Just add this to the pile of stories of Christian church leaders “loving the sinner but hating the sin” by firing the sinner for existing.
Reverend Benjamin Hutchison resigned from the United Methodist Church in Cassopolis, Michigan after the leadership there said they were going to fire him if he didn’t leave on his own. His crime? He’s in a same-sex relationship:
People say it was well-known that Rev. Hutchison was gay, and that he had a long-term partner. It was not until yesterday though, that Hutchison says the District Bishop asked him if he had a partner.
Hours later, Hutchinson says he was told he would be fired, if he did not resign.
“It wasn’t only my place of employment; it was the love of my life.”
It’s not just a horrible ethical move; it’s a bad business decision. Hutchison quadrupled church membership and kept the books balanced when he was there. And the congregation loved him:
“At first, it was kind of shocking to us, like, ‘Oh my gosh, we got some gay dude in here.’ But we immediately learned to live this guy, he’s crazy good,” [church member Bill] Loux said.
“He’s just done a wonderful thing here, and for the Methodist Church to treat him this way is totally unacceptable to our church and everybody in this community,” said Loux.
There’s one upside to all this:
With his job and health care gone, Hutchison went to the Clerk’s Office to apply for a marriage license.
“I would like to legally get married on Friday,” he said.
The church hasn’t shown any sign of empathy. They care more about his sexual orientation than what he can do for the people who come to church every week. Maybe if the members start holding back their tithes and stop attending that particular location, the leadership will reconsider their bigotry. But that would require the membership to show the sort of courage their leaders don’t have in bucking the church’s traditions.
(Thanks to Laura for the link)