Really, Porterville? A major church holds a funeral for Charles Manson?


It’s shocking. But, I suppose, based on Porterville’s history, it shouldn’t be.  On Saturday, March 17, a funeral service was held for Charles Manson at the Porterville Church of the Nazarene.

This is the same church that has, for years, been solidly against marriage equality and LGBT  rights. I’ve watched a few of their You Tube videos of Sunday sermons when LGBT issues were mentioned, and it astonishes me the ignorance, falsehoods, and nonsense I’ve heard spoken from that pulpit.

Now, on top of all that, they host a funeral service for one of the most evil men to ever walk out of the 20th century. His name is synonymous with insanity, murder, and cultist criminals.

Gay people aren’t welcome to get married at this church (I’m assuming, based on their past. Anybody got information that they will permit and conduct a marriage ceremony between a same-sex couple? I’ll retract this part if they do.), but they’ll do a funeral for Manson? Astonishing.

What is it about Porterville? Our dinner group ate at a restaurant there some years ago, and on the wall was a picture of the KKK riding horses down a Porterville street, white hoods everywhere. It was dated in the 1950’s.

In 2008, the Porterville City Council became the only government body in California to formally support Proposition 8, the measure to deny marriage equality.

In 2012, chaos broke out in the Council Chambers after Mayor Guerrola issued a proclamation recognizing June as LGBT pride month. After months of inept maneuvering by three members of the Council, the proclamation was rescinded, and Mayor Gurrola and Vice Mayor McCracken removed from their ceremonial positions.

A few months later, the Times Delta published in the print edition a blog I wrote about the entire sorry affair.

The LGBT community in Porterville has always dealt with hostility from the city government, and many churches. Porterville Nazerene has been in the forefront of that hostility. Now, a funeral for Charles Manson. If they were really a church of inclusion and respect, I could see an argument where they were trying to minister to the people who were affected by the life of Manson, and offer them some respite and solace, but I just don’t see that in them. At least not institutionally. As the President might say, I’m sure some of them are very fine people.

So, Porterville. There’s another bit for your Chamber of Commerce to promote: “Porterville!  An All America City! Home of the Iris Festival, the Chili Cook Off, and funeral provider for Charles Manson! Come join our family!”


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