Wednesday, January 06, 2016

Self-immolation of progressive minister still a mystery after two years

Editor's note - the cable/internet war is over and I won. Now to continue in hopes that my readers are still interested in what I have to say:

You can take whatever you want out of this - a brave cry for social justice, a depressed man attempting to do something about the chaos around him, or whatever. One thing is for sure - it does create a certain clarity as to how one sees life:

From Unicorn Booty:

The evening of Monday, June 23, 2014, Charles Moore — a 79-year-old retired Methodist Reverend — drove to a Dollar General parking lot in his rural hometown of Grand Saline, Texas, doused himself in gasoline and set himself on fire. For hours afterwards, neither Moore’s witnesses nor his family had any idea why.

Moore had grown up in Grand Saline — a sleepy, livestock and farming town of just 3,136 people — but he left in 1954 to attend university. Outside of a brief stay following his first divorce in ‘78, he hadn’t spent much time there. For the last seven years, he had been living with his third wife Barbara in Allen, a suburb just outside of Dallas, where he would play with his grandchildren at the local park, watch Cowboys games with his stepson-in-law, gripe about Tea Party politics and write alone in his study. 

But unbeknownst to them, he’d fallen into a depression after his retirement in 2000. After decades of preaching in churches across Texas, rebuilding impoverished communities around the world and doing activist work for death row inmates, poor people and LGBT outcasts, he wrote in his journal, “I am not proud of the timidity [those years of work] represent or their avoidance of physical danger.” He felt ashamed for being “completely inactive” since his retirement and for living in an “arch-conservative” Dallas suburb, adding that he’d “been nothing but a cringing coward” ever since.

“My life has been, and is, a great misery over these issues,” Moore lamented, “and I have done absolutely nothing about any of them for a long time.”

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