Your Letters: Different views on the Bible and marriage
Using the Bible to advance a political agenda is nothing new--it has been used to justify all kinds of discrimination, prejudice and evil acts.
According to the Rev. Allen Refsland's column, "God's law establishes marriage", printed in last week's Wadena Pioneer Journal, it would appear that he and I are reading different books. My Bible describes different marriage arrangements.
Historically, marriages were much like the Biblical examples--the attitudes of the individuals were seldom considered. Marriages were arranged to provide family continuity, to settle legal disputes, to amass power, and to cement political alliances.
The marriages in our country today involve two people who love each other and make a contract. They share a number of benefits as a unit.
Marriage laws have been stretched, contracted and changed to provide for different people in different circumstances. They have also reflected groups' prejudices.
Today's scientific and social researchers have shown us that sexual preferences are inborn, as unchanging as the color of one's skin. If we wish to add Christian teaching, God created us with all sorts of variations, but Christ commanded us to love everyone. To love one another means to accept one another. To accept one another is seldom easy.
The nature of marriage is currently being discussed, and Refsland's political stance is just that: political. To assert that the Bible justifies denying one group the rights and privileges of the rest of us only divides us further and misrepresents Biblical wisdom.
The Constitution of Minnesota should not be used for social engineering. The present attempt to change it by voter appeal does nothing to advance the health and welfare of the state or its people. It is a ploy to avoid a veto by a governor who does not want to change today's political hot issue into a basic tenant of government policy.
Do we want this to guide our grandchildren 50 years from now, or will they look on it as another example of antiquated bias? Will this marriage amendment help bring us together, or will it further divide us?
And finally, I wish to send a message to all the priests, ministers and clergy here in Wadena. Many of you do not share the kind of bias demonstrated by in last week's "Faith Chat", either personally or as representatives of your congregations. "Faith Chat" is a column open to you. Many of you are some of the best educated people in the community, and we need your wisdom on many matters. Please consider writing for this column.