Church Ousts Gay Cop’s Family

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Church Ousts Gay Cop’s Family Empty Church Ousts Gay Cop’s Family

Post by Lurker on Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:36 pm

Church ousts gay cop’s family
By Kevin Hardy
Staff Writer-Chattanooga Times-Free Press
 
Collegedale’s decision to grant benefits to same-sex couples was a victory for Kat Cooper, a gay detective who championed the months-long effort that made the Chattanooga suburb the first city in Tennessee to offer benefits to same-sex spouses of its government employees.

  Cooper’s mother, Linda, stood by her side throughout the process. She held tight to her daughter’s hand at a July meeting over the issue. And the two embraced after the City Council’s 4-1 vote on Aug. 5.

  But those small acts of support translated into collateral damage that left Linda Cooper and other relatives separated from their church family of more than 60 years. And one local advocate for gay families says the church’s stance was the most extreme he’s heard of in years.

  Leaders at Ridgedale Church of Christ met in private with Kat Cooper’s mother, aunt and uncle on Sunday after the regular worship service. They were given an ultimatum: They could repent for their sins and ask forgiveness in front of the congregation. Or leave the church.

  Their sins?

  “My mother was up here and she sat beside me. That’s it,” said Kat Cooper. “Literally, they’re exiling members for unconditionally loving their children — and even extended family members.”

  But the family’s support of Kat Cooper was as good as an endorsement of homosexuality, said Ken Willis, minister at Ridgedale Church of Christ.

  “The sin would be endorsing that lifestyle,” Willis said. “The Bible speaks very plainly about that.”    Willis, a father himself, said the church didn’t expect the Cooper family to disown their daughter.

  “But you certainly can’t condone that lifestyle, whether it’s any kind of sin — whether they’re shacked up with someone or living in a state of fornication or they’re guilty of crimes,” he said. “You don’t condone it. You still love them as a parent.”

  Hunt Cooper, Kat’s father, said his wife is still too distraught over the church’s actions to comment.

  “She is just so traumatized and so upset,” he said. “It has been days and she’s still crying. It’s almost like losing a family member.”

  Linda Cooper’s parents were practically founding members of the Dodds Avenue congregation, Hunt Cooper said. Her father was a church elder and his picture still hangs on the wall there. Kat Cooper grew up helping her grandfather clean the pews and helped her grandmother hang bulletin boards for Sunday school.

  “This is not just some casual church they dropped in on,” he said.

  Hunt Cooper said his family rejects the notion that being gay is a lifestyle choice. And his wife, along with her brother and sister, believed repentance would be hypocritical. So the decision to leave, devastating as it was, was a simple one.

  “There’s no sin to repent for,” he said. “And she’s not going to turn her back on her daughter.”

  Church of Christ congregations are mostly independent of one another, with church elders and ministers setting the tone at each. So the Coopers suspect church authorities are mostly behind their confrontation. Many congregation members didn’t even know of the situation, Hunt Cooper said.

  In the South, it’s not uncommon for families of gay people to feel unwelcome or shunned at church, said Matt Nevels, the presiding officer of PFLAG, Parents, Families and Friends of Lesbians and Gays. Nevels was a longtime minister at Red Bank Baptist Church, but left in 1995 because of the church’s hardline stance on homosexuality. His own views on the matter were shaped by his son, Stephen, who announced he was gay before dying of AIDS.

  Through PFLAG, Nevels regularly meets with parents and other family members of gays and lesbians. And it’s commonplace for the revelation of a gay son or daughter to put family members on the rocks with their church communities.

  “Most of the churches in this area are homophobic,” Nevels said. “So it’s not unusual for things like that to happen.”

  But usually the distance grows subtly. A cold shoulder. A sense that you no longer fit it. It’s uncommon that people are delivered such an overt message, as was the case for the Coopers.

  “I’ve never heard it extended to other family members like that,” he said. “That is definitely an extreme case.”

  But Willis, Ridgedale’s minister, says the church regularly approaches people to repent for all sorts of sin. Church leaders have given other members a similar choice to repent or leave for sins such as living together before marriage, he said. And the Coopers’ battle was public, captured by television cameras and newspaper stories, giving the church no choice but to take action.

  “When a person is in sin they are asked to repent, to make a statement, renouncing their participation in sin,” he said.

  Contact staff writer Kevin Hardy at khardy@timesfree  press.com   or 423-747-6249.


 
Kat Cooper
http://www.wrcbtv.com/story/23203429/after-same-sex-couple-victory-in-collegedale-church-ousts-gay-detectives-family


Last edited by Lurker on Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:57 pm; edited 2 times in total

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Church Ousts Gay Cop’s Family Empty Commentary on the Church That Stole Jesus

Post by Lurker on Wed Aug 21, 2013 4:39 pm

The church that stole Jesus
David Cook

  Commentary-The Chattanooga Times-Free Press

  I wish someone would stampede in, overturn your tables and drive the homophobic madness from your pulpit. Exorcise you. Do you not see the damage you’re doing? Can you not hear the broken hearts falling to the floor all around you? What you’re doing is not Christian. It never will be. Packs of wolves are more compassionate than this. “The unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God,” reads Corinthians, which then provides a list of the unrighteous: the immoral, idolaters, adulterers. And homosexuals. With that very verse, (while ignoring thousands of others that instruct you quite differently) you crushed the heart of a family that has been part of your church for generations.

  For more than 60 years, Linda Cooper and her family have been attending Ridgedale Church of Christ. Linda’s daughter, Detective Kat Cooper, is gay, and a pioneer and hero. Thanks to her, the city of Collegedale became the first city in Tennessee to offer same-sex benefits to employees.

  But you knew that. She started going to your church when she was knee-high to her grandfather, who used to clean the church pews with little Kat nearby.

  No longer.

  What did Kat’s mother do that was so criminal?

  So sinful?

  She loved her daughter. Her gay daughter.

  Because of that, some of your church leaders (not the congregation, mind you, which I hear is big-hearted in many ways) handed down to Kat’s family a spiritual Sophie’s Choice: repent publicly or leave the church altogether.

  “Last Sunday, they were told that because they supported me and they unconditionally loved me even though I was gay, that either they could stop and not support my lifestyle and ask for forgiveness in front of the entire congregation or they could leave,” Kat told reporter Kevin Hardy.

  Kat’s family wasn’t rainbow-flag marching through church property or cross-dressing in Sunday School. All her mother did was sit beside her, publicly, while the city leaders deliberated about same- sex benefits.

  Some newspapers and TV stations published pictures of this, along with a brief interview.

  That was all it took.

  (Why not just stone her for it?)

  God tells — and tells and tells — me to be slow to anger and quick to forgive, and I’m not doing a good job of that here.

  Because I am so stinking tired of the love of God — so large it makes the five oceans look like a teaspoon — being turned into a monstrous distortion, suffocating like an iron maiden and punitive like a parole board.

  You’re not the only ones doing it. Kat’s wife has also been spiritually blacklisted and shamed, all in the name of God.

  One day, I wish you’d take the time to survey the landscape of wreckage. Search high and low for a bucket large enough to hold all the tears shed. Put your hands on all the wounds. Count and keep counting until you reach a number high enough to document the line of gay Americans (and those that love them) whose hearts and faith have been crushed by Christian homophobia.

  One author said it like this: You’ve stolen Jesus.

  “The real Jesus … was not about asserting power, judging, or destroying. He was about love,” writes Bruce Bawer in “Stealing Jesus: How Fundamentalism Betrays Christianity”.

  Those verses? Plenty of Biblical scholars interpret them different from you. St. Paul, they say, was talking about lust, Roman sexual aggression and male rape.

  But the Bible can be read in many ways, with scholars ready at each turn to support multiple interpretations. So what do we do?

  Bawer reminds us of Huck Finn, the Twain protagonist who once sat wrestling with his demons. He’d just helped his friend Jim — a slave — find freedom, and was suddenly haunted by the voices of the preachers and lawmen who said he had done the wrong thing.

  In his conscience, Huck was then terrified: Did he help save Jim at the cost of his eternal soul?

  After all, preachers and lawmen used plenty of Bible verses to uphold and promote slavery. After all, Huck was breaking the law and violating church doctrine.

  But Huck’s rebellious heart won out. He stayed loyal to Jim, even if it cost him his soul in the process.

  “All right, then, I’ll go to hell,” he famously said.

  Like Huck, we have to walk away from the false idol of strict literalism, and instead trust-fall into a God that doesn’t know how to do anything but love.

  You want a good example of what that looks like?

  Go find the Coopers, the ones you just kicked out of church.

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Church Ousts Gay Cop’s Family Empty Re: Church Ousts Gay Cop’s Family

Post by Ben Reilly on Wed Aug 21, 2013 5:35 pm

I've said this before, but the way these people act, you'd think the Bible was just 700 pages or so of DON'T BE GAY!@!!!!

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Church Ousts Gay Cop’s Family Empty Re: Church Ousts Gay Cop’s Family

Post by veya_victaous on Wed Aug 21, 2013 11:26 pm

"“The sin would be endorsing that lifestyle,” Willis said. “The Bible speaks very plainly about that.” Willis, a father himself, said the church didn’t expect the Cooper family to disown their daughter."
idiot Mad  the Bible doesn't say anything about lesbians! why would it, the bible clearly says women cant actually think like men can. Twisted Evil 
of the very limited quotes in againt homosexuality in the bible they it clearly says a MAN should not lie with another MAN like he does a Woman, it doesn't say anything about a Woman lying with a woman. Cool 
Evil or Very Mad 
but pretty sure it say to stone her to death if she wears pants. Shocked Shocked Shocked 

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Church Ousts Gay Cop’s Family Empty Re: Church Ousts Gay Cop’s Family

Post by Guest on Thu Aug 22, 2013 12:25 am

veya_victaous wrote:"“The sin would be endorsing that lifestyle,” Willis said. “The Bible speaks very plainly about that.”    Willis, a father himself, said the church didn’t expect the Cooper family to disown their daughter."
idiot Mad  the Bible doesn't say anything about lesbians! why would it, the bible clearly says women cant actually think like men can. Twisted Evil 
of the very limited quotes in againt homosexuality in the bible they it clearly says a MAN should not lie with another MAN like he does a Woman, it doesn't say anything about a Woman lying with a woman. Cool 
Evil or Very Mad 
but pretty sure it say to stone her to death if she wears pants. Shocked Shocked Shocked 
Men were having sex with each other long before the bible was ever printed and that wasn't a problem until religion said no!

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Church Ousts Gay Cop’s Family Empty Re: Church Ousts Gay Cop’s Family

Post by Ben Reilly on Thu Aug 22, 2013 6:14 am

Men were probably having sex with one another before they'd even qualify as homo sapiens. Homosexual activity has been observed in every member of the great ape family and has probably been part of being a great ape since our big kooky family originated!

Church Ousts Gay Cop’s Family 250px-Ham-and-handler

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Church Ousts Gay Cop’s Family Empty Re: Church Ousts Gay Cop’s Family

Post by Lurker on Thu Aug 22, 2013 3:05 pm

This church considers itself an exclusive club that only acceptable people are allowed to join. Jesus wept.

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Church Ousts Gay Cop’s Family Empty Re: Church Ousts Gay Cop’s Family

Post by veya_victaous on Thu Aug 22, 2013 11:16 pm

@catman
depends on the culture, most were sexually open until the One-god religon came to fill their hearts with fear and hate.

My point is more if you are going to claim a world as defined by a book then READ THE FUCKING BOOK
because like Ben Said
"the way these people act, you'd think the Bible was just 700 pages or so of DON'T BE GAY!@!!!!"
And really there is far more stoning to death of Cheating spouses than Homosexuals
... And then there is the collecting of foreskins affraid which i think is kind of queer

@ben
Doubt it even starts ther, Look at Ducks
Two Drakes may 'choose' I love you to be Gay then they even Gay Adopt... by Force Suspect 
Maybe Christains Fear Human Homosexuals will act like Gay Ducks scratch 

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Church Ousts Gay Cop’s Family Empty Re: Church Ousts Gay Cop’s Family

Post by Ben Reilly on Fri Aug 23, 2013 12:22 am

That reminds me of that South Park joke -- Do you like to eat fish sticks?

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Church Ousts Gay Cop’s Family Empty Re: Church Ousts Gay Cop’s Family

Post by Guest on Fri Aug 23, 2013 11:27 pm

veya_victaous wrote:@catman
depends on the culture, most were sexually open until the One-god religon came to fill their hearts with fear and hate.

My point is more if you are going to claim a world as defined by a book then READ THE FUCKING BOOK
because like Ben Said
"the way these people act, you'd think the Bible was just 700 pages or so of DON'T BE GAY!@!!!!"
And really there is far more stoning to death of Cheating spouses than Homosexuals
... And then there is the collecting of foreskins affraid which i think is kind of queer

@ben
Doubt it even starts ther, Look at Ducks
Two Drakes may 'choose' I love you to be Gay then they even Gay Adopt... by Force Suspect 
Maybe Christains Fear Human Homosexuals will act like Gay Ducks scratch 
Hi Veya

I find it a bit amusing bounce   that the Catholic church cut off the penises from the statues at the Vatican and replaced them with fig leaves and the cut off penises are stored in the Vatican vault geek ...Why not just throw them away! lol!

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