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Tennessee Church Kicks Out Family For Supporting Lesbian Daughter

Kat Cooper

The Coopers of Collegedale, TN had been members of the Ridgedale Church of Christ for over three generations. That all changed when they were photographed at a city council meeting that voted 4-1 to approve same-sex benefits to government employees. The Coopers' daughter, Kat, is a lesbian and a detective with the Collegedale Police Department and had been leading the cause to have those benefits extended to gay couples. Because they showed up to support her, the church met privately with Kat's parents, aunt, and uncle and gave them an ultimatum: repent for their sins and ask forgiveness in front of the congregation, or leave the church, the Times Free Press reports.

The sin of Kat's relatives, according to minister Ken Willis, is that of endorsing her 'lifestyle', which he says the Bible is explicit about. While Willis doesn't expect the Coopers to disown Kat, he says that while parents should still love their children they shouldn't support their sin; love the sinner, hate the sin. But it would also seem that loving a sinner is itself a sin, judging from the actions of Willis and the church authorities.

Willis insists that since Kat's actions and support from her family were made so public, they had no choice but to take action. The implication evidently is that if Kat had stayed in the closet or kept quiet about her lack of rights then the church wouldn't have had to punish her family for loving her.  After 60 years, the Coopers chose to leave the church rather than repent for a sin they did not commit. Kat's mother is still driven to tears by the events, but the family remains resolute in the support of their daughter. 

Related: as of this writing, it appears that the Ridgedale Church of Christ's Facebook page has been hacked and filled with gay-positive posts and pictures.

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Comments

  1. I'm sure they kick out all the pregnant single mothers too.

    Posted by: bkmn | Aug 22, 2013 8:54:17 AM


  2. Religion destroys -- or at least, attempts to -- yet another family.

    Posted by: Gregory In Seattle | Aug 22, 2013 9:03:32 AM


  3. It's very scary the extent some churches will go, to CONTROL the private lives of their members extended family and situations outside their understanding. Taking it to the point of decreasing an entire family's humanity. Sounds like someone has a bit of a God complex.

    Some can no longer think of actual Christianity but only of their own self interest and promotion, to the detriment of members. It's okay though because their are PLENTY of other churches that do not put power and control ahead of humanity.

    Posted by: Hey Darlin' | Aug 22, 2013 9:12:31 AM


  4. God will lift up this family and give them the fellowship and support they never even had to begin with in their church.

    Posted by: Hey Darlin' | Aug 22, 2013 9:15:02 AM


  5. Christian hatred knows no borders.

    The head of this church wouldn't be able to keep his congregation if he taught the congregation to love one another.

    L♥VE is what their false god despises the most.

    Posted by: 1♥ | Aug 22, 2013 9:19:19 AM


  6. I sure hope that none of their members eat BACON!

    Posted by: Theo | Aug 22, 2013 9:31:26 AM


  7. The church did them a favor by kicking them out. Maybe the more we are directly exposed to this so-called Christian behavior, the more we will learn how damaging it really is.

    Posted by: Jack M | Aug 22, 2013 9:38:35 AM


  8. Don't you just love 'family values'?

    Posted by: Esther Blodgett | Aug 22, 2013 9:41:09 AM


  9. Good. That church is a hellhole, now they aren't unknowingly supporting a horrible place. I hope this mom doesn't shy away and does something bitchy, like a full page ad in a local paper explaining how unchristian that church and all it's followers are.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Aug 22, 2013 10:02:53 AM


  10. Good. That church is a hellhole, now they aren't unknowingly supporting a horrible place. I hope this mom doesn't shy away and does something bitchy, like a full page ad in a local paper explaining how unchristian that church and all it's followers are.

    Posted by: Fenrox | Aug 22, 2013 10:02:53 AM


  11. where's the part where the coopers were showered with love? where's the loving god that forgives all? and what was the purpose for a public shaming in front of the church - were other church memebers forced to "prove" they asked for forgiveness?

    this is wrong from so many directions, it's tough to pick a starting point, but leaving this "church" and it's "love" is the best outcome for the coopers either way.

    Posted by: northalabama | Aug 22, 2013 10:10:48 AM


  12. Not very Christian like. Of course this is a backwards state.

    Posted by: Mmike1969 | Aug 22, 2013 10:13:15 AM


  13. Christians are awesome at creating atheists just being being their usual assholeish selves.

    Posted by: Steve | Aug 22, 2013 10:25:36 AM


  14. Shine the light of day on this abhorrent and abusive behavior by this church's pastor and elders. These people are not qualified to lead. Do people really want to be a member of a group or cult like this??? Move on to a place where you are wanted.

    Posted by: Rob | Aug 22, 2013 10:27:59 AM


  15. Good. The family should have left that church on their own, but since they wouldn't the church did them a favor. They can either find a church that isn't so bigoted or perhaps embrace reality and stop believing in stone-age superstitions. Their choice.

    Posted by: Houndentenor | Aug 22, 2013 10:54:06 AM


  16. I lived in southeast Tennessee for many years and I have heard of Detective Cooper during that time. she is an outstanding person and public servant. She and her family deserve to be treated better than this. You call yourselves Christians?

    Posted by: Rees Cramer | Aug 22, 2013 11:01:45 AM


  17. Sad, but not entirely surprising. Churches of Christ are typically very conservative - although I've never heard of a church trying to hold someone accountable for other people's perceived sins. This family, while they may be saddened to learn that people they thought were their "family" do not really care for them, are better off in the end. There are plenty of churches that welcome gay people, and even among churches that are not necessarily pro-gay, this type of behavior would not be tolerated.

    Posted by: Sam | Aug 22, 2013 11:07:51 AM


  18. either HATE THE WAY WE HATE OR GET OUT!!

    It's so very christian.

    Posted by: Daniel Berry, NYC | Aug 22, 2013 11:17:31 AM


  19. ..oh it is so disheartening to see how hate still spews out of "church's". The "hate the sin, love the sinner" axiom is so twisted and self-serving and trite and tired to boot..it gives "Christians" the right to hate and boy do they!...They cherry-pick" the passages of the bible to suit their own viciousness...they eat pork (Leviticus)they wear clothing made of 2 different fibers (Leviticus again)..they probably eat shrimp (yep, Leviticus)Some of them work on Sundays..(zzz Leviticus)...and I recall there is something in one of the books that tells the father it's okay to slay his disobedient son....Oh my! the list is endless. That church needs to clean house! These women don't deserve the treatment they received and the church certainly doesn't deserve them as members...move on ladies.

    Posted by: thom | Aug 22, 2013 11:49:34 AM


  20. House of Love and Understanding?????????NOT
    Christian Taliban strikes again!!!

    Posted by: bructer | Aug 22, 2013 12:24:53 PM


  21. this is such a sad story that a church would "punish" a family for having a gay child.......What does that really say about this church and any other church that would do this? I give kudos to the parents for supporting their daughter and not that church.......

    Posted by: Bernie | Aug 22, 2013 1:02:36 PM


  22. this is such a sad story that a church would "punish" a family for having a gay child.......What does that really say about this church and any other church that would do this? I give kudos to the parents for supporting their daughter and not that church.......

    Posted by: Bernie | Aug 22, 2013 1:02:39 PM


  23. this is such a sad story that a church would "punish" a family for having a gay child.......What does that really say about this church and any other church that would do this? I give kudos to the parents for supporting their daughter and not that church.......

    Posted by: Bernie | Aug 22, 2013 1:02:39 PM


  24. this is such a sad story that a church would "punish" a family for having a gay child.......What does that really say about this church and any other church that would do this? I give kudos to the parents for supporting their daughter and not that church.......

    Posted by: Bernie | Aug 22, 2013 1:02:40 PM


  25. I find it sad (speaking from my non-Christian point of view) that people like the leader of that church act the way they do in the name of their God. It makes all of the good-hearted and decent Christians look bad as a whole. I know some Christians that, even though they don't agree with my spiritual decisions, are the nicest and most loving and caring people I know.

    This family needs to find a different church. One that will love them the way they should and not judge. It's not a human's place to judge.

    Posted by: KijoSiren | Aug 22, 2013 1:13:02 PM


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