Unwelcome: Dead or Alive

Provocative article sent to me by RV (thanks bud).
What exactly does it mean to love one another? What do you or does your church espouse?
Feel free to comment...

When Desert Storm veteran Cecil Howard Sinclair died recently a Texas megachurch offered to hold his memorial service, free of charge. Sinclair was not a member ofHigh Point Church, nor was most of his family, save a handicapped brother who is employed as a janitor by the church. The nondenominational warehouse for God happens to be shepherded by the Reverend Gary Simons, brother-in-law to America’s Preacher Smiley, Joel Osteen.

The church’s offer was generous, meant to minister to a grieving family. Sinclair’s family accepted the kindness and began to plan a service. But the relationship between Sinclair's family and the church soured quicker than a pot of beans, neglected.

Staff members at High Point were putting together a video celebrating Sinclair’s life when they discovered to their complete and utter dismay that the 46-year old military veteran was gay. Oh, Lordy! A gay man in the Navy, what with all those scantily-clad men running around in such tight places all the time? And what, pray tell, was the pastoral staff thinking when they offered up their church for what Rev. Simons
described as an “openly homosexual memorial service”, whatever the heck that is? I’ve never been to an openly homosexual service of any sort. Do gay people get nekkid and dance the way King David did Or do they strip down to their tattoos and let the snakes run wild?

An unfortunate situation, the Rev. Simons declared, while noting that the Sinclair family even had the gall to invite a gay chorale group to sing. Simons posted his remarks to the church’s website after the press made a stink of the church's decision to withdrew its kind offer (the day before the memorial service was set to take place).

Good golly, Miss Molly!

Sinclair’s sister, Kathleen Wright, said the church
staff knew all along her brother was gay, but Rev. Simons insisted that it wasn’t until the family provided photos for the video -- photos depicting men “engaging in clear affection, kissing and embracing” -- that the staff realized Sinclair was, well, a sinner. Like all the rest of humanity, only worse I suppose, because when it comes to the church and homosexuality there is no greater sin than for one man to partner with another.

Sinclair’s sister denied providing photos depicting men hugging or kissing. She said the church’s claim about such photos was a “bold-face lie.” Still, Simons said the decision to not host the service was not based upon hatred, or discrimination, but upon principle.
He explained that had the church hosted the service for a dead gay man it might appear that High Point condones homosexuality, which they do not.

The problem with his argument is that it’s so dang silly. Does Rev. Simons also decline to hold memorials for men caught in the act of adultery at the moment of their untimely demise? Or for the sorry deacon who lay drunk in the driveway as his pretty little wife backed over him for the third and final time? What does the church do with all those deep-fried Texans who keel over from clogged arteries? Does High Point decline to hold services for fat folks based upon the sin of gluttony? And don’t even mention the sin of
greed, given today’s oil prices it would take an eternity to count the number of Texas church members with the blood of capitalism on their hands.

I suppose if Rev. Simons had his way, segregation would be the law of land. Only instead of being separated by race in the schoolyards, we’d divvy up the graveyards. All the homosexuals would be in the run-down overgrown lots across town while the rest of us more common sinners would be placed polished boots up on grassy knolls.

Looks like death ain't the great equalizer it's touted to be. In at least one Texas church, gays are unwelcome -- dead or alive.


  1. Phil, I must admit I felt a little self-righteous after I had smirked, chuckled and out-right laughed at Karen's article. It was funny, but why do I think I can laugh at that, and somehow think that I know what the right answer is to what is, arguably, a difficult dilemmna.

    What I can say, is that I wish (for them and for Christians everywhere) that they, a.) would never have offered at all, or, b.) offered and made good on their offer. The damage comes, I think, in changing their mind - it just doesn't pass the smell test, no matter what their motives were.

    Having said that, I know that I can be accused (successfully) of not taking many actions towards hurting (poor, disadvantaged, disabled, etc. . . . ) - no action means no mistakes, right?????

    I guess my point is that I have decided that I shouldn't read this kind of thing just from an entertainment point of view, but rather to learn something about myself, and how I would/should respond in a similar situation.

  2. It's just so sad. After all, they weren't holding the service for the dead man... since he was, well, dead. A funeral is for the living; the hurting, broken, grieving, angry family and friends left behind.

    Isn't the whole Matt 5 deal about loving on those who are hurting, broken, grieving...