The United Church of Canada is Insane, and other Spiritual Reflections by Kevin D. Annett

Author’s Warning: This is Not a Joke – Transgender Day of Remembrance is Proclaimed by Convicted Criminal Body

It’s one of those compensations of a moral universe that anyone who gets away with a crime eventually goes mad from doing so; and the bigger the atrocity, the crazier they become. Ask Idi Amin, Adolf Hitler, or Joe Stalin.

Or Gary Paterson.

Gary who?

Unless you’ve been avoiding the internet and television for the past few weeks, you can’t have missed Gary Paterson, the immoderate Moderator of the United (or was that Untied?) Church of Canada, who just announced that all good church members should honor transgender people in a special day of remembrance. Why? Because two such people were killed in Canada last year, ostensibly because of their sexual identity.

Since neither of these victims was aboriginal, gentle readers, fear not: this unusual gush of public empathy coming out of the church’s head office is not a sign that Paterson and company have changed their spots and begun to do justice to its own massive crop of little dead Indians. On the contrary: Gary Paterson’s latest grandstanding gesture is just one more deliberate and especially nauseating distraction from the fact that his church never has and never will atone for its mass murder of thousands of residential school children. Instead, well, let’s all remember, I don’t know, how about cross dressers?

Gary, you’re crazy. And so are all the other idiots in your General Council. But then living in Toronto can make anyone go soft in the head.

Of course, Gary, the signs of your mental collapse have been percolating for some years now. Remember that Sunday morning in 2008 when you started screaming at the small group of impoverished Indians who picketed your own St. Andrew’s Wesley United Church in Vancouver, asking for the return of the bones of their relatives that your church tortured to death and buried in secret? I recall that you yelled at the Indians to “get a life”.

A guilty conscience will blow our cool like that, Gary. I get that. For nobody who stays for long in your churches can avoid the stare of those countless little brown corpses without going nuts. Ask one of your fellow child traffickers in the so-called Twelve Mile Club, Archbishop Raymond Roussin. Poor Ray has a nervous breakdown after residential school survivors started occupying his Holy Rosary Cathedral around the same time they hit your own cozy church in the suburbs. I guess Ray couldn’t cope with all of those dead children as well as you’ve been able to, Gary.

Anyway, decency aside – and I learned long ago the pointlessness of arguing morality with a psychopath – one wonders why the collective absurdity calling itself the United Church is lending itself to such increasingly bizarre and membership-shrinking gestures as the latest stunt emanating from the twisted gray matter of Gary Paterson. Besides, solidarity with cross dressers is not exactly a slogan to win much credibility or kudos in any department. None of the trannies I’ve known have ever seemed that much in need of remembrance. Unlike slaughtered children.

But none of that seems to matter much down at United Church headquarters these days. Gary Paterson and company are much too busy gloating over how well they’ve outsmarted fate again, not noticing as their house of cards collapses all around them.

It’s all so familiar. I heard about this same drama, once, in a story shared with me when I was nine years old, in a United Church Sunday school class. Something about the search by God for even one honest soul who could redeem the condemned and fallen cities of Sodom and Gomorrah.