I’ve long been a fan of Al Quie, a moderate Republican congressman and governor whose legacy of bipartisan problem-solving is one I admire. But his letter to the editor in the Strib yesterday fussing over the ELCA vote last summer to allow gays and lesbians, in committed relationships, to serve as clergy makes me wonder: What is he afraid of? As a letter writer in today’s paper states: “no congregation will be forced to call a pastor it deems unfit.”
Worse, he states “Think about our youth. The ELCA decision is a travesty upon our youth.” That’s bullshit, and even most evangelical youth would agree with me. See this for example:
An earlier survey, conducted by the conservative Barna Group in 2007, found that 80% of the 16 to 29 year old evangelical churchgoers who responded to the survey felt that present-day Christianity shows “excessive contempt and unloving attitudes towards gays and lesbians.” The Barna assessment also added that churches were not helping young people relate to their gay friends.
Worse yet, he endorses the organization Lutheran CORE which states on its website that one of its goals is to “Uphold the Biblical norms for marriage, family and sexuality.” Huh? It’s pretty much accepted by most church-going folks I know that what Richard Dawkins said about the God of the Old Testament is right on the mark:
The God of the Old Testament is arguably the most unpleasant character in all fiction: jealous and proud of it; a petty, unjust, unforgiving control-freak; a vindictive, bloodthirsty ethnic cleanser; a misogynistic, homophobic, racist, infanticidal, genocidal, filicidal, pestilential, megalomaniacal, sadomasochistic, capriciously malevolent bully.
Say it ain’t so, Al.