Unfair Park reported on this sad story this week of a couple of men being called gay slurs and beaten in NE Dallas. The story, from their blog, goes:
Around 2 a.m. yesterday morning, two men were walking near the corner of Audelia Road and Forest Lane in northeast Dallas when, according to police, a dark four-door car, adorned with tinted windows and 24-inch rims, approached them slowly.
There were five or six black men inside, all thought to be their 20s, police say. The pedestrians didn’t recognize any of them, but as the car got closer, the suspects started barraging the two victims with anti-gay slurs, calling them “fags” and “sissy.”
Then came the bats.
Dallas is a great place to live for a lot of reasons, but like many places, people can do stupid, hateful things here. I offer my prayers for the victims and the perpetrators. As a faith community, there is more to be done than just prayer. I know churches have often been the persecutors to people who feel at the edge of society. We have been the ones dictating who is in and who is out, who is clean and who is unclean. And yet the Jesus we follow conducted his ministry almost exclusively among those who were deemed sinful or outside by the religious authorities of their day.
Central to my faith, central to our community is the image of a table, where people can sit together as equals. All are fed. All are welcomed. There aren’t any questions or trap doors or check boxes that you must bypass on your way to your seat – you arrive as you are and are invited to share as you are. In our culture, where people do stupid things to each other, where there is such division, where people feel rejected because of who they are or what they have done, I think practicing a radical table like this points us to a better way of living together.
May we share tables with the generosity and compassion of the One who dined with those who were hated and untouchable.
What do you think?