Dear Pastor Chavez,
I write to you as a good Christian woman. As of late, I have been following the Vanessa Collier story. Sir, as a woman of God I am ashamed to be associated with you. Not only did you show bigotry, but you did not let her die with dignity.
Vanessa’s family was grief stricken. This woman had married her partner and was raising her two stepchildren as her own. Many straight men do this all the time mind you, but they are in heterosexual unions so this is okay. She had over 100 mourners to her funeral which meant she was a decent, well liked person. Yeah, she died while cleaning out a weapon, one she probably needed to protect her family from hatred that you preach.
Vanessa’s kin had submitted the video to you days before the funeral. I repeat, DAYS! If Vanessa’s open expression of her lifestyle was a problem for you, the Christian thing would have been to be honest. That way, they could find an alternative venue for their memorial. Instead you let them in the church, the service was to begin, and then you turned them away. Yes, they had a dead body they had to lug across the street along with their heavy hearts. You, Sir, are a disgusting man. What makes this whole thing worse is that you refuse to refund their money. As I recall, stealing is a sin. Look it up.
What was Vanessa’s family supposed to do, edit out her life and her partner because it suited you and your so called beliefs? Maybe they should have done their research better on your church, but you say you welcome wayward people and are a safe haven for homosexuals as well. This is what I refer to as false advertising. Vanessa’s family and friends felt they would be welcomed. Meanwhile, you lied. As I recall, that is a sin as well. Again, look it up.
Granted, maybe the video was misplaced. I would prefer that because that just makes you an imbecile. However, if you knew what was in that video and chose to do this to a grieving family in order to make a point that makes you plain evil. Then again, by all evidence my opinion of you is starting to lean that way. As a woman of God myself, I like to give other believers the benefit of the doubt. However, Sir, you have shown me and many other that you fall short of this mark.
We can go on all day about the sin of homosexuality and the so called passage in the Bible, the Sodom and Gomorrah. However, it is also lost in translation. The sin, sodomy, is merely anal sex and many straight couples engage in it as well. Additionally, there was mention of oral sex. Again, many straight folks engage as well. Lest we add in Adam and Eve committed original sin by having sex. So by that logic 99 percent of the world is sinning. The Bible does state that sex for the sake of procreation is okay, and most pregnancies are accidental. Therefore most of the world sins on the regular. You must be a lot of fun to have at a picnic.
Some of your followers appeared online terrorizing a group created to support Vanessa and her family. This behavior is far from Christian. When someone pointed out that the Bible okayed rape, they asked if that was the best we had and added that rape was no big deal. One troubled woman who clearly has mental health issues, one would have to in order to even entertain your nonsense for a minute, not only defended rape but pedophilia as well. She claimed because abortion was legal pedophilia should be as well. Then of course she blamed gay people. I will admit I stooped to their level and tried to battle their anti-logic. I also tried to correct their poor grammar. Then I figured, why? They look like idiots, proof that the God of my understanding hates the same things I do.
Then I realized the God of my understanding would not want me to hate but rather pray for the misguided people you minister to. You do not pray but rather prey, that's right I said it. You prey on simple minded people who have experienced adversity that are looking for something to fill the tremendous hole they feel in their heart. Life has been unkind to them, and now you are by making them tithe aka robbing them, and brainwashing them to be rabid zealots. You are not a worker of God nor His messenger but rather a servant of Satan. I say this with confidence.
I want to inform you that this is 2015, not 1950. There are gay people who are open and honest with who they are. These LGBTQ citizens not only hold positions in the community, but also have families. I work for a boss who is gay. This man is not only my employer but my friend, and has given me opportunities that I would have never otherwise gotten working with anyone else. My assistant, who is also gay, had to flee his homeland because prejudice like yours is unfortunately legal there. He got legal asylum in the US because if someone is assaulted for being gay, the police look the other way. LGBTQ people are also jailed in his homeland constantly. Perhaps my assistant's home nation would be your dream paradise, it has palm trees.
Many of my friends in entertainment and in the neighborhood are gay. The sad part is, many have to deal with ignorance like yours on a regular basis. My friend Chacho was gay bashed as a teenager because he was who he was in the wrong neighborhood. Three young men beat him to the point where he nearly died, and a scar remained on his face from being cut with a pocket knife. After that, my friend’s drug use took off and that is what eventually killed him. Sure, he was an addict, but it was the bigotry and hatred of people like yourself that kept driving the needle into his arm. Yeah, he had a traumatic childhood, but nearly dying because of who he was threw him over the edge.
I also want to remind you that my friend Joe encouraged me to write again. This was after I escaped a horrific straight relationship where I was physically assaulted on a regular basis. Mind you your followers hijacked the message board that was started for Vanessa's family, friends and supports. Mind you they said domestic violence was acceptable as well as sexual assault, a bunch of winners by my estimation. Anyway, Joe not only helped me gain my confidence back, but got me to write my book. By your logic the man who choked me to the point where I blacked out was an okay person but my friend who got me to tap into a gift I lost confidence in was destined to damnation. I would hate to see your wife if she is ever let out of the kitchen.
In my lifetime, I have had the pleasure and gift of seeing LGBTQ people experience marriage equality. I have had the pleasure of attending a lesbian wedding. I hope to attend many more. My composer friend Calvin and his husband are foster parents to a little boy who was taken out of a drug addicted home. In May, they will become loving and giving legal guardians to this child who would have not otherwise had a chance. In my Christian understanding, God would want that child to be with two people who love him and give him a stable environment rather than a deranged heterosexual caregiver who can’t take a crack pipe out of her mouth.
My LGBTQ friends have never once discriminated against me for being straight. There is no persecution against Christians, only those like myself who call your bluff when you come full force with your archaic thinking and hate. I have news for you. If God wanted everyone to be straight we would be. Alas, we are not. I know this is making your head explode, but homosexuality also exists in nature. There have been scientists documenting this. The gay cannot be prayed away. Then again, you probably don't believe in evolution despite fossil findings to the contrary.
Something you might find interesting: In the South during the antebellum period, the ministers preached from their pulpits that abolishing slavery was a bad idea. These pastors cited passages where they felt captivity was good for blacks. You have a Latino surname, which means you might have some black ancestry. Keep this in mind the next time you take the Bible so literally. Oh, and it has been translated a gazillion times. Unless you speak Aramaic, which no one has for a few centuries, you are not qualified to tell us what anyone teaches.
Jesus once said to some money grubbing rabbis, “My father’s house is not a marketplace.” That means not robbing the family of the dead you hypocrite. Then again, it is clear from all evidence presented that your followers are weak willed victims who buy your hate. I can see you prey on them and their troubled status in life, their clear need to find a space which you give to them. You are not a shepherd but someone who should be silenced.
Pastor, and I use the term loosely, I grew up around people like you. I know you are not passionate about your faith but use it as a veil of hate. There will be a time when you get judged, and I pray that God takes mercy upon your lost, vile, and twisted soul. I hope and pray that the flames of hell do not make your eternity too unpleasant, because you have tortured and misled a great many in your lifetime.
Lastly, I pray that God protects others from your misguidance, but ultimately you from yourself.