Friday, May 22, 2009

Letter to Jim Franklin

Rev. Jim Franklin
Senior Pastor, Cornerstone Church
1545 Fulton Street
Fresno, CA 93721

Pastor Franklin:

I just saw a video of you being interviewed by KSEE news after somebody threw some bottles of colored paint at the wall of your church office building. You had no trouble blaming it on angry gays, even without proof.

Normally I’d pass this by with a shrug and maybe an expression of sympathy. You should not have to clean up this mess. If we could find the people who did this, we should make them do it.

But as I listened to your comments, I began to wish I’d thrown the bottles myself.

Near the end of your interview, you say,

“It saddens me that it’s come to this, that we’ve seen this type of violence again…we’re always the ones that are targeted with the violence.”



Vandalism, yes, but violence? When I was a kid, during the Second World War, vandals threw stones though the stained glass windows of my church because we had services in German. That was nasty. And costly. You got some blotches of paint on a blank wall of an ugly office building! Have a sense of proportion in your victimhood.

Violence? What do you know of violence? Are you really that clueless about the number of gay people who have suffered injury and death over the years because people like you preach from the pulpit that we are lesser beings? How dare you claim the high ground here?

How many Baptists have been tied to fences to die in Wyoming for being Baptist? How many Baptist teenagers kill themselves because their parents throw them out for being Baptist so they can hold their heads high in church?

Seriously, Pastor Franklin, there are better approaches to this incident than fanning the flames of rage. When the Dan White verdict came down and San Francisco exploded because institutional homophobia – the kind you represent – led to near exoneration of a political assassin, many in the community urged gays to make restitution to City Hall, despite their clearly justified rage. In Fresno today, on a much smaller scale, a similar incident is being played out. You work toward the removal of civil rights from American citizens who should not have to live according to your understanding of Scripture, and the result is outrage. If you could address that outrage instead of feeding it with irresponsible rhetoric, you could possibly make the world a better place for a change.

Yours sincerely,

Alan J. McCornick

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