When it comes to organized religion, I can see the good and the bad. I love the way congregations and their members are often the very first to step up when a community is in crisis. But I abhor the hatred of homosexuality, the extremism and literalism, and the general exclusion of so many other faiths and people, exemplified by this story of the Lutheran pastor who just apologized for worshipping with Sandy Hook Elementary School victims following the shooting tragedy. What??!!!
The Rev. Rob Morris, who lost one of his congregants in the shooting, has released a letter of apology for praying with Sandy Hook victims at the Newtown service attended by President Obama -- WHY? Isn't this the kind of thing a compassionate pastor does? Well, apparently his congregation didn't like the fact that this was an interfaith service. Which goes against Christ the King Lutheran Church's prohibition against worship with other religions.
And since there was a couple of other religions represented at the interfaith service following the massacre, Morris was in trouble. He wrote a letter, which his church released, apologizing and assuring everyone that he mentioned Jesus in his prayer at the service. Well, thank goodness for that!
Really, can you see Jesus refusing to pray with anyone?! Especially when it's being done to bring a community together after a horrific tragedy?! It's truly unfortunate that as much as religion tries to bring people together, it often just ends up tearing them apart. How can you say you follow the teachings of Jesus and yet not be able to pray in a service that includes other religions? Makes no sense.
This isn't the first time something like this has happened, of course. One pastor was stripped of his ministry after praying with "pagans" at a service for 9/11. Talk about losing sight of the big picture.
If I was a congregant at this Newtown church, I would think twice about it. Actually, I wouldn't think twice. I'd just quit. Not because of what the pastor did -- but because he had to apologize for it!
What do you think about this pastor? Was he wrong to pray with other faiths?
Image via TheOwl84/Flickr