Friday, December 20, 2013
Of Rose Parades and Dreams and Celebrating Family
It was a February afternoon in 2004. I was minding my own business working away at All Saints Church as the Executive Director of Claiming the Blessing -- the Episcopal Church initiative committed to LGBT inclusion -- when the phone rang in my little corner cubicle.
It was a reporter from the Pasadena Star-News who wanted to know if we -- "the gay lobby" -- had any comment on the news that the Rose Parade had just announced that their theme for the 2005 parade was "Celebrate Family."
I said something like we thought family was a great thing to celebrate just as long as we remembered to celebrate that some of our families had two moms and apple pie. I remember thinking that was kind of clever for an out of the blue response to an out of left field question and was happy the quote made it into the local news story.
The next thing I knew, I was getting phone calls from folks who listen to James Dobson's "Focus on the Family" -- folks who were not at all interested in celebrating families with two moms and apple pie. Somehow my clever comment to a local reporter had become an illustration on Dobson's radio show of how the gays were going to hijack the Rose Parade.
One distraught woman from Florida pleaded with me -- in a conversation I'll never forget -- to "Please, please, please don't ruin the Rose Parade for us! We're Christians and watch it every year with our grandchildren -- and there's no way we're going to expose them to homosexuality. And how can you as a pastor say such a thing? Homosexuality is an abomination. Jesus said so in Genesis."
Seriously. "Jesus said so in Genesis." I couldn't make that up.
Read the rest over on the Huffington Post