On June 17, 2014 I sent a letter to Trinity Lutheran in Watertown, Wisconsin expressing my views on their church sign, which opposed same-sex marriage. They replied to my letter, saying in part, “We don't hate homosexuals. We don't hate those who are temped by homosexual thoughts. We love them. We love them enough to tell them the truth.” Below is my response:
Dear Pastor Brauer and Pastor Kuckhahn,
I appreciate you reading my letter and taking the time to respond to me. I wanted to bring up a few additional points in response to your letter.
First of all, it sounds to me as though you view being gay as an “action” one can choose to engage in. However, that simply isn't the case.
Gay is not something I do. It's something I am. I'm not just gay when I'm making love. I'm gay all the time. I'm gay right this minute as I write this letter. As the Rev. John Hansen once said, “If God created each person with a certain orientation, then are we saying that God made a mistake?”
Being gay is no more of a choice than being straight...or even the color of ones skin. And it's not just us gay people saying that, every major medical organization confirms it, including the American Academy of Family Physicians, American Academy of Nursing, American Academy of Pediatrics, American Medical Association, American Psychiatric Association, American Psychological Association and the National Association of Social Workers.
The Lutheran church has always held that it is the state that defines what marriage is; it's the church that then blesses people who enter into that relationship. Since a growing number of states are including same-sex couples in marriage, so should the church.
Unlike the Roman Catholic Church, there is no overarching bureaucracy or leadership that governs all Lutheran interpretation of scripture. Many synods find homosexuality natural and compatible with their teachings.
In fact, in 2009, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America — of which Holy Trinity is a member — voted on a social statement that, for the first time, accepted church leaders could be in monogamous, lifelong same-sex relationships. It also opened the door to allowing churches to perform same-sex marriage ceremonies.
Love is love and it belongs to everybody. Who are you to speak for God? Jesus would be ashamed to find that gay people currently have over 1,200 fewer rights than those who are straight. Anyone with a soul knows that is just plain wrong. It's hateful and it's wrong.
Regardless of what you continue to believe, I don't hate you. But I love you enough to tell you the truth.