LETTER: Sermon to members of the Summerside Community Church

F. Ben Rodgers, of Abram-Village, PEI, submitted the following opinion piece.

I imagine the congregation at Summerside Community Church is made up of parents, children, grandparents and maybe a few single people. Your minister tells you that homosexuals/gays are bad sinners. Abominations, godless people and so forth. Let me give you another perspective, in my opinion a better perspective, a perspective that still allows you to consider yourself a Christian.

I have two daughters, both adults now, however I still consider them my granddaughters. I adored them then and now, they are the most precious gifts of my life. My eldest daughter grew up while I was still in the Navy, I missed a lot of her firsts, first word, first step, etc.

My second daughter, I was there when she spoke, when she took her first steps. I took her skiing, taught her to ride a bike, play soccer and many other childhood activities. She traveled with me in the summer when school was out. We went to London, England, and saw all the sites: Buckingham Palace, Tower Bridge, the New Forest. We visited Ireland, Dublin and Belfast. Later, I bought him a small pony, which moved into a bigger horse, stable, horse trailer, etc. Unfortunately, she grew up, graduated from high school and moved to Alberta to attend university. She was in biathlon and did very well. After graduating from BSC, she then moved to British Columbia to complete her Masters.

Now, this is where I really want you all to listen carefully. On a quiet Wednesday afternoon, my phone rang. She was my youngest daughter. I could tell by her voice that she was confused and had something to tell me. I’m just a typical dad and immediately assumed she was pregnant. I was so wrong. She told me she liked girls, then the phone went silent. I realized that she must be under terrible pressure: will my parents still love me, accept me, deny me? I knew I had to respond instantly, there could be no pause. I immediately told her that my love was unconditional. I could feel his anxiety leaving, I could feel his relief.

I knew I had to respond instantly, there could be no pause. I immediately told her that my love was unconditional.

Today it’s ancient history, my two daughters love me and are there for me when I need them. I’m in my 84th year, but when I thought back to that Wednesday afternoon long ago, I know my answer was the only one a loving father could give.

None of us think of having a homosexual child; we can never know until we face it. We cannot know how we might react. I am truly horrified when I hear of parents who deny their child. Anyone in this congregation could face this situation, how will you react? Will you love your child unconditionally, drive him away, never have contact again? Do you worry about what your pastor or members of your congregation might think? Will your child be denied membership in your church? These are all things you should consider when your pastor tells you that your child is a sinner an abomination.

This is why I am so offended when I hear that homosexuals/gays are a threat to our faith, to our fundamental values. We need to protect our children from these horrible people. These are tough questions for people who claim to be God-fearing Christians.

Ask yourself how can you claim to be a Christian and still hold such terrible beliefs?

Here ends my sermon. May God bless you and love you one another.

Norma P. Rex