On Wednesday of last week, a thirty-year Police Chaplain with the Stockton Police Department was fired after he sent an eMail disinviting another local congregation to an Easter Sunrise Service that is upcoming. In that eMail, Chaplain Jim Reid expressed that the other congregation, an LGBT Church, has a “diametrically different view” of scripture when it comes to homosexuality.
Should he have been fired over such an eMail? That is one question that has to be addressed. But deeper questions also have to be answered. Is this eMail really representative of Christian faith and practice? Is it what Jesus would have done? Is disinviting a congregation to an ecumenical service that celebrates the very foundational aspect of Christianity across the entire spectrum of the faith, really in keeping with the spirit of the event?
Most importantly, did Chaplain Reid cross a very specific line with this eMail? And in crossing that specific line, should it have cost him his job?