Burning Alive: 2 Texas Ministers – Why Only 1 Lives
?If the [Supreme] court does rule this, they will have to step over natural law. They?re after God. This country better be aware, we?ve suffered a lot of injustices, but I?m not sure God is going to tolerate this one very long.?
But, it seems he was exaggerating ? just a bit. Scarborough apparently never actually meant to light the match. We just misunderstood.
“We are not going to bow, we are not going to bend, and if necessary we will burn.”
There was a Texas minister who did set himself on fire in protest of injustices just one year ago.?After a lifetime of protesting against capital punishment, racial discrimination, and prejudice against the LGBT community, Texas retired Methodist minister Charles Moore (79) felt it was not enough.
He set himself on fire.
Moore (79), a retired United Methodist minister, returned to his childhood home just east of Dallas on a typical Monday. He pulled into the parking lot of a strip mall, knelt on a square of foam, and soaked himself with gasoline, witnesses said.
Bystanders and emergency personnel tried to save Moore, and they flew?him to the same Dallas hospital where President John F. Kennedy died. The minister suffered all day from life-threatening burns until he succumbed to his injuries that night.
Moore was inspired by the?New Yorker article, ?Aflame.??It told about the Tibetan Buddhist monks? protest of China?s domination of Tibet.
??When I was about 10 years old, some friends and I were walking down the road toward the creek to catch some fish, when a man called ?Uncle Billy? stopped us and called us into his home for a drink of water ? but his real purpose was to cheerily tell us about helping to kill ?n??s? and put their heads up on a pole…”
“A section of Grande Saline was (maybe still is) called ?pole town,? where the heads were displayed. It was years later before I knew what the name meant.?
Moore was a minister for over 50 years, and he led a lifetime of protests, including:
- A two-week hunger strike for his United Methodist Church to strike discriminatory language against homosexuals in the 1990?s
- Work with the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty
- A vigil in front of then Governor George W. Bush?s mansion protesting the 100-plus executions
- Work in India?s, Africa?s, and Middle Eastern slums
- Awards from Parents and Friends of Lesbians and Gays and the Texas Coalition to Abolish the Death Penalty.
After a lifetime of fighting for social justice?just was not enough, that the issue called for a greater act.
Colleague Rev. Sid Hall said that Moore believed, “a conviction that if the Bible stood for anything, it stood for radical inclusiveness.” Moore said,
“I am laying down my life here today, in order to call attention to issues of great human concern. There is one thing I have absolute control over: that is, the manner of my death…”
?History will decide whether my offering is worthy.?
On the one hand, we have flamboyant, anti-gay activist Scarborough blasting us with threats – then, retreat with a just-kidding wave. On the other hand, we have Moore, a man who dedicated his life to protecting the under-served.
I know which one I will remember.