Thursday, August 16, 2012

Response to FRC Shooting

On Thursday, Aug. 16th, 28 year old Floyd Corkins was charged with shooting a guard at the Family Research Council headquarters in Washington, DC.

The FRC identifies as a conservative, Christian organization and they are well-known for their opposition to LBGT equality.

The president of the Family Research Council used the event as an opportunity to vilify the Southern Poverty Law Center, saying, “Corkins was given a license to shoot an unarmed man by organizations like the Southern Poverty Law Center.”

The leadership of Sunshine Cathedral is grateful that the guard survived the shooting and we certainly can’t condone acts of violence. However, it must be stated that the Southern Poverty Law Center is an historic, non-profit civil rights organization dedicated to fighting hate and bigotry. Using the unfortunate incident to blame and attack an organization committed to working for justice and equality was neither helpful nor fair.

Organizations that advocate for LBGT equality (and for the dignity and well-being of all people) and that respond to anti-gay rhetoric (even when it is cloaked in religious language) are not the cause of violence but in fact are trying to reduce the prejudice and dehumanizing rhetoric that does promote violence and discrimination.

Our best wishes go out to the guard as he recovers from his injuries, and we also continue to hope that those who promote discrimination against gays and lesbians come to realize that they are doing violence too and we pray for an end to all violence in our society.

Yours in shared service,

Rev. Durrell Watkins, D.Min.
Senior Pastor

Let us pray:
Spirit of justice and healing,
        It grieves us that as we work for “liberty and justice for all,” there remain groups and individuals committed to keeping some in the margins of society and that often even blame their prejudice on religion. We work and wait for an end to such blasphemous misuse of religion and we stand up and speak out for true equality and the affirmation of the sacred value of all people.
        While we disagree with the homophobia and heterosexism promoted by the Family Research Council, we would never wish anyone in their organization any harm. We pray for them to become more tolerant, more accepting, and more appreciative of the diversity of the human family, but our disagreements can be settled with discussion, legislation, legal action, and the changing of human hearts and minds. May we never condone the use of violence even in our most vehement disagreements.
        And now, Power permeating all life, let healing energy flow through the body of the one who was wounded, and let healing love deeply touch the souls of all who have been impacted by these recent events, including the shooter. And may the day soon come when all people are treated with dignity and respect, when suspicions and unreasonable fears are healed, and when violence is rare and peace is known everywhere and at all times. Amen.

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