Letter to the Editor

Letters to the editor

Saturday, October 6, 2007

On taking a stand

Dear editor:

This letter comes in response to your paper's Oct. 3 article on the upcoming candlelight vigil of the Pride Alliance of Cottey College and to a letter addressed to local churches from that group. I write to express two things: 1) outside of a just war, violence and hatred against those with whom we disagree is a sin for Christians and unacceptable in a democratic society; and 2) why sadly, I Will be unable to support this vigil.

As the son of a Holocaust survivor, and as one who has been physically attacked for defending the civil rights of others, I shout a loud "Amen!" to all who oppose bullying and hate crimes. Currently, our nation's soldiers are fighting those who use religion and violence to advance their views. The freedoms that my father sought and that I treasure in America, include the right to disagree without being physically attacked or being labeled intolerant If Monday's vigil was limited to opposing violence against the homosexual community and not part of a national agenda, then I would be there, lighting a candle for each of my many relatives that were gassed and burned by people who defied what God's Word clearly states.

As a pastor in the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod, I bear the shame that fellow Lutherans in Germany and elsewhere, went along with those who stated that faith is private and thus has nothing to do with public morality. With the survivors, I shout, "never again" to those who would divorce personal faith from public morality. Accordingly, I wish to provide a brief response to three oftrepeated arguments used by groups in the gay rights movement, such as those nationally sponsoring these vigils.

The INNATENESS argument claims that homosexuality is "inborn"; therefore, it is normal and God ordained. God's Word-the Bible-states that all people are born sinners and that God does not accept us as we are. Proof of that is Jesus; He came to pay for our sins, which includes both being born a sinner and our sinful acts. Homosexual acts clearly are chosen, making the person who chooses them morally responsible.

The INSIGNIFICANCE argument states that most homosexuals are decent people; therefore, their homosexuality is insignificant. The Bible asserts, and human experience confirms, that homosexuality is a significant sin that has negative consequences. Studies in the Netherlands show that gay men in same-sex marriages have an average of eight outside sexual partners per year, usually with the full knowledge of their spouse. In Sweden and Norway, there is a general trend away from marriage and toward more frequent out-of-wedlock births and skyrocketing family dissolution. Broader acceptance of adultery and its resulting domestic instability can never be in the best interest of couples, children, or society at large.

The INTOLERANCE argument maintains that Biblical morality is ignorant and dangerous; therefore, it must be silenced. Having personally experienced racism and violence, I shout from the rooftops the worth of homosexuals as persons, and that bullying and violence are wrong! However, I reject the irrational belief that to disagree with someone's behavior is somehow to dehumanize or "bash" him or her.

As a parent, I've learned that there are times when the most loving word in the English language is "no!"

Finally, as Martin Lutheran King, Jr., reminds us, "The Church is neither the master of the state, nor is it the servant of the state. Rather, it is the conscience of the state."

God help any culture whose conscience abdicates its role! Sincerely,

Rev. Johannes W. Brann, pastor, Trinity Lutheran Church. Nevada