Crookston Times - Crookston, MN
  • Letter to the Editor: Bishop Hoeppner’s stone-throwing intolerance

  • Fosston resident Erwin Rud counters argument against same-sex marriage.
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  • Many profound teachings were given to all of us from an evolved, merciful God during the life of his son, Jesus. Early on, Jesus said, “Judge not, lest you be judged.” Mathew 7: 1-6. Bishop Michael J. Hoeppner of the Diocese of Crookston has opted for his version of Christian heresy with his stone-throwing intolerance.
    The Sadducees and Pharisees could be considered early versions of conservative Republicans and Libertarians, who kept trying to trap Jesus. The Pharisees questioned whether it was “lawful for a man to part away his wife for every cause?” Jesus said, “Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so.” Mathew 19: 3-8.
    The Sadducees, who did not believe in life after death, also tested Jesus when they asked whom a wife would be with in heaven if she married 7 brothers in turn after each brother’s death. Jesus said, “You do err, knowing neither the scriptures, nor the power of God. For in the resurrection they neither marry, nor are given in marriage, but are as the angels of God in heaven.” Mathew 22: 24-30.
    A Pharisee lawyer then attempted to trap Jesus by asking him what the greatest law was, knowing there were conflicts between the many laws of the Jewish Bible and the Commandments. Jesus had evolved to answer with the ultimate of God’s laws in social relationships. Jesus said, “You shall love the Lord your God with all of your heart, and with all of your soul, and with all of your mind. And the second is like unto it. You shall love your neighbor as yourself.” Mathew 22: 34-40.
    Fundamentalists, such as Bishop Hoeppner, have harsh judgments against same-sex marriage that come from the books of the Jewish Bible, a faith led by those who ended Jesus’ ministry. It sounds hypocritical to say same-sex marriage is “not natural” yet supposedly accept the virgin birth of Jesus or his ascension into heaven in front of his disciples. That is if they really accept Jesus as the son of God and aren’t just followers of the Jewish faith.
    Fundamentalists like Hoeppner throw the stone of “immorality” at same-sex marriages. They ignore Jesus’ admonition, “And why do you behold the mote that is in your brother's eye, but consider not the beam that is in your own eye?” Luke 6: 37-42; Mathew 7: 1-5. The real immorality is fundamentalist greed in avoiding fair taxes to pay for those necessary programs like education, food, shelter and health care to help neighbors who have not shared in the wealth generated by their own hard work. And we know what Jesus thought of that!
    Page 2 of 2 - Jesus said, “You judge after the flesh; I judge no man. And yet if I judge, my judgment is true: for I am not alone, but I and the Father that sent me.” John 8: 15-16
    As Hillary Clinton said, “it takes a village” to raise a child. A “village” includes the responsibility for providing supports and role-modeling of all of us for all our children, whether from married, gay/lesbian married, or divorced families. The examples, both good and bad, of providing such responsibilities are all there. The Catholic Church’s toleration of abuse of children by priests over many years does not correct that abomination by now advocating intolerance for any other group of people!
    For most of us blessed to have married someone of the opposite sex and more to still share and care with them our entire lives, how does it matter if our neighbor is blessed to care and share their life with any person who may also raise children in the village? And how will it help in the fundamental preservation of the constitutional separation of church and state established by our founding fathers to avoid the terrible history of religious wars in Europe? Isn’t advocating government interference in such personal decisions of other people the ultimate religious and political hypocrisy? I will be voting “NO” on the marriage constitutional amendment and the other constitutional amendment trying to take away my right to vote!
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