One Reply to “When the vandal comes from within”

  1. Oh man. My parents were married in that church. This was in 1961
    (merger!!) when my mother’s priest said to her, “Shirley, you won’t be marrying a Jew in my church.”
    So she said, “Fine, you big ole silly hat wearin’ fool,” and marched over to the UU church where her fiancee (my pa) had already been attending. She wore a pillbox hat and was gorgeous, and he wore a stiff grin.

    My dad, who used to make “Bruce” jokes with a lisp and limp wrist, would have nevertheless personally knocked the daylights out of anyone who would deface a welcoming banner for gays. My mother, who, soon after she was widowed, had an HIV+ gay male couple as her roommates, would have helped hold the guy down while my Dad took care of it. It was one of the few things they agreed easily on. I remember when they took us to Provincetown when we were little kids and before we got out of the car my father turned around and said, “We’re going to see some things here that you’ve never seen before. If you stare, or if you giggle, we are coming RIGHT BACK TO THE CAR. Am I clear?”
    Our eyes were ginormous. “Yes, Dad.”
    When we started along the street and I saw my first oiled-up, Speedo-clad moustachioed couple with their arms around each other’s waists and holding onto respective buns, I had an idea that we weren’t in Kansas anymore. My siblings and I kept our little mouths clamped shut the whole day, just looking and learning.

    That Binghamton church has a good legacy in Carl and Shirley. I’m sorry for their current sorrows, and my prayers go to them and their pastor, Doug.

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