To the Parkersburg/Marietta community and all Americans:
In light of the recent decision of Chick-fil-A to participate in a national day of support for its public position against same-sex marriage, along with the comments of many that "all Christians should show their support for this position" by patronizing this establishment on the day in question, I feel obliged to state the following:
While admittedly controversial, not all Christians are against the concept of same-sex marriage. I myself am a Christian and seriously devoted to the teachings of Jesus Christ. While this is not the forum to debate the theological issues surrounding this issue, suffice it to say that there is much written by many Christian theologians that support the concept of same-sex marriage. Moreover, the movement of the Spirit within many Christian communities, albeit again controversial, has led many churches to embrace fully gays and lesbians, and end the centuries-old rhetoric that has led to much hatred and discrimination against this minority group.
Furthermore, marriage does not just have a religious dimension, but also a civil one, and it is within the latter sphere that many are fighting for the rights of same-sex couples to marry. The non-establishment clause in the 1st Amendment, prohibiting any civil law that promotes a particular religious perspective, along with the "equal protection" clause of the 14th Amendment, guaranteeing that this nation must live up to its founding ideal that "all ... are created equal," will eventually lead this nation to protect same-sex civil marriage. Churches may preach and practice what they want about their position on gay and lesbian people and their rights, but no church community can have its position imposed upon the civil community; such action would be unconstitutional.
Therefore, to all gays and lesbians, please know that there is a diversity of opinion on these and many other issues within the Christian community, and to all fellow Christians, I ask that you reconsider positions and actions that divide and discriminate against, as opposed to uniting and affirming, an all too persecuted minority. Sincerely, in the Spirit of Jesus of Nazareth and the Prophets of Old.