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Pastor backs ELCA decision on ordaining gays

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TO THE EDITOR:

Appreciation goes to Ina Murray for her column about the decision of the ELCA to allow gays in committed relationships to be ordained.

As an ELCA Pastor, I can definitely confirm how polarizing and difficult this matter has been. My strict mother and my gay cousin have each left this church; one objecting that it is immoral, the other that it is intolerant. There were many such opposing views as we debated how best to serve God's will.

I myself support this decision because I've observed that human sexuality is a most complicated reality. For example, recent news reported that world champion runner, Caster Semenya, has both female and male organs. If I were God, I would not have "knit her together in the womb" like that. For that matter, I wouldn't have made myself much the way I am either.

But I am not God. My place is to respect how we are all "fearfully and wonderfully made"; and that God gives each person unique talents and different callings.

This ELCA decision is not an encouragement to sexual promiscuity. It is the opposite. It requires gay Pastors to be either celibate or in committed relationships; and it calls for all people--straight and gay--to restrict sex to committed relationships. That means marriage wherever it is legal. Marriage is the absolute best deterrent against promiscuity; because penalties for cheating on a spouse are so severe.

Moreover, the joy of marriage is a blessing from God desired by everyone. It is unjust and cruel to restrict it from others simply because God made them differently. Jesus' golden rule is that we do for others as we want them to do for us.

Rev. Peter Friberg

Spring Valley

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