A Minister did set himself on fire, but not because of gay marriage

Given all of the screaming and shouting and gnashing of teeth on the Conservative Right last week, you might have thought that a minister opposed to gay marraige really would set themselves on fire. Well it turns out that a minister did set himself on fire. But not because he was opposed to gay marriage. On Jun 23rd, Charles Moore, a retired 79-year-old United Methodist minister, drove to Grand Saline, Texas, his childhood home town, pulled into a strip mall parking lot, knelt down on a small piece of foam, doused himself with gasoline, and set himself on fire. Bystanders rushed to help, eventually dousing him with a fire extinguisher, and emergency services did get him to Parkland Hospital in Dallas, where JFK died. And Moore died there as well. It turns out, that of all things, Moore was protesting racism in Texas and beyond. He called on the community to repent and said he was “giving my body to be burned, with love in my heart” for those who were lynched in his home town as well as for those who did the lynching. “I would much prefer to go on living and enjoy my beloved wife and grandchildren and others,” he wrote, “but I have come to believe that only my self-immolation will get the attention of anybody and perhaps inspire some to higher service.” Moore had gone on a two-week hunger strike in the 1990s, it was reported, to move the United Methodist Church to remove discriminatory language against homosexuals. While working with the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty, he stood vigil in front of George W. Bush’s governor’s mansion to protest executions in Texas. Moore had “a conviction that if the Bible stood for anything, it stood for radical inclusiveness,” a former colleague told the Dallas Morning News. Who would have thought? A retired Methodist minister in Texas.

About a1skeptic

A disturbed citizen and skeptic. I should stop reading the newspaper. Or watching TV. I should turn off NPR and disconnect from the Internet. We’d all be better off.
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