John Shore has this story for us, and it is absolutely insane. Here’s the basic set-up. A pastor at a relatively large church, who had really stayed away from the issue of homosexuality, in general, posted an article about the repeal of Don’t Ask Don’t Tell on his Facebook page. Though he is personally pro-equality, he did not make any commentary on the repeal — just posted the article. So here’s what had happened was:
I’d like to share with you what’s just recently happened in my life. I’ve been serving as the Pastor of [Super Cool-Sounding Job Title] at [Church Name] in [Big American City] for the past five years. My wife and our two boys (at the time; our fourth is due in December) moved here from [State] to join [Church], which at the time was a small church of two hundred. Now it is a thriving community of over 1500 people committed to [Slogan That Could Be Easily Googled to Identify Church].
However, four weeks ago, all that changed. Four weeks ago the discriminatory law of “Don’t Ask Don’t Tell” was finally abolished. Even though no one in my church community was aware of my views on homosexuality (I have been intentionally tight-lipped about it, knowing how divisive that issue is), and I’ve never talked about it, I felt like it was good to celebrate the end of discrimination. So I posted a link to an article about the end of DADT on my Facebook page. I made no commentary on the article–which was not about the “issue” of homosexuality at all. [He shared the article to which he linked: written by a leading politician, it simply could not be more innocuous.–J.]
Over the next few hours, several people from my church started commenting on my wall: “How can a Christian be pro-homosexuality?” “Why is a pastor actively promoting the gay-lifestyle?” and so on. Even more people were calling/texting/emailing our lead pastor and the chair of our elder board.
What resulted over the next six days was not fun. The chair of the elder board called for an emergency board meeting to deal with me. I was summoned to the board meeting, where I was forced to give my stance on homosexuality (even though the church has no official stance on the matter, and has never before talked about the issue). And even though I reminded them that we all agree on our church’s statement of faith, ultimately, when they learned that I don’t view homosexuality as a sin, and that I would be in favor of two gay people being allowed to get married, they came to the conclusion that I was unfit to be a pastor at [Name of Church]. And within a week of posting the article on FB page, I was fired from a church I’d served faithfully and helped to build for five years.
Three cheers for the inner workings of [some] Christian churches! Please click over to read John’s entire piece, which includes the entire letter from the pastor. John describes it, quite rightly, as “shameful, shameful bullshit,” and I could not agree more.