In Stockton, California, the city’s police Chaplain, Jim Reid was organizing Easter celebrations for the entire city. He’d invited churches from all over Stockton to join in on the celebration and that’s where the problem started.
See, Reid mistakenly invited the Valley Ministries, an LGBT-inclusive church, to the Easter Sunrise Service and was forced to rescind the invitation because “The Gay”:
“We are diametrically different in our view of scripture when it comes to homosexuality.”
The good news is that when the story came to light, Jim Reid was placed on leave by the Stockton Police Department; he was subsequently fired. The bad news is that when the head of the Stockton Leadership Foundation re-invited Valley Ministries, and its pastor, Reverend Terri Miller and her wife, to attend the organization suddenly cancelled the entire event.
Yup, Easter has been cancelled in Stockton because The Gays were coming.
Jim Reid, who remains on the board of the organization, says if Valley Ministries were allowed to take part, it would lead to “a media frenzy” and that the “transforming message [of Easter] will be overshadowed”:
“I felt it would defeat the purpose of having it. I didn’t think it would bring glory and honor to God. I was in favor of canceling.”
I guess for Jim Reid and his ilk, the best way to honor God is to treat some people as less than.
Naturally, Reverend Miller has a different take on Easter and Jesus and the Bible and says she was saddened by the decision:
“It’s just disheartening to me that here these folks claim to be Christians … and are squandering this opportunity because of some perceived differences instead of uniting under the banner of what this day is supposed to mean. This is based on fear and not on grace and love. It’d be great if we could have truly a citywide Easter service where, when you use the label citywide, it should mean everybody.”
You’d think it would mean everyone but I guess, in Stockton, at least for some people, citywide doesn’t mean The Gays and Easter is cancelled.