Thursday, June 12, 2008

Christian voice of Tolerance

In today's LA Times Opinion section, columnist Patt Morrison expounds on the recent decision by the county clerk of Kern County, CA to lock the doors to any and all civil unions in the county. The clerk, Ann Barnett, also serves as auditor and controller of the county. She cites a lack of resources to handle all the license requests and ceremonies that will come now that California has allowed same-sex marriages. Interesting how, just before she made this decision, she tried first to tried to get the county lawyers to petition the state Supreme Court to injoin the implementation of their ruling, then tried to resign the clerk part of her position. And then the county attorney told her that the county would be hit with quick lawsuits if she refused same-sex marriages.

She also described a radio ad run by a Kern County Ford dealership which states: "[D]id you know that 86% of Americans say they believe in God? Now, since we all know that 86 out of every 100 of us are Christians who believe in God, we at Kieffe & Sons Ford wonder why we don't just tell the other 14% to sit down and shut up. I guess maybe I just offended 14% of the people who are listening to this message." The dealership has apologized several times, weakly.

Somehow, I don't see Kern County becoming a gay Mecca anytime soon.

Finally, and thankfully, the Letters section yesterday ran a letter from Rev. Dr. Paul Tellstrom of Irvine, who wrote in response to a June 5 two-page ad from the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property. Here is the full published text of his letter (emphasis from me):
As a pastor, I occasionally get crazy tracts sent to me in the mail -- "irrefutable" evidence of this or that being proved by the Bible. This ad resembles those crazy missives. It contains five headings, 25 subheadings, a conclusion, end notes, an ad and a photo of their medieval banner with a lion. I suggest that readers save it to show their children an example of both the bigotry of the age they were born into and of what happens when religion goes bad.

It's funny what happens when you draw a line to keep others out. Jesus is always standing on the other side of the line. A lot of people are standing on the wrong side of this particular line, and their influence is gradually and blessedly waning. It will be a good thing for the church when it finally does.

I love that line!

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