via today’s Statesman, yet another example of homobigots and their loving Christian values.
An Arlington mega-church put a big Christian kibosh on a funeral less than 24 hours before it was scheduled when they found out the deceased—a Navy veteran who served in the Gulf War – was gay.
But not to worry! They didn’t act out hatred. Not at all. Rather, the decision was based in “principle.”
Officials at the nondenominational High Point Church knew that Cecil Howard Sinclair was gay when they offered to host his service, said his sister, Kathleen Wright. But after his obituary listed his life partner as one of his survivors, she said, it was called off.“It’s a slap in the face. It’s like, ‘Oh, we’re sorry he died, but he’s gay so we can’t help you,'” she said Friday.
Wright said High Point offered to hold the service for Sinclair because their brother is a janitor there. Sinclair, who served in the first Gulf War, died Monday at age 46 from an infection after surgery to prepare him for a heart transplant.
The church’s pastor, the Rev. Gary Simons, said no one knew Sinclair, who was not a church member, was gay until the day before the Thursday service, when staff members putting together his video tribute saw pictures of men “engaging in clear affection, kissing and embracing.”
Engaging in clear affection. No way can that be condoned. Had the guy had the decency to be ashamed and closeted, maybe they could have worked something out.
Simons said the church believes homosexuality is a sin, and it would have appeared to endorse that lifestyle if the service had been held there.
Because dead gay people shouldn’t get funerals? Because the families of dead gay people don’t need or deserve the comfort and closure of a memorial service?
I guess they do background checks for the rest of their funerals to make sure the deceased are pure enough?
“We did decline to host the service — not based on hatred, not based on discrimination, but based on principle,” Simons told The Associated Press. “Had we known it on the day they first spoke about it — yes, we would have declined then. It’s not that we didn’t love the family.”
Simons said the decision had nothing to do with the obituary. He said the church offered to pay for another site for the service, made the video and provided food for more than 100 relatives and friends.
“Even though we could not condone that lifestyle, we went above and beyond for the family through many acts of love and kindness,” Simons said.
If in fact these acts were performed, would that be ‘above and beyond’ standard principles of Christian compassion or ‘above and beyond’ your usual standard of homobigotry?
Wright called the church’s claim about the pictures “a bold-faced lie.” She said she provided numerous family pictures of Sinclair, including some with his partner, but said none showed men kissing or hugging.
The 5,000-member High Point Church was founded in 2000 by Simons and his wife, April, whose brother is Joel Osteen, well-known pastor of the 38,000-member Lakewood Church in Houston. Now High Point meets in a 432,000-square-foot facility in Arlington, near Dallas.
I guess they need all that extra space for their many, many acts of love and kindness…