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Episcopal Decision on Gays in the Church

August 13, 2003

Re "Episcopal Church Plays Russian Roulette on the Gay Issue," by Charlotte Allen, Opinion, Aug. 10: Without faithful clergy and laypeople who are willing to be condemned and vilified for their questioning of the familiar and comfortable status quo, we would still be a nation divided by legalized slavery and codified segregation. Each of these social wrongs was defended by proponents who cited selected passages from biblical Scripture.

Perhaps if we look 50 or 150 years down the road the Episcopal Church in the United States will be vindicated for its stand on the issue of homosexuality.

Rebecca Merwin

Alhambra

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Allen cannot have it both ways. On the one hand, she says the Episcopal Church has "painted itself into a corner of trendiness." On the other hand, she blames the denomination's 30-year decline in membership on its trendiness. Whoa! As politicians know, pandering to trends is repaid with popularity, not unpopularity. If the sustained course of the Episcopal Church results in declining popularity, as Allen maintains, then that course obviously does not pander to trends.

On the contrary, adhering to principles that lose members better resembles adhering to unpopular ideas that one nonetheless believes true -- and paying the price in unpopularity. Jesus was not popular either. He paid the price.

Allen's self-contradictory argument insidiously turns religious truth into a popularity contest.

Ivan Light

Claremont

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As a lifetime Episcopalian, I am filled with grief over the appointment of the Rev. Canon V. Gene Robinson, a practicing homosexual, as a bishop of my church. It's as if the church has finally been successful in killing itself off. It's as if the resurrected Jesus has been put to death again.

James M. Evans

Orange

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Although Jesus was very specific in condemning divorce, he said nothing about gays being excluded from church leadership. I'm wondering if all this religious angst about gays will someday be about as controversial as divorce is today in our church. Do we care what Jesus' sexual orientation was? Why do we assume he was heterosexual?

Marshal Phillips

Los Angeles

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