To the editor:
As a child, my mother, Lizette Thoms, performed in the Little White Church’s annual Christmas pageant. When she died on Valentine’s Day 2015, her life was celebrated within those very same walls.
As a longtime friend and patron of Eaton’s Church, I am dumbfounded that this iconic institution is incapable of standing for love. Eaton’s League of Voters for Equality has publicly exposed overtly bigoted elements within the church. These unwelcoming powers maintained a culture of complacency that was not overtly, but subtly, exclusive. For example, I sat at a board meeting in which we discussed openly advertising on the website that gay weddings were welcome. Even though the church has hosted gay weddings, the president insisted that this not be openly announced.
For the most part, the church’s board consists of decent and loving people, but the problem here is cowardice and complacency: no one is willing to stand up and defend shared values. Second, the most important part of any institution is its mission because every subsequent move flows from that fountainhead.
Let’s look at the church’s mission: “Our mission is to maintain a center for the spiritual and community life of the citizens of Eaton, N.H., and surrounding area, regardless of religious or political affiliations.” This mission statement is lousy. Though Eaton is a fairly “white” town, we do have black, Hispanic and Asian residents. We also have gay residents. Hear this: It is the League’s official position that we must strive in every possible way to make people feel welcome in this town.
How is it possible that the church’s mission statement says nothing about race, ethnicity and sexual orientation? The League now publicly demands that the church’s mission be altered. We also demand that the church clarify its position on diversity.
Quddus Z. Snyder, PhD