Tag Archives: Unitarian Church of Westprt

Showing Pat Robertson Some Love

The other day, a viewer asked Pat Robertson if it was okay to “like” Facebook photos of same-sex couples.

The “700 Club” host/failed presidential candidate/former Southern Baptist minister crawled out of his cave long enough to reply that Facebook needs a “vomit” button for such pictures.

“You’ve got a couple of same-sex guys kissing, do you like that?” he rumbled.

“Well, that makes me want to throw up. To me I would punch ‘vomit,’ not ‘like,’ but they don’t give you that option on Facebook.”

Then he chuckled, at the absurdity of this wacky 21st-century world. (Click here or below to see Rev. Robertson’s full answer.)

That did not sit well with another religious figure. Rev. Debra Haffner — co-founder and president of the Religious Institute, the Westport-based multifaith organization advocating for sexual health, education and justice in faith communities and society — set up a Tumblr page filled with love, not hate.

“Such comments make it sound as if Rev. Robertson has never seen the love and the joy on the faces of same-sex couples,” the page — called “Show Pat Love!” — says.

The Tumblr invites users to share same-sex couple photos — and promises to forward a link to all submissions to Rev. Robertson’s attention.

Dozens of photos have already been posted. There are male couples, and female couples; white, black, Hispanic, Asian and biracial couples; couples with kids, and couples with dogs; couples posing in churches and temples, atop mountains and on beaches.

In other words: same-sex couples doing just what opposite-sex couples do on their wedding days.

One of the 1st couples to be featured is Suzanne Sheridan and Rozanne Gates. The longtime Westporters posted a joyful shot from their wedding ceremony at the Unitarian Church.

Suzanne Sheridan and Rozanne Gates

The minister is Rev. Frank Hall. Also officiating: Rev. Barbara Fast, of the Danbury Unitarian Church.

Interestingly, Debra Haffner is associated with the Unitarians  too. When she’s not running the Religious Institute, she serves as a community minister at the Westport church.

Where, clearly, there is plenty of love to go around.

And enough to spare, even for a grumpy old man living out a different century in a Virginia cave.

(Click here for the “Show Pat Love!” Tumblr.)

Southern Cotton, Westport Twine

While many Westporters have been deeply moved by Steven Spielberg’s epic “Lincoln” movie, the 16th president wasn’t always the most popular guy in town.

In 1860 , not the most popular guy in town.

In 1860 , not the most popular guy in town.

In 1860, he got only 48 percent of the vote in Westport. Lees’ twine manufacturing company — which relied on Southern cotton, and at the time one of Westport’s major manufacturers — apparently was more important to local voters than any abolitionist fervor or save-the-nation ideals.

That fascinating tidbit comes from Brian O’Leary. A historian who loves poring over old newspaper clippings, he’ll talk tomorrow (Sunday, April 28, 7 p.m., Unitarian Church) about Westport and that 1860 election, held just before the Civil War. He’ll also discuss the 60 Westport men who volunteered to fight in Fairfield’s 17th Regiment.

O’Leary’s talk is just part of tomorrow’s event. Baritone Jose Andrade will perform Civil War songs, including “Aura Lee” (the melody Elvis Presley used 100 years later for “Love Me Tender”), “Dixie,” “Battle Hymn of the Republic” and more.

The concert and talk is co-sponsored by the Unitarian Church and Westport Historical Society. One of the beneficiaries is the church’s Steinway piano. It’s gotten a lot of use over the years, and must be restrung.

Though presumably not with twine made in Westport, from Southern cotton.

(Tickets are $15, at the door. For more information click here, or call 203-227-7205.)

Battle Hymn