ST. PAUL — It’s a story 2,000 years old: People read the same words in the Bible, but come up with different conclusions.
That is center to a debate about amending the Minnesota Constitution to define marriage as between a man and a woman. The bottom-line difference is about whether religious doctrine allows gays to marry.
To the Rev. Jeff Evans, there is no doubt the amendment follows God’s wishes. It is, he said, an issue “the Gospels are very, very clear on.”
Those who oppose the amendment, Evans said, are just following parts of the Bible with which they agree. “If you cut and paste … then you can come up with anything.”
The Rev. Grant Stevensen, who opposes the amendment, reads the Bible differently.
For Stevensen and others campaigning against the amendment, the Golden Rule says: “Treat other people as we would like to be treated.”
“I am concerned about the state of Minnesota drawing lines between people,” Stevensen added, something he sees as violating the Bible’s Golden Rule.
Evans and Stevenson coordinate religious activities for the two amendment campaigns, with what probably is the most extensive religious involvement of any state that has debated a marriage definition thus far.
The 30 states that have debated a constitutional amendment similar to the one Minnesotans will decide in the Nov. 6 election all passed it. However, amendment opponents say that in other states, faith communities that opposed the amendments did not have time to mount resistance like they are in Minnesota.
Most of the state’s conservative evangelical churches side with the Catholic Church, the state’s largest denomination, in favor of the amendment. Evans is pastor for the evangelical Christ Church Twin Cities in Minnetonka.
Amendment opponents include most of the second-largest denomination, the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, and Jewish synagogues that have taken stands on the issue. Stevensen is pastor at St. Matthew’s, an ELCA church in St. Paul.
– full report at Grand Forks Herald
- Chris Kluwe Calls Minnesota’s Gay Marriage Ban Anti-American (ontopmag.com)
- St. Paul Area Lutherans On Record Against Marriage Amendment (minnesota.cbslocal.com)
- Minnesota Lutherans reject gay marriage ban (queeringthechurch.com)
- Thomson Reuters Lines up Against Gay Marriage Ban (abcnews.go.com)
- Gay marriage vote divides Minnesota clergy (queerchurchnews.wordpress.com)
- Is Opposing Marriage Equality Christian? (horsesass.org)