Monday, November 14, 2005

Amen

From today's "letters" section in the StarTribune. Very nicely stated.

Pastors and gay marriage

Break down walls

Like most of the pastors and ministers in town, I did not attend the so-called "Pastors' Summit" in Eden Prairie (Star Tribune, Nov. 11).

I read that there was a workshop on "the truth of the homosexual lifestyle," led by state Sen. Michele Bachmann's husband.

Maybe I could have helped him out, as my congregation has many members who are lesbian and gay. I know a lot about "the truth" of their lives: about the families they care for, the children they love, the challenges they face in jobs, the mortgages to pay, and, yes, the sin to confess and faith to struggle with -- just like the rest of us.

While my denomination endorses same-gender marriage ("Equal Marriage Rights for All" was passed by the General Synod of the United Church of Christ in July 2005), we're willing to be religiously tolerant and get along with those who believe marriage is male/female only.

But what I -- and my congregation -- are really worried about is that this Minnesota for Marriage seeks not only to ban same-gender marriage but also to dismantle shared insurance benefits and interfere with adoptions. This agenda is plain brutish and mean.

Christianity is about love and "breaking down dividing walls of hostility" (Ephesians 2), not about putting them up.

It's about caring for children and helping the vulnerable. Let's all get with the program.

THE REV. HEIDI HILF VARDEMAN,
SENIOR MINISTER, MACALESTER PLYMOUTH
UNITED CHURCH, ST. PAUL

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