A ‘Pride Progress Flag’ was recently removed from outside the White Rock Presbyterian Church. Courtesy photo
The spot where a ‘Pride Progress Flag’ was displayed for more than a year. Courtesy photo
BY REV. DEB BELOVED CHURCH
With support from White Rock Presbyterian Church
White Rock Presbyterian Church, where I serve as Pastor, recently experienced an act of vandalism.
In August 2022, we hung a “Pride Progress Flag” on our sign near the sidewalk, wanting to communicate to passers-by that all persons are welcome here, and that WRPC is a safe space for those who identify as LGBTQIA+. And the flag remained there–until recently.
On September 5, 2023, I was shocked to see there was only a ragged edge left where the Pride Progress flag had hung for over a year.
This could not have happened accidentally. I called the Los Alamos Police Department, and an officer came and documented the vandalism. If the police are keeping a file of such activities in the County, this incident is now part of that file.
Among other things, I felt anger and grief–not at the loss of a piece of fabric, but because this action is a visible demonstration of intolerance and fear of difference, right here in our neighborhood.
To you who may share in my anger and grief, I encourage you to continue to care for, affirm, and stand alongside all persons–especially our siblings in the LGBTQIA+ community–with strength, humility, and courage. You, as they, are God’s beloved, no more and no less than anyone else.
To you who may support the deliberate removal of WRPC’s Pride Progress flag, and to the person(s) who did it–you, too, are God’s beloved. I do not in any way agree with the decision to vandalize WRPC’s flag, nor with the message behind that act, and I find it to be a cowardly one. And, as a minister of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, it is my deepest conviction that you, too, are God’s beloved, no less or no more than anyone else.
Anyone who is interested in sharing ideas and experiences, on this topic or any other, in a space of mutual respect and open-hearted listening, I invite you to find me at the Pig and Fig Café (11 Sherwood Blvd., WR) any Wednesday morning between 8:00 and 10:00 am. I will be there, ready to listen.