|Rev. Matthew Harrison
President, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
Rev. Matthew Harrison
President, Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod
1333 S. Kirkwood Rd.
St. Louis, Missouri 63122
Dear Pastor Harrison:
I am a great admirer of yours. As a member of the LCMS and as an LCMS blogger, I have been a witness to your leadership through several crises in the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod during the last few years. I have admired your calm, compassionate, humble, and forgiving demeanor in leading the LCMS. Your behavior is a wonderful reflection of the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth.
Today, I am no longer an LCMS Lutheran. I am no longer an orthodox Christian. But that is not why I am writing to you. I am writing to you to appeal to you as a good man, a good human being, and as a good disciple of the loving, compassionate Jesus, to put an end to the campaign of Hate against Gays and Lesbians that permeates the blogosphere on the websites of several LCMS pastors.
Neither I nor my organization has any intention of trying to tell you what to believe. If you choose to believe and teach that it is immoral for women of your Faith to be seen in public without being fully covered from head to toe, that is your constitutional right. If you choose to believe that it is immoral to work or travel on your holy day, that is your constitutional right. And, if you choose to believe and teach that same-sex sexual activity, relationships, and marriage is immoral, that is your constitutional right. We support and would defend your right to believe as you choose.
What we take issue with, however, is when persons of Faith attempt to impose their beliefs (beliefs based entirely on the teachings of ancient holy books, not on Science or Medicine) on society as a whole. And we take even greater issue with persons of Faith who attempt to vilify and demonize law-abiding members of society who refuse to abide by the standards of these ancient holy books. The supreme document of authority in the United States of America is the United States Constitution, not the Jewish Torah, not the Muslim Koran, and not the Christian Bible.
One only has to peruse the blogs of LCMS pastors to find the most vile, hateful comments directed at Gay and Lesbian people. Most of these vile comments are made by readers of the pastors’ blogs, but sometimes they are even made by the pastors themselves. We believe that LCMS pastors who monitor their blogs (most do) should reprimand, delete, and ban commenters who use hate speech. The reality is, this is rarely if ever done on these LCMS blogs. Gays are regularly referred to as sodomites, perverts, and deviants. Allegations are made that Gay men prey on adolescent boys. Allegations are made that Gay men in positions of authority (teachers??) use their power in attempts to seduce the adolescents under their supervision into illegal sexual activities. Statements have even been made by leaders in the top echelons of the LCMS equating loving, adult, gay relationships as the moral equivalent of the molestation and rape of adolescent boys and with copulation with farm animals.
However, as a physician, the most disturbing teaching being promoted on several LCMS pastors’ websites—unchallenged by the leadership of the LCMS— is the idea that not only are same-sex acts immoral, but same-sex attraction itself is immoral…and not just immoral, it is labeled by the ministers of the LCMS as deviant, perverted, wicked, evil, and diabolical. Therefore, the LCMS teenager who is doing his very best to follow the teachings of your Faith, is still “evil“, just by the fact of who he is, not by what he does! This is horrific psychological abuse, Pastor Harrison. This teaching is evil! This teaching causes good kids to shoot themselves in the head or hang themselves in the back yard because they have never experienced what they have been taught is “God-sanctioned” opposite-sex attraction but only “evil and sinful”, “Satan-inspired” same-sex attraction, indicating to them, that THEY are evil, and therefore their very existence is evil.
Please speak out against this uninformed, harmful belief that permeates the Lutheran Church, Missouri Synod, and as of today, a belief that no leading official in the LCMS has publically denounced. Please do what is right, Pastor Harrison. Denounce the teaching that same-sex attraction is in itself evil and diabolical. Doing so may save the life of a struggling, confused LCMS teenager…and that teenager whose life is saved just might be your son, daughter, nephew, niece, grandson, or granddaughter. Do what is right, Pastor Harrison, and speak out against the Hate Speech in the LCMS.
A copy of the above letter to President Harrison was sent to all 35 LCMS district presidents (bishops) by US mail.
A copy of the above letter to President Harrison was sent to the leadership staff of Concordia Publishing House, whose names, photos, and emails are copied and pasted from the Concordia Publishing House website below:
Dr. Bruce G. Kintz
President & CEO
Jonathan D. Schultz
Vice President & Corporate Counsel
Director of Graphic Design
Executive Director of Finance
Director of Sales
Executive Director of Production Control and Quality Systems
Executive Director of Innovation Technologies
Rev. Paul T. McCain
Publisher & Executive Director of Editorial
Director of Human Resources
Director of eCommerce and Communications
Director of Operations
Director of Facilities
Director of Marketing
Copy of above letter to Pastor Harrison sent to the Board of Directors, Concordia Publishing House