The cornerstones of Christianity are acceptance, forgiveness and love.
This is none of those: Yesterday, the United Methodist Church's Board of Ordained Ministry in Pennsylvania defrocked pastor Frank Schaefer, because Schaefer officiated the marriage of his gay son back in 2007.
Schaefer performed the ceremony in Massachusetts, where same-sex marriage is legal, but a member of his church filed a formal complaint this year, saying Schaefer violated the church's doctrine, which says same-sex marriages are "incompatible with Christian teaching" and bars clergy from performing ceremonies.
"What I did was an act of love for my son," Schaefer says. And he is standing by his actions.
Last month, Schaefer was suspended for 30 days in order to "decide whether he could uphold the church's Book of Discipline." He ultimately decided the church's biased laws were "hurtful and harmful" and contradictory to what the Bible taught.
Schaefer refused to surrender his credentials and the church says he "left officials no choice" but to defrock him. Schaefer has appealed the decision, claiming that members of the board seemed reluctant to actually oust him.
"So many of them came to me and they shook my hand and some hugged me, and so many of them had tears in their eyes," Schaefer recalls (via My Fox Philly). "They said, 'We really don't want to do this, you know that, don't you?'
Schaefer says he was "prepared for it, but it's traumatic."
The church will no longer have to deal with a pastor who cared for his fellow man, acted out of compassion and believed in the power of love. Good thing we got that nonsense out of there!
If we're asking ourselves WWJD, the answer is probably not kicking someone who has devoted his life to the church out of the church simply because he is a father who loves his son.
(Sidebar: New Mexico and the District of Columbia have legalized same-sex marriage. Yay!)