A Lutheran Pastor in Pennsylvania came out to his flock and then resigned before they could fire him. Of course, the God Fearin’ bigots are to blame for his departure.
Meet the Rev. David Wagner in his early days.
Wagner said he grew up in Minnesota in a conservative community that never allowed for differences. By age 11 or 12, he recalled that he knew he was “different.” [The kid who ate worms and tortured small animals was different too, is that OK?]It wasn’t the kind of thing you admitted, so he decided to repress his emerging attraction to males.
Wagner also had a deep love of God and a desire to preach the Gospel to others [Whose Gospel? Jesus’ gospel?]. He attended Gustavus Adolphus College south of Minneapolis-St. Paul. That’s where he decided to enter the ministry and where he was ordained 34 years ago.
He also married and had two children, whom he dotes on. Twenty-five years after his marriage and just before he took over at God’s Love, he finally admitted to his wife that he was gay. He moved to Newtown alone, but said he has remained close to his former wife and his children[Aww, isn’t that nice?].
Ok, so he lied to his wife for years and then left her, but never you mind. He is the hero of the piece. So what happened next?
Wagner, now the former pastor of the Lutheran Church of God’s Love in Newtown Township, said he’s still reeling from the ordeal that began after he confessed that he was gay and had been living with a companion for five years.
The majority of his flock supported him, but what he called a core of opponents mounted a telephone campaign against him, trying to schedule a formal congregation meeting. That meeting would have required a two-thirds vote of support for Wagner to keep his job, he said.
“I believe I could have gotten the votes I needed to stay, but I felt the divisiveness that occurred was harmful to the church and that’s when I decided to resign,” Wagner said.
Yes, yes…the divisiveness. He would have won, you see. But for the good of the people…please stop. But even thought he was so concerned about divisiveness, he decided to get in their faces out last time.
Wagner left with dignity, but not quietly.
At his last service on Christmas Eve at God’s Love, he introduced his partner, Tom Piccoli, 54, a medical physicist, along with Piccoli’s former wife and other family members. Wagner’s extended family received enthusiastic applause, he said.
But the gay lover was still a little upset.
“Why didn’t they fight for him? Why didn’t they speak out? They kept telling him he was the best pastor they ever had,” he said. “I’m appalled at what happened. I think it was reprehensible, unconscionable.
“How bigoted some of these people are to listen to the word of God and Jesus, then stay silent,” Piccoli added.
Umm… maybe they actually listened to the word of God and Jesus. Clearly the Rev. Wagner did not.