Texas United Methodist Minister Burns Himself to Death to Protest Homophobia
A retired United Methodist minister from Texas burned himself to death last month to protest discrimination, sexism, racism and homophobia, Dallas News reports.
Rev. Charles Moore, 79, doused himself with gasoline and set himself on fire in the parking lot of a strip mall in his hometown of Grand Saline, located about 70-miles east of Dallas. The newspaper reports Moore screamed and tried to stand as he was engulfed in flames and witnesses tried to put out the fire with shirts, bottles of water and a fire extinguisher.
He was flown unconscious to a Dallas hospital but died from burn injuries.
In one of several suicide notes left behind, Moore explained his act was inspired by the selfless gestures by Buddhist monks, who burned themselves to death to protest the South Vietnamese government during the Vietnam War. He also underlined a passage from the New Yorker about Tibetan monks who set themselves on fire to protest China's rule.
"I would much prefer to go on living and enjoy my beloved wife and grandchildren and others, but I have come to believe that only my self-immolation will get the attention of anybody and perhaps inspire some to higher service," Moore wrote.
In another note, he cited his own church's refusal to allow same-sex couples to marry and discrimination against the LGBT community. He also took issue with the use of the death penalty in American and growing economic inequality and a number of other issues.