Everyone entitled to religious opinions

Letter to the editor

Posted: Sunday, January 11, 2004

Thanks to Pastor Pat Brayton for sharing his interpretations of biblical scripture concerning homosexuals. Isn't it great to live in a country where religious views can be expressed without fear of governmental intervention? I don't believe Pastor Brayton was writing out of malice towards gays and lesbians, but simply reviewing the beliefs of his and many other Christian faiths. I am confident that Pastor Brayton spent many hours in prayer and reflection before writing the article, and I wholeheartedly support the right of his church to limit their marriages to heterosexuals only.

I am also confident that Gene Robinson, the gay Episcopal bishop from New Hampshire, has also spent many hours in prayer and reflection on this issue and has been inspired with different interpretations of God's will. Some Episcopal churches perform ceremonies for gay unions and other Christian churches actually perform gay weddings. In fact, many of the plaintiffs in the recent Massachusetts case legalizing gay marriage in that state have already been married in Christian churches and are petitioning for governmental recognition as well. They also consider Christ as binding their holy matrimonies.

While some religious scholars consider gay marriage as acceptable in the eyes of Christ, others agree with Pastor Brayton that gays are condemned by God. Which opinion should the government oppose? Pastor Brayton wrote, "Some in this debate have suggested that everyone is entitled to their own private interpretation of what God has said in the Bible." Yes, this is America and we are all entitled to our own religious opinions, even Pastor Brayton. Freedom from government intervention in our religious lives has long been a traditional American value. Churches that wish to perform gay marriages should have the same right to governmental recognition as those that don't. All should be treated equally, with no preference given to one religious doctrine over another.

Larry Woodall

Juneau



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