By: Scot Bear Re: Re: Some sendoff 1/2 From Pentode BBS, San Luis Obispo, CA Date: Sat, De

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By: Scot Bear Re: Re: Some sendoff 1/2 From Pentode BBS, San Luis Obispo, CA Date: Sat, Dec 31, 1994 3:49:55 PM My friend Bob always told us that when he died he was going out with a bang. And what an understatement that was. The service could not have been any more unnerving if Fred Phelps had delivered the Eulogy! From the front page of our STATE newspaper in Columbia SC Without permission: MINISTER JUDGES GAY MAN IN EULOGY Shocked, angry mourners walk out More than 25 people walked out of the Columbia funeral of an AIDS patient Wednesday after a First Presbyterian Church minister said the man's homosexuality was a mortal sin and his place in eternity was questionable. "I'm not sure where Bob is right now," the Reverend John Hopkins said during a eulogy that some mourners called a half hour diatribe against the 43 year old man's lifestyle. The man, whose mother requested that his last name not be published, died Monday. His funeral was held at Dunbar Funeral Home, Gervais Street Chapel. "To say it was in poor taste is to put it mildly," said Harriet Hancock, a Columbia attorney who was at the funeral. "It was simply the most upsetting thing I've ever witnessed. People were in shock; they were angry and hurt. And then they started leaving." Hopkins declined to comment. The senior pastor of First Presbyterian Church, who was in Washington, D.C., Wednesday, said he had no plans to disipline Hopkins, an associate pastor. "I have no statement to make",said the Rev. Glen Knecht, who leads the 2,200 member congregation on Marion Street. "I wasn't there, but I have every confidence that the pastors who are there will handle this in the best manner." About 100 people had turned out to say goodbye to Bob, who worked at the University of South Carolina and was active in Palmetto AIDS Life Support Services. But about a half-hour into the service, mourners started walking out and slamming the door behind them. One woman said loudly "that son of a -----" before leaving, witnesses said. So many people left that Dunbar workers thought the funeral was over and started to enter the chapel to remove the casket. Elise Campbell, who lost her son, Bill Edens to AIDS in 1993,said that out of respect for Bob's family, she didn't leave the service. But Campbell said she was horrified when the minister started talking about Bob's homosexuality in detail. In particular,Hopkins said Bob had "gone astray" into a gay lifestyle during college, several mourners told The State. And although Hopkins said he wasn't necessarily superior to Bob morally, homosexuality was a mortal sin according to his church's teaching. And, he said, it was questionable whether Bob could be reunited with God,according to the mourners. [Continued on next message] --- QM v1.00 * Origin: STARCOM -- Fundies debunked, free-of-charge! (1:154/69.0) SEEN-BY: 10/1650 13/13 54/54 102/2 138 435 524 752 835 850 851 890 943 115/2 SEEN-BY: 143/150 150/1 153/920 170/400 206/2708 209/720 770 270/101 102 103 SEEN-BY: 270/213 280/1 282/1 283/657 309/2 345/31 355/2 396/1 640/75 730/2 SEEN-BY: 2605/606 2613/5 3615/50 @PATH: 154/69 22 222 3615/50 396/1 270/101 209/720 102/2 851 ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ (240) Sun 8 Jan 95 8:54 By: Scot Bear To: All Re: Re: Some sendoff 2/2 St: ------------------------------------------------------------------------------ @EID:c38e 1e2846cc * Original: FROM.....Scot Vertullo (154/69) * Original: TO.......All (154/69) * Forwarded by.......OPUS 154/69 [Continued from previous message] "I wanted to shake him until his teeth rattled down his throat," Campbell said. "There was no excuse for what he did. It was just so crass. He was supposed to be giving sympathy and help to his mother and sisters and friends, and they didn't need this." The family asked Hopkins to leave after the funeral and not offer the traditional prayer at the cemetary. Instead, friends prayed and offered personal memories of Bob at the Greenlawn Memorial Park mausoleum. The family didn't want to talk with The State about the funeral. Diana Driggers, a family friend, sadi they didn't want Bob's full name used because "people who care about him will know who it is, and those who don't don't need to know." Jack Thorpe, Bob's companion for more than 10 years, said Bob had picked Hopkins to do his funeral after the minister had visited him during the past year. "And we knew that the issue of homosexuality did not jibe with him," Thorpe said. "But to tell people- his mother, his sisters, his nephews and nieces, who he loved so dearly--that he might be in hell is unbelievable." Hopkins deferred to a formal church statement issued Wednesday night. In the statement church pastors said: "We extend deepest sympathy to Bob (last name)'s family. We loved Bob and ministered to him. Though we differed with him on this issue, we affirm the truth of Ephesians 6:24---'Grace be with all who love our Lord Jesus Christ with love undying.'" That statement, however, is little comfort to those who felt that Hopkins' comments were an affront to Bob's family and friends. "I know that I don't think you're very Christian when you do something like this in front of someone's parents, family and friends." Campbell said. "There's a time for all this soapbox preaching, and this wasn't it. ------------------------------------------------------------------- I talked to Harriet Hancock yesterday and the national news had gotten wind of this and so had some of the news magazines. I told Harriet I was posting this to at least soc.motss and if someone else wants to cross post this please do so. Harriet also said that if you call, they will likely take the phone off the hook, but writing is a different story. First Presbyterian Church 1324 Marion Street Columbia, SC 29201 =============================================================

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