KRISTA KAFER: Well, at first blush, it sound like those that wanted to put the picture [of the lesbian married couple kissing] up really are the ones that are at fault here. You know, churches have rules. I mean, – we have had a conversation for the last week about, you know, the Muslim church is saying you have to cover your hair if you want to come in. Organizations, places have rules about how you – you know, you go into certain schools, for example, you can’t wear t-shirts that have emblems on them or messages on them. Different organizations have different rules about what you can publicly display. They did not want a picture of her proposing to her wife. They didn’t think that was appropriate because it is antithetical to the scriptures. This is a Christian church. That would be antithetical. Why would you necessarily want to have that up? I can understand that they’ve got these rules, and they ask that people abide by them.
STEVE KELLEY: [reading from, or referring to a report of the incident] […] [Gary] Rulando, who is the pastor, says it’s a shame that Collier’s friends are using her death to push an agenda. But her friends are angry. They believe more than 100 people – including Collier’s family—will show up to this rally. Uh, arg, I – you know, somebody died, here, and you — [sigh of exasperation]
KAFER: I think the blame, obviously, is with the friends for pushing an agenda. They could have had a very dignified funeral at this church. The church has specific rules in accordance with their scriptures, and you have to remember that the church exists because of those scriptures.
KELLEY: We’ve got to call this church! We have to understand what are some of the nuances to this. Was she a member of the church? About this video, or was she – was the family a member of this church? And why – and I don’t want to be critical of a family, especially after the loss of their relative – but why would you not make that known? I don’t know, logistically, if you’re going to say – if you’re going to look at a video and she’s proposing to another woman, and so forth. And then the church, I think, has a responsibility as well, to have vetted this to some extent duri— right before the service is to begin, to have this –
KAFER: Maybe that’s when they got the video. Maybe they hadn’t had a chance to vet it beforehand. And again, I think the fault lies with the friends. And there is a bit of a trend, here, where people want to force Christian institutions – be it the church, be it Christian owners of a business like Hobby Lobby, be it Jack the Baker – where you want to force other people to condone, celebrate, you know, go along with – more that go along with – actually celebrate and be part of decisions that they disagree with.
KELLEY: Something that is antithetical to their belief system, or whatever. And everybody is entitled – at least, this was a free country. I don’t know over the last six years, anymore. Chad, can we make an attempt to reach out to this pastor Rulando at this church? Okay? And, this would be the New Hope Ministries in Lakewood. Let’s get a call out there and talk about — and respectfully, if you would ask about the Vanessa Collier funeral and this related rally, here. Since he was willing to talk to 9news, I can only imagine that he would be willing to talk to us here at 710 KNUS.
KAFER: Don’t you see a trend? I mean, they would like to force this church to air that video. Right? Or to have aired that video during the funeral. I see individuals and organizations out there that want to push an agenda, and want to force businesses to, you know – ‘celebrate’ is not the right word, but to condone, to actively push or promote,–
KELLEY: To accept, basically, in essence. “Accept.”
KAFER: Yeah and it—well, and it’s more than – it’s actually ‘promote’. It’s not – I mean, this church was willing to say, “You know what? I understand she was not living a Biblical lifestyle, but we want to honor her life. We want to make sure that we have a beautiful funeral for her, and they made that choice. But please, please keep this side of her life — . We can’t promote it. It’s antithetical to our scriptures. We can’t have this piece in the video. We want to send the whole video, but – or air the majority of the video – but we can’t have this picture because it promotes something that is antithetical for our very existence. The reason that church exists is because of those scriptures.
KELLEY: This is – it’s similar but much different than Jack Phillips at the Masterpiece Cake Shop.
KAFER: Well, similar in the sense that he has many people who have same sex attractions, many homosexual customers that come in and buy cookies and cakes. But he says, “You know what? I don’t want to actively promote same sex marriage because that is not the Biblical definition of marriage. And I feel it that it would be antithetical to my mainstream Christian values.”
KELLEY: In the context of weddings. So, here we are – weddings and funerals, two of the highest esteemed ceremonies in humanity, arguably. I mean, you have various brisses and so forth. But, in essence, culturally, weddings and funerals. So, here we are with Jack Phillips saying, “I’m not going to participate. I’m not going to use my God-given talent because it’s my – it violates my internal faith system.” And he has been roundly criticized, and threatened basically to be run out of business through regulation. And he has had to—uh, he is not acquiescing, by the way. It would be helpful, in the context of this too, but now we have a funeral—
KAFER: Well, I —
KELLEY: –where a church is saying, “No! You’re going to have to edit this video. We cannot.” How does this promote sexual—I mean, sexual promiscui—or homosexuality? — playing a video at this woman’s funeral?
KAFER: I think they had rules and the family and friends weren’t willing to actually accept those rules. You have to remember that tolerance means that we are able to coexist peacefully with those with whom we disagree. Um, tolerance does not mean that we get to coerce people into promoting things that they disagree with.