Not all religious people are fundamentalists

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Re: “Church to blame for LGBTQ Suicides,” Oct. 26

I was compelled to write a response to the editorial written by James Formosa in the Oct. 26 edition of The Cord to defend an institution that has the ability to play a very powerful role in the lives of LGBTQ youth who struggle for meaning and acceptance. I am a member of the Eastern Synod of the Evangelical Lutheran Church of Canada.

The church voted this summer to accept openly gay ministers and same sex blessings within the church, both motions passed with a two-thirds majority. The church is not an organization whose purpose is to perpetuate hate and for all who are under that impression I would like to issue an apology. There are people in the world who use religion as a reason to promote hate and use the Bible as “proof” that the God hates the LGBTQ community. This is wrong for a number of reasons.

The Bible doesn’t speak, the Bible is interpreted. We must understand the time in which the Bible was written to grasp the true meaning of what the Bible is trying to convey. Leviticus also states that it’s a sin to eat shrimp yet it something most of us have unashamedly done. The story of Sodom and Gomorrah was used as an example of God punishing indecency; however there are people in the church who believe that it wasn’t homosexuality but the lack of hospitality that the parable refers to.

I reject Mr. Formosa’s ultimatum to “moderate” and feel that it is ignorant to the attempts currently being made by a majority of church members to create a loving, and accepting community of faith.

Homophobia is an issue whether you see yourself as a religious person or not. Suicides among young members of the LGBTQ community are painfully tragic. However perpetuating this divisive attitude between church and secular thought will not solve the issue of homophobia in society. All people need to develop a better understanding of how words can truly hurt and have a long-lasting effect on a person. One day we may live in a world where people don’t feel the need to externalize blame or feel ashamed for who they are but at the moment it can only ever truly get better when we all understand that each of us play a role in creating an inclusive culture.


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