Nwa.com reports on an item we heard about last week: the First United Methodist Church wasn’t allowed to participate in the “Celebrate Jesus Easter Parade” in Eureka Springs.
The church wanted to carry a sign that said, “Jesus Loves All.”
A member of the church, a “reconciling congregation” that welcomes LGBT people, believes the church’s love and acceptance of all kept them out of the parade. She said they’d originally been approved to participate, but approval was withdrawn in the week before the parade.
A parade organizer, Laura Nicholxs, issued a lengthy statement that said she had nothing against homosexuals or the Methodist Church. But the statement also said: “This day isn’t a day of pointing fingers or playing the blame game.”
Saying “Jesus Loves All” does point a finger in the current debate. Sad to say. I think if He’d visit lepers and eat with publicans and other sinners, he might even drop a cake off at the house of a couple of lesbians. He’d certainly walk in a parade with them.
The Lovely County Citizen also reported on the disinvitation.
“I suspect that our Reconciling Ministry group, because of its advocacy of the principles of the Reconciling Ministry Network, was uninvited because we were conspicuous in our support for the LGBT community,” said Lamont Richie, who is also president of the Eureka Springs Gay Business Guild. “The organizers were told that we would not be political, no signs, cheers or literature, regarding the local non-discrimination ordinance subject to a referendum vote in May.”
“[The] parade has always been praising Jesus and giving good news to the believers and they [LBGTs] have their own agenda. We as Christians don’t have that. We want the Lord to be glorified,” said Laura Nichols, parade organizer.
Eureka Springs Mayor Butch Berry said, “It appears to me that there’s a lot of hypocrisy in some organized religions, and now we have churches discriminating against other churches. In my opinion we should practice the Golden Rule and love one another, and recognize that all people have rights.”