Pastor Fired After Dressing in Drag for TV Show
(Link): UMC pastor relieved of duties after performing as drag queen on HBO series
by Michael Gryboski, Christian Post Reporter
December 8, 2021
A United Methodist Church pastor was recently relieved of his duties after participating as a drag queen in the HBO reality series “We’re Here.”
The Rev. Craig Duke, formerly the lead pastor of Newburgh United Methodist Church, was relieved of his duties effective Dec. 1. The Rev. Mark Dicken will serve as interim pastor.
Duke became the center of controversy after being featured in a Nov. 8 episode of the docu-series. In the episode, Duke was shown preaching to his congregation about love before transitioning into singing Kesha’s song “We Are Who We Are” with “drag mother” Eureka O’Hara.
The series follows three renowned drag artists who travel to small towns across the country teaching local residents how to perform as drag queens. Craig was nominated by the River City Pride organization to take part in the series.
…Craig participated in the show in support of his daughter who identifies as pansexual. Duke told The Courier Press in a Tuesday interview that his wife, Linda, also stepped down from her role as the church’s youth pastor.
(Link): Pastor faces backlash after dressing in drag on HBO show
by Alex Nitzberg
Dec 7, 2021
Pastor Craig Duke, who faced backlash after dressing in drag on the HBO program “We’re Here,” has been relieved of his pastoral duties at Newburgh United Methodist Church in Indiana.
Emails from congregants started not long after the program aired Nov. 8, Duke said, according to Religion News Service, which noted that some of the comments that Duke got were positive. But others were not.
“Enough were so negative that — at the ‘insistence’ of Newburgh’s Staff-Parish Relations Committee, Duke said — he requested a new assignment from Bishop Julius C. Trimble of the Indiana Conference of the United Methodist Church,” RNS reported.
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