I note that the late Matthew Shepard is to be reinterred.
For 20 years, the ashes of Matthew Shepard have not been laid to rest.
Mr. Shepard’s killing in 1998, when he was a 21-year-old college student, led to national outrage and, almost overnight, turned him into a symbol of deadly violence against gay people.
Mourners flocked to his funeral that year in Casper, Wyo., but there were also some protesters, carrying derogatory signs. Mr. Shepard’s parents worried that if they chose a final resting place for their son, it would be at risk of desecration.
Now they have found a safe place. On Oct. 26, Mr. Shepard will be interred at the Washington National Cathedral, the neo-Gothic, Episcopal house of worship that is a fixture of American politics and religion.
“I think it’s the perfect, appropriate place,” Dennis Shepard, Matthew’s father, said in an interview on Thursday. “We are, as a family, happy and relieved that we now have a final home for Matthew, a place that he himself would love.”
Two decades ago, Matthew Shepard was robbed by two men, pistol-whipped and tied to a fence in Laramie. He hung there bleeding in near-freezing temperatures until a passing bicyclist spotted him, thinking at first that he was a scarecrow. He later died in a hospital.
“His death was a wound on our nation,” Mariann Edgar Budde, the bishop of the Episcopal Diocese of Washington, said in an interview on Wednesday. “We are doing our part to bring light out of that darkness and healing to those who have been so often hurt, and sometimes hurt in the name of the church.”
There's more at the link.
The only problem is, it's highly unlikely that Mr. Shepard's death had anything at all to do with his sexuality. The Guardian (hardly a right-wing source) reported in 2013:
Shepard’s death inspired the play The Laramie Project – later turned into a television movie – countless songs, a foundation devoted to his memory and a political lobbying effort that pressed for, and eventually obtained, a new federal hate crimes statute named after him.
All this creative energy has been based on an important central premise: that Shepard was targeted solely because of his sexual orientation. According to conventional wisdom, he met his killers by chance in a bar, told them he was gay and left with them when they appeared to respond to his advances. They started attacking him almost as soon as he climbed into their pickup.
It now appears, however, that the conventional wisdom may be wrong. A new book by investigative journalist Stephen Jimenez has challenged many of the central assumptions about Shepard’s murder and argues that anti-gay hatred was not the primary motivation for his killing, if it was a factor at all.
Instead, Jimenez makes a persuasive case – based on interviews with the murderers, their former girlfriends, friends of Shepard’s, and police investigators – that Shepard was already acquainted with his killers, Aaron McKinney and Russell Henderson. That acquaintance hardly casts Shepard in the best light.
All three of them, Jimenez argues, were involved in Laramie’s crystal meth subculture, as users and dealers. McKinney and Shepard may also have had a casual sexual relationship.
“Shepard’s sexual preference … certainly wasn’t the motive in the homicide,” Jimenez quotes police investigator Ben Fritzen as saying. “What it came down to really is drugs and money.” A number of other sources close to the story and the protagonists confirmed much the same thing.
Again, more at the link.
Mr. Jimenez was, of course, demonized because his investigation challenged the politically correct view of Matthew Shepard as an icon of the gay rights movement.
“To understand who Matthew really was,” Jimenez said, “to alter our perception of him as a martyr and an icon, is not going to be damaging to gay rights.
“I don’t buy it. I don’t think we have anything to lose from telling the truth.”
Activists, journalists, politicians and filmmakers who, with the best of intentions, based careers on Shepard’s murder are furious. But Jimenez insists he’s willing to trade Shepard’s irreproachable image for a serious talk about drugs. Meth, he said, is haunting the gay scene, bringing with it a plague of ultra-violence, new HIV infection — and gay-bashing.
. . .
Jimenez, 60, a Brooklyn native who splits his time between New York and Santa Fe, NM, has seen his work attacked by organizations from the Gay and Lesbian Alliance Against Defamation to the Matthew Shepard Foundation, which helped push through a 2009 federal hate-crimes law in the name of Shepard and James Byrd Jr., the black man dragged to his death behind a pickup truck in Texas in 1998.
The New York Times Magazine commissioned, then canceled, a piece from Jimenez in 2004. (The editor claims it wasn’t any good.) But ABC’s “20/20” ran with a story Jimenez produced, which won two major broadcasting awards. Yet the Southern Poverty Law Center’s Hatewatch blog recently accused Jimenez of serving as a lapdog of “right-wing pundits, radio hosts and bloggers.”
In Washington, DC, gay activists pestered bookstores to cancel Jimenez’s appearances. So much for free speech.
“It’s offensive,” said Jimenez.
More at the link.
So, even though the facts about Mr. Shepard's murder are well known, and the fallacy of his being "murdered because he was gay" has been established beyond reasonable doubt, the National Cathedral is now going to inter him within its walls; and, according to the words of its prelates quoted in the New York Times article, it'll do so specifically as a gay icon. Political correctness for the win, yet again - and to hell with the truth!
What happened to "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free"? Or has the National Cathedral stopped reading inconvenient scriptures such as that verse? Doesn't such blatant virtue-signaling just make you sick?
I have no objection whatsoever to anyone being buried in the National Cathedral for the right reasons - which should, I hope, have at least some relation to their religious beliefs - but let's not trash the truth in doing so, or allow political correctness to ride roughshod over faith in God.