Story quotes espoused hatred

Published 9:13 am Thursday, August 7, 2014

To the Editor:

The quotes from local ministers regarding the potential for recognition of marriage equality in North Carolina (Saturday, Aug. 2, Roanoke-Chowan News-Herald) were concerning for a number of reasons. One reason was the complete disregard for factual evidence.

Rev. Ross cited “studies” (which studies, he neglects to specify) that claim that a mother and father are better for raising a child. Yet, in Perry v. Schwarzenegger, the case regarding California’s Same Sex Marriage Ban, the American Psychological Association wrote an amicus brief that completely rejected Rev. Ross’s argument and asserted that same sex parents were equally qualified to raise children.

Also concerning was that these ministers want the government to make laws that enforce their morals, ignoring our country’s, and Christianity’s, long standing belief in freedom of religion and separation of church and state.

However, nothing was more concerning than the fact that these ministers were using the Bible to justify their discrimination against same sex couples, just as Christians in the past did to justify discrimination against women and African Americans.

In doing so, these ministers ignored the teachings of our lord – my lord – Jesus Christ. It’s worth noting that that not one minister quotes Jesus, or even the New Testament, to support their views. They left out John 13:34, which states “A new commandment I give unto you, That ye love one another; as I have loved you, that ye also love one another.”

By ignoring our savior, they steered Christianity away from the realm of  religion and into the realm hate groups.

Suicide rates of LGBTQ teens are higher than teens in general, according to numerous academic articles, including one from the Journal of Public Health. That same article cites bullying as the leading cause of LGBTQ teen suicide.

When these ministers misconstrue the bible to disparage gays, when they use fringe studies to say that same-sex couples can’t parent, when they encourage the government to define gays as “lesser”, children in the congregation hear that it is ok to bully LGBTQ teens or children of LGBTQ parents. These ministers aren’t encouraging love, they’re encouraging hate, even if they don’t intend to.

I’m assuming the News Herald included the views of these ministers to provide the “Christian” perspective on Same Sex Marriage. If so, they failed to do so fully. Christianity is about love; these quotes espoused hatred.

South A. Moore