Church refuses to let Jewish lesbian volunteer at Hurricane Harvey relief effort

A Texas woman who volunteered at a church to help families in need after Hurricane Harvey has been ‘fired’ after the church found she’s Jewish and a lesbian.

Carmen Hix told OutSmart magazine that The Calvary Church in Friendswood, Texas needed volunteers to help at the food bank after Hurricane Harvey devastated the community. Hix decided to take off a week from work and donate $500 worth of food to the church. On Friday, September 8, she was taken by surprise when she was called in by a volunteer and the church’s pastor, Ron Hindt, who told her she was no longer welcome at the church after he found out about her religion and sexuality.

Carmen Hix told the news station she was hurt by their request, adding that she had nothing but good intentions. She said that she couldn’t sit idly by after Hurricane Harvey hit her native Texas. “I took a leave of absence – I work part time – and decided just to do 10 days straight of volunteering,” Hix told Channel 2.

Hix said she started getting questions from the man supervising the church’s food bank when he noticed she’d been saying “shalom” at the end of prayer each day. Typically, the group all came together to pray before they started working each morning but she simply bowed her head in respect and said the salutation which means “peace be with you” in Hebrew.

“The gentleman asked me, looked me in the eye, and says, ‘Are you a Christian?’ and I said, ‘No, I identify as being Jewish,’ and he said then you can no longer volunteer for Calvary,” Hix said.

Once she got home, Hix told the magazine she called the church to complain about the pastor and was invited back in. But when she arrived, she was confronted by the pastor  about “rumors” of her sexual orientation. According to Hix, the pastor said that he ‘can’t let you represent our church, as being a Lesbian is a sin’.

Hix said that Hindt suggested that Hix and her partner, Christina Fiddmont-Norfleet, who have been together for 20 years attend a service so that they would learn about homosexuality and God’s will.

“He said when God strikes your heart and brings to light the sinfulness of your ways you’ll be able to walk away from that relationship and you’ll be good with God.”

The church’s pastor responded to the controversy in a Facebook post, claiming that they “would never” do such a thing. “Unfortunately, we’re saddened by an incident involving some miscommunication that took place off campus in an exchange between various community volunteers at the church’s food pantry. At no time did I ever say you couldn’t serve here. I told her I have Jewish friends. I go to Israel all the time…” Hindt wrote in a now deleted Facebookpost.

OutSmart magazine reached out to the Calvary Church for a comment, but did not get a response.

 

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