As members of the clergy, during the holiday season many of us still hear of parents struggling with whether to welcome a gay son or lesbian daughter, and perhaps their partners, over for family festivities.
We might ask the opinion of Alice Hogan, mother of Mark Bingham, the gay public relations executive, rugby player, and church member. Mark is considered to be one of the three men who helped bring down hijacked Flight 93 into rural Pennsylvania. Senator John McCain delivered a eulogy at Bingham’s memorial service and thanked him for perhaps saving his life and those of many who may have been targeted at the Capitol. Alice Hogan would probably give anything to have her son at the table this year.
At a 12-step meeting in NYC, a lesbian police officer and her partner sit crying and sharing the sorrow of the loss of her brother, also a police officer at the WTC. Will her family struggle with whether to have her and her partner over for Christmas?
The firefighters and Franciscans of NYC would give anything to have their beloved brother, the openly gay fire chaplain Father Mychal Judge, back with them for communal celebrations. Father Judge lost his life in the 9/ll tragedy. He is being considered for the Presidential Medal of Freedom. Mychal Judge, O.F.M., remained at the side of the dying. Would we invite him to sit by our side at the family table?
Our faith teaches that love does not require a seat at the table to be earned. We long for the day when Christian families, and all people, need no longer give a second thought to the welcome, inclusion and acceptance of gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgendered persons, and their partners, to their tables. And not only to tables of holiday cheer, but to the tables of equal rights and privileges that citizenship should entail.
No Longer Silent / Clergy for Justice
Rev. Joseph Amico, Southwest Conference, United Church of Christ
Fr. Scott Brubaker, Our Lady of the Valley Catholic Church
Rev. John Burciaga, Unitarian Universalist Congregation of Phoenix
Rev. Dr. Eric Elnes, Scottsdale Congregational UCC
Rev. Dr. Paul Eppinger, Arizona Ecumenical Council
Rev. David Felten, Via de Cristo United Methodist
Rev. John Herman, Desert Palm UCC
Rev. Dr. Richard Lyddon, First United Methodist Church of Tempe
Rev. David Ragan, Shadow Rock Congregational UCC
Rev. Dr. Jeff Procter-Murphy, Asbury United Methodist
Rev. Peggy Lindamood Roberts, Palo Cristi Presbyterian
Rev. Dr. Tex Sample, Network for the Study of US Lifestyles
Rev. Kelli Shepard, Faith Lutheran Church, ELCA
Rev. Anthony Tang, Dayspring United Methodist Church
Rev. Dr. Steven Wayles, 1st Congregational UCC of Phoenix
Rev. Fletch Wideman, United Methodist Rocky Mountain Conference
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