Saturday, September 13, 2008
From the mailbag ...
Following up on the press coverage of the September 10th statement by the Bishops of California opposing Proposition 8, we've been encouraging folks to write Letters to the Editor at the L.A Times in support of our bishops' position. Here are a few of the ones we've sent in as an encouragment for others to "go and do likewise."
I was delighted to read that the Episcopal bishops took such a strong stand against Proposition 8. I believe it is critical as we approach this important election for people of faith to stand up and oppose this effort to take constitutionally guaranteed rights away from Californians who happen to be gay or lesbian. To do anything less would be to reduce our cherished "liberty and justice for all" to "liberty and justice for some." Our laws should guarantee the same fundamental rights and freedoms to every Californian.
Freedom of religion in this great country of ours protects the state from dictating to me, as an Episcopal priest, how I exercise my ministry. It is equally important that freedom from religion protect our constitution from those who would write their theology into it. We are a democracy, not a theocracy. Bravo to the bishops of the Episcopal Church for standing up to say so!
(The Reverend) Susan Russell
The coverage you gave to the Episcopal bishop’s statement against Proposition 8 was gratifying. Since some religious groups are organized to promote this proposition which deprives gay and lesbian people of the right to marry and perpetuates prejudice against them, it is important that people understand that theirs is not the only religious view. I would hope that other groups would step forward to stand against prejudice, and that the November election, among other things will be a positive referendum for equal treatment and equal rights in California.
The Rev. Warner R. Traynham
Thank you for covering the Episcopal bishop's statement regarding Proposition 8. Stories about gay marriage often imply that all Christian churches and people have one view on this matter, and that is certainly not the case. In fact, many of us are alarmed at a call to return to Biblical standards regarding marriage. For a large portion of the Bible, the marriage standard is polygamy (with, in addition to multiple wives, a goodly number of concubines.)
This includes such intriguing prospects as the right to marry the widow of your enemy whom you have just slain and the obligation to marry your brother's widow should he predecease you. I think most of us can agree that our thinking on marriage has evolved for the better since those times, and continues to evolve as God leads us to understand how to treat each other with true respect.
I am deeply grateful for the inclusive position taken by the Episcopal Bishops in the State of California to stand against de facto segregation of persons who happen to be gay or lesbian. Fifty years ago our country passed laws to prohibit the segregation of black children from white children in public schools. It is time to extend basic civil rights and equal opportunity to persons of same sex orientation whose sexuality is as God-given as black skin or Asian ancestry.
"Domestic Partnerships," permitted to same-sex couples, are not the same as marriage. It is just another "separate but equal" myth designed to segregate those whom some religious groups choose to exclude. Segregation and discrimination are wrong. If Proposition 8 passes, I am confident that, sooner or later, it will be declared unconstitutional by the Supreme Court that serves to uphold the legal system that has made this country great. So why pass this prejudicial proposition in the first place? As the people of God, in whatever faith tradition, let us affirm those laws that reflect God's grace and mercy for all.
(The Reverend) Judith Heffron