Matthew Shepherd has been made by the LGBT into an “American martyr” because, as they say, he was murdered because he was a sodomite and which was used to advance the social agenda of sodom. However, as one author revealed, Shepherd was a well-known methamphetamine peddler and addict, a drug which is common to homosexual circles for sexual purposes, and was murdered in a drug deal gone bad. He was not a “martyr” at all, but another common criminal whose culpability was multiplied by his dangerous and disease-propagating behavior.
However known these facts may be, they are conveniently ignored in order to continue to present him as a “martyr” for the “cause” just as the scoundrel Horst Wessel was in Germany during the 1930s. This has continued with the transfer of his remains to the Washington National Cathedral under the administration of the Episcopal Church:
Bells chimed softly, a flute slowly played “Morning Has Broken” and thousands filled the soaring nave of the Washington National Cathedral for the interment of Matthew Shepard, the young man whose murder 20 years ago marked the start of a country’s turning on gay rights.
The service began with Bishop Gene Robinson, whose elevation in the early 2000s as the first openly gay bishop in the Episcopal Church was another huge — and controversial — milestone in the push for LGBT equality, choking back tears as he welcomed the crowd of about 2,025 people.
“Many of you have been hurt by your own religious communities,” Robinson said. “And I want to welcome you back.”
Matthew Shepard’s father, Dennis Shepard, thanked those in Cathedral, and the scores of others watching the live-streamed service online, for “helping us take Matt home.”
“It is so important we now have a home for Matt,” Shepard, 69, said. “A home that others can visit. A home that is safe from haters.”
The father recalled his son’s love for the Episcopal church, growing up in Sunday school and as an acolyte in their church at home in Wyoming.
“Matt was blind, just like this beautiful house of worship,” Dennis Shepard said. “He did not see skin color. He did not see religion. He did not see sex orientation. All he saw was a chance to have another friend.”
The service at the Cathedral, the second-largest cathedral in the country and host of many presidential memorial services, was similar in structure to a formal Episcopal funeral, with bishops’ sermons and choirs and scripture readings. For Shepard’s family and friends, it serves as a celebration of his life that wasn’t possible at the tumultuous time of his 1998 murder, when anti-gay protesters screamed at funeral-goers. Tensions were so fierce at his funeral that his father wore a bulletproof vest under his blue suit.
Friday, they say, is a chance to properly put Shepard’s ashes somewhere “safe,” his mother, Judy Shepard, said. The parents hope to find some closure in the interment of their son’s ashes, deep in the cathedral’s crypt, off the Chapel of Saint Joseph of Arimathea, named for the man who the Bible says gave Jesus his tomb. Those close to Shepard and advocates for gay equality hope the site can be a prominent symbol and even a pilgrimage destination for the movement.
During Robinson’s homily, he started crying as he described his 2003 consecration as the Episcopal Church’s first openly gay bishop.
“Just before I strapped on my bullet proof vest for my consecration, someone hand delivered a note from Judy Shepard,” Robinson said. “It said: ‘I know Matthew will be smiling down upon you tomorrow.’”
Before the start of the service at 10 a.m., the line of people bundled in heavy coats snaked across the grounds of the massive church, at the U.S. capital’s highest spot. Those in the crowd were mostly older adults, members of a generation that can still recall Shepard’s killing, when he was pistol-whipped and left for dead, tied to a fence in a remote Wyoming prairie.
But even for those in attendance too young to remember the Shepard’s death, his story has resonated years later. Abigail Mocettini, a 24-year-old who grew up in Boise, said Shepard’s death loomed “in the background” for young people coming out —”especially in the West.”
“As we were coming out, this affected our parents and informed their fears,” Mocettini, now a D.C. resident, said as she prepared to enter the Cathedral. “Acknowledging queer history is a thing that needs to be respected. Once the old guard gets older, people forget how we got to rainbow flags in Dupont.”
Mocettini said attacks against members of the LGBT community could still happen today, and that acceptance isn’t near for trans people and queer people of color.
Despite many advances for LGBT people since Shepard’s death, the cause remains divisive for many Americans, and just this week reports surfaced that the Trump administration is “seriously” considering changing the way it treats transgender people under the law — a fresh and direct aim at transgender rights.
Judy Shepard told The Post that until a couple years ago they thought they’d be shifting from anti-hate crime advocacy to focus on Matthew’s memory. But Trump’s election has in some ways put the movement “at ground zero again,” she said.
Officials had earlier said it might be possible a small group of protesters would arrive from Westboro Baptist Church, a tiny Kansas church that frequently pickets against gay rights. But on Friday, there were no signs of protesters outside the Cathedral.
One woman waiting in line to enter the Cathedral, Rebecca York, 22, said she does not recall Shepard’s death. But she learned in a college course that Shepard’s killing was a “landmark” for changing the conversation about anti-gay hate.
York works with LGBT youth at a D.C.-based group called Supporting and Mentoring Youth Advocates and Leaders, known as SMYAL. About two-thirds of the young people in her group were not aware of Matthew Shepard, so York has spent this week educating them about the case.
“It hit close to home because Matthew was someone everyone could relate to,” York said. “Because of that they were able to make great strides.”
Most young people the group sees are African American men, York said. A city survey found 43 percent of homeless youth in D.C. identify as LGBTQ.
“Threat of physical violence is not new to them,” York said. “It’s scary to be a young gay man.”
Some close to Shepard say even with his fame — his killing is the subject of many books, shows and one of the most-produced plays in the country, “The Laramie Project” — the idea of his interment in the prominent cathedral feels momentous. Also this week, the Smithsonian’s National Museum of American History received a donation from the family of some of his belongings.
“We’re all awed. It’s just very humbling to see the Smithsonian and the cathedral recognize the power of Matthew’s story all these years later,” said Jason Marsden, executive director of the Matthew Shepard Foundation, which advocates in particular for gay youths, including through hate-crimes legislation. Marsden was a friend of Shepard’s at the time of the killing. “Especially for those who knew him, this is both something we never wanted and never expected. It affirms what we’ve always thought, that his story is powerful and inspires people.”
Among those singing at the service were members of the Gay Men’s Chorus of Washington D.C.; GenOUT, a chorus for LGBT youth; and Conspirare, a Grammy-winning choral group that is touring “Considering Matthew Shepard,” a classical project created as a “compassionate musical response to the murder of Matthew Shepard,” according to the group’s site.
Other music included Cat Stevens’s “Morning Has Broken,” said to be a favorite of Shepard, “Imagine” by John Lennon, and “MLK” by U2.
Among the scripture readings was a passage from Romans 8, which was read at Shepard’s funeral 20 years ago. It includes the phrase:
“I am convinced that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor rulers, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God in Christ Jesus our Lord.”
After the service, only the clergy and family will descend to the area of the columbarium, where dozens of other prominent people’s ashes are kept, for a small interment ceremony. In that area is a public chapel, which is outside of the columbarium where Matthew Wayne Shepard’s remains will rest.
For some of those performing in Friday’s service, the chance to be a part of Shepard’s interment was particularly poignant.
Marcus Brown, a 42-year-old Gay Men’s Chorus member and D.C. resident, vividly recalls the week of Shepard’s death. Brown was a college student at Howard University, hoping to escape the rural South Carolina hometown he grew up in. He remembers thinking how closely his own life paralleled Shepard’s, “being from places that were not accepting and finding the best ways to cope with how to exist.” At the time of Shepard’s death, he had not come out as gay.
As Brown prepared to sing at the interment, he reflected on the uncertainty and fear he felt at the time, but also on the confidence and freedom he has gained in the 15 years since coming out as gay, in part thanks to Shepard.
“It’s our responsibility as members of a certain age to pass those stories down,” Brown said, “to explain that the progress that we have made has come through a lot of trials and tribulations.” (source, source)
The significance of this act, as noted above, is to attempt to “seal” Shepherd as some kind of martyr when his life was the opposite of that.
In the Catholic Church, when a person becomes a canonized saint, it is not to say that the person is merely in heaven, but that his life is a model for others to follow in, to give strength to the church militant (the Christians on Earth struggling to live lives in accordance with Christ’s will), consolation for the church suffering (those deceased who have been found worthy but are undergoing necessary cleansing before entrance into Heaven, commonly known as Purgatory), and glory to the church triumphant, where the saints ever sing the praises of God. It is a rigorous process, and in recent times there has been much discontent in the church because there is concern that Pope Francis is abusing his power regarding the canonization process, which is a deadly serious charge.
There were saints who did evil things during their lives, and the reason they are saints is because they turned from their evil ways, embraced what is right, and sought to live a life in accordance with the Truth. St. Mary Magdalene was the equivalent of a prostitute or porn whore. St. Paul was a Jewish terrorist. St. Francis of Assisi was a rich partying frat boy who binged on alcohol and girls, similar to St. Augustine. Bl. Anthony Neyrot was a monk who apostatized, converted to Islam, and took up with a woman in North Africa. Bl. Bartolo Longo was a satanist. St. Mark Ji Tianxiang was an opium addict. Yet all of these people were put into the records of the beatified and formally canonized because they turned from their sins and to the Faith and in doing such received mercy and salvation.
Yet this was not the case with Shepherd. He was a drug addicted sodomite who persisted in his ways up to his death, as it was these same behaviors that brought about his demise.
There is nothing meritorious in his life as an example for others to follow, and this is but an reminder of the wages of sin, which is death.
However, it does make much sense and is correct that he is interred at the Washington National Cathedral because, truly, he is an American “saint” as he died for the advancement of sodomy. I say this not because I “hate America,” but the fact is that as 62% of the whole nation supports sodomite marriage, 75%+ of people 35 and under support it, clearly it is a supermajority who either support or are tolerant towards homosexual behavior. His “beatification” is not a representation of moral righteousness, but a reassertion of the status quo, as he is a “secular saint” because his behavior reinforces that which the people already support.
In short, his “sanctification” is but a reflection of how America has become a modern-day Sodom in what she preaches and practices.