My wife and I love America, love Maine and our lovely town of Phippsburg. Ever since we came to America in 1962 when I was discharged from the American Army, we have volunteered in many different areas.

We also took several shortterm mission trips behind the “Iron Curtain” to encourage Christians, who were persecuted under Communism. We even worked with the “slum people” in Haiti and Nicaragua.

Why am I mentioning this?

Jesus said: “ I was hungry and you gave me to eat: I was thirsty, and you gave me to drink; I was a stranger and you visited me, I was in prison and you came to me” (Mathew 25:36).

Jesus also said: “You have heard it said, love your neighbor and hate your enemies, but I say to you, love your enemies and pray for those who persecute you” (Matthew 5:43- 44).

This has not always been easy for me after neighbors, friends and relatives denounced my father. The Communists sent my father to Siberia, where he died in a concentration camp. They also confiscated all our property and drove us out of our country. I was able to forgive, many years later.

Now to the Marriage Equality, or Question 1, which will be on the ballot Nov. 6.

The definition if marriage has been the same for thousands of years, even in the barbarian societies. It always referred to the union between a man and a woman. It goes back to the beginning, when God created Adam, the first human. Then God said:” It is not good for man to be alone; I will make him a helper suitable for him.”

The “helper” was a woman, not another man.

People who will read this letter will probably say: “More of this religious stuff !”

However, my definition is based on God’s love. God is love and he commands us to “love one another!” You may say: “I love my partner, he just happens to be gay, and so am I!”

Marriage is not just built on love, but on the couple’s ability to bring forth life, which is biologically impossible in a same sex marriage.

Is there a definition on the validity of “same sex” marriage other than the biblical one? There is. A prominent German philosopher of the 18th century, Emanuel Kant, states in his “Critique of Pure Reason,” that no human activity or preference, based on inclination or desire, has any moral value. Reasoning and the exercise thereof must pass the scrutiny of the “categorical imperative.”

The categorical imperative, simply stated, says, “would your action survive if everybody were to do as you do?”

For example, if everyone were to steal or kill, what would the result be?

And so, if everybody had a same-sex partner in his or her union, would our society survive?

Of course not, possibly in three generations, nobody would be left. Therefore, any reasoning that the result of same-sex marriage is the result of an evolutionary process is not valid.

Am I homophobic because I intend to vote “No” on Question 1? I judge nobody, no matter what his or her sin is. I am also a sinner in need of salvation.

Five years ago, as part of my calling to be a hospital chaplain, I visited John, who was dying of AIDS. He was so grateful for my visit, that he called me “father,” and he kissed my hand. People often call on their “daddy” when they know their time is up, and they may soon meet their “maker.”

I was glad to hold this gay man’s hand and to comfort him with prayer.

SIEGFRIED CESH lives in Phippsburg and is a trained hospital and prison chaplain. He also served as an ordained elder of the Presbyterian church. He and his wife are now attending North Woolwich Methodist church.

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