Monday, April 21, 2014


I was honored to be asked to speak during the non-denominational Easter service held between rounds at the National Forensics Association National Championship Tournament. I was asked to address "What Easter means to me." Here was my answer . . .

"I had a heartbreaking conversation with my niece several years ago. She had made the very hard, very brave decision to "come out" as a lesbian to her family. Their reactions left her wondering if she still wanted or needed God in her life, because the beliefs she had grown up with were being used as a weapon. After being warned that she was a sinner over and over, she was exhausted. I remember taking her in my arms, holding her tight and reminding her that we are all worthy of God's love. It was a reminder to me as well, that even though others may judge me, I am the only one who knows where I sit with God.

So, what does Easter mean to me? It's a reminder that we have all sinned, we have all questioned our relationship to God and we have all doubted if we are worthy of God's love. Easter is also a reminder that thousands of years ago, before we all came into the world, we were loved. And God sent Jesus so that we would understand the depths of that love.

Next summer, my niece will marry the love of her life. She and her soon-to-be wife have asked me to officiate. And while I am honored, I am even more thrilled that they want to speak their vows before God, knowing that their love for each other is only possible because God loved them first."
After the service, I had several gay students approach me and thank me for my inclusiveness. It made me sad that my words are the exception to what they normally hear. I really, really hope they feel loved.

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