Sunday, December 8, 2013
Pastor Sandy Williams of First Baptist Church of Freeport (Another View, "Civil marriage and religious marriage are one and the same," June 22) wants us to believe that religious people have always marched in lockstep and that he knows what all Christians must believe.
Dick Cheney’s daughter, Mary, recently married her longtime female partner, and the former vice president said he was “delighted.”
The Associated Press
Perhaps he's forgotten other teachings -- from the same Holy Scriptures -- that emphasize God's inclusive embrace: "Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love" (1 John 4:7-8). Surely this doesn't refer only to heterosexuals.
We who see marriage equality as a fresh and authentic incarnation of God's love are dismissed as "renegade preachers and aberrant religious groups." I'm one of the growing number of Christians who believe Jesus was all about barrier-breaking as he confronted the religious establishment of his day.
Over 40 years of ordained ministry, I've extended God's blessing to hundreds of couples. Each has promised faithfulness and permanence. That's a high and holy commitment. Our congregation believes making and honoring such promises builds the common good. That's why they've authorized their pastors to extend God's blessing to both straight and gay couples.
Same-gender couples have always lived among us and are a valued presence in our families, communities and congregations. The fact that some religious people condemn them doesn't diminish the truth that same-gender marriage will come in city hall and will be blessed in many of our sanctuaries.
I, for one, "renegade preacher" that I apparently have become, will celebrate that day along with many other people of faith -- and those who may have given up on the narrow and rigid forms of religion that want to push gays and lesbians back into the closet.
The Rev. John B. McCall
First Congregational Church, UCC
As Mainers consider their vote on same-sex marriage this November, they might reflect on a couple of recent news items relevant to the discussion.
The first is that David Blankenhorn, president and founder of the Institute on American Values, a recognized author, speaker and consultant on traditional marriage, made a public statement June 22 that he was recanting his opposition to same-sex marriage.
In his op-ed in The New York Times, he stated, "The time has come for me to accept gay marriage and emphasize the good that it can do."
Noted, also, in the news was the marriage of Dick Cheney's daughter Mary to her long-term partner on June 22 in Washington, D.C. The Republican former vice president and his wife were quoted as saying, "We are delighted that they were able to take advantage of the opportunity to have that relationship recognized." The couple has two children.
The District of Columbia, along with six states (New Hampshire, Vermont, Massachusetts, Connecticut, New York and Iowa), recognizes same-sex marriage. Nine states recognize domestic partnerships or civil unions.
I recently retired to Maine from Massachusetts and can verify that the quality of life for everyone only improved in Massachusetts after it approved same-sex marriage. I hope Maine will follow suit.
Thomas W. McClain
Piece on global warming misleading, irresponsible
This spring, one of my 11th-grade environmental science students asked, "Didn't some prominent scientists at NASA change their opinion on climate change? I saw an article about it in the Portland Press Herald."
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