James M. Edwards of Squirrel Hill is not happy with Carol Mullen of Edgewood. So very not happy that he took the time out of his busy schedule of sanctimonious self-congratulations to pen a little missive to the Post-Gazette. Edwards took umbrage with a letter Mullen had published on December 26 offering her insight into the tragic suicide of local Presbyterian pastor, Brent Dugan.
Mullen had the audacity to suggest that perhaps KDKA was not solely responsible for this tragedy and that perhaps Reverend Dugan's inner turmoil over his homosexuality could be traced to the Presbyterian Church's anti-gay stance.
The Presbytery's long history of supporting the Presbyterian Church (USA) ban on the ordination of sexually active gay people certainly could not have helped the Rev. Dugan as he struggled along on his faith journey. By forcing him to feel “less than” his heterosexual peers, it seems that the Pittsburgh Presbytery was very clear in the message of condemnation and exclusion.
Point well taken, I thought as I sipped my coffee and read her letter. KDKA made a colossally stupid decision to spin this tragic little story of Reverend Dugan's sexual turmoil as a ratings grabbing expose. But its shortsighted to ignore the reasons Reverend Dugan may have sought solace in an adult bookstore or an illicit relationship rather than feeling free to live an open, authentic life as a homosexual man and a pastor.
Edwards, apparently, is just the man for the task. He thinks Dugan had made his own bed by hooking up with an anti-gay church.
The church tenet is and always has been not to permit this — the Rev. Dugan has to have known that, and was working within the sanction. What precipitated his suicide was KDKA — that was the new pressure in his life and correlates directly with his suicide. The Presbytery was continuing what always has been.
Does he seriously think Dugan was just happily rolling along as a closeted homosexual? That the anti-gay hostility emanating from church leadership (and the pews) was not a “pressure” for Reverend Dugan? Can Edwards really be that simple-minded? Or just that hateful? Ah ….
To try to shift blame to the Presbytery is an act of malformed logic equal to that which tries to rationalize homosexual ordainment and homosexual marriage — they are pure acts of politics to advance an agenda — not welcome or helpful in a religious denomination.
Legislation has not brought Ms. Mullen the change she wants; court proceedings now haven't either. She descends to using a man and his family's personal tragedy to hurl an indictment in the wrong direction. Ms. Mullen: Please desist on Presbytery bashing.
Well, I guess the gloves are off, you sanctimonious prick. What's not welcome or helpful in a religious denomination is intolerance, ignorance and hate. Unfortunately, you seem to have the upper hand in some denominations, but there are puh-lenty of Christian communities where my people are welcomed and affirmed, even ordained.
If you don't want us in your church, fine. But you don't get to hang your sanctimonious wreath on Brent Dugan's grave and point fingers at KDKA.
But the really sad thing is that while Ms. Mullen tried to elevate one man's suffering and personal tragedy to call us all to accountability, Edwards continues to diminish Reverend Dugan's full personhood by denying the pressures of living a closeted life in the Presbyterian Church.
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