With thanks to my wife Lauri, who posted this brief remembrance today on Facebook, and to Fr. Bill McNichols, who gives birth to images that gently stir our memory, solidarity and hope:
Sixteen years ago today Matthew Shepard was found bludgeoned, left for dead, draped on a barbed wire fence in Wyoming. His crime was his sexual identity. It is sad to see a society act with such vitriol. The wonderful iconographer, Father Bill McNichols created this stunning image, titled, “The Passion of Matthew Shepard” in his honor.
“Where there is hatred, let me sow love.” Saint Francis
Postscript: The Jesuit-run America magazine recently ran a remarkable meditation by Fr. James Alison, “Toward Global Inclusion of LGBT People within Catholic Communities.” As one might expect, the comments thread following the article reflects the contentious pastoral and theological divide in the church over the issue. My own attempt to think and pray through these questions can be found here, as well as in Chapter 8 of Hope Sings.