Editorial 3 - Scotty Weaver's Funeral
The Advocate carries a story about Scotty Weaverís funeral. In the news story, The Advocate describes the funeral sermon was a ďfire-and-brimstoneĒ sermon, in which the pastor is reported to have given people the impression Scotty Weaver was in hell and that gay and bisexual people will be eternally lost if they do not change their ways. The news article can be read at the Advocate.com.
We do not know if the pastorís remarks are accurately recorded. Our hope is that the pastor did not make the comments attributed to her in the article. The comments that follow are not about the pastorís alleged comments. They are general comments about funerals and are intended to encourage pastors to treat the families of gay people with utmost respect when they are engulfed in grief.
We wish to see gay peopleís families and friends extended love and compassion in times of crisis. We call on pastors, church denominational officials and church lay leaders to live out Godís love in what the say and what they do when grieving families need comfort.
Funerals are a time of deep pain and loss. That is especially true when a young person dies or when a person is murdered. During times of deep pain and loss, we encourage pastors to consider carefully their words and to minister to the pain and hurt in the congregants and in the hearts of those attending funerals. A funeral is not a good time to be making theological points. Healing the hurting hearts is the need of the hour and should be given top priority.
While gay people may live in a society that has much injustice, where they may face a homophobia, fear and hatred, we ask that pastors make funerals a homophobia free zone. Please let the family have the comfort of seeing their home of faith as being a bright light of hope, love and justice during times of tragedy.