rather than even telling the family that in order to have the funeral at their church where same-gender love is apparently not valued nor even allowed they would need to remove the photos where the deceased man was showing affection to his male loved one, the High Point Church instead just cancelled the funeral.

Realizing how monstrous it is to deny someone a funeral service, the church apparently tried to soften the blow of their dehumanizing homophobia by offering to pay for the service to be held elsewhere. The undersandably offended family declined the offer and held their memorial service at a non-discriminating funeral home.

In a country where we are each free to be as ignorant, prejudiced, biggoted, and out-spokenly hateful as we choose, and where religion is free to dehumanize any citizen for any reason (providing it can offer an isolated ancient proof-text to support the action), it still seems beyond indecent to deny the family of even someone you may regard as unworthy, inhuman, or totally sinful a ritual chance to say goodbye. The day a church refuses to offer a comforting ministry to a bereaved family because of who and how the deceased person loved is a sad day in the history of religion and in a nation that claims to be civilized.

No comments: