Heartland Clergy for Inclusion

acceptance from the heart

Omaha World Herald Publishes Response

June 21, 2011

A response to an angry reader who objected to the Heartland Proclamation was published today in the Omaha World Herald’s Public Pulse section (4B).  Originally an Op Ed piece was submitted, but was rejected by the Editor on the grounds that he would be compelled to publish a rebuttal and did not want to start a theological debate in the Op Ed section.  So, two-thirds of the original Op Ed was trimmed to fit the 200 word limit in Public Pulse.  This piece was accepted for publication.

Here’s the letter, as it appears today:

This clergy group is not ‘blind’

A Sunday letter claimed that the Bible is “clear” in condemning homosexuality.  The writer claims it is equally clear that the 100 ministers who are “offering an apology to gays” through signing the gay-friendly Heartland Proclamation are “the blind leading the blind.”

Two corrections need to be made.

Correction 1: The number of Christian clergy signing the Proclamation has more than doubled since its unveiling last Wednesday before a crowd of several hundred Christians.  Is it not a bit arrogant to suggest that these Heartland clergy – most of whom have served their parishes for years, are well respected in their denominations and are not known for merely following winds of cultural change – are blind?  Incidentally, a similar proclamation has been signed by 161 clergy in conservative Arizona.

Correction 2: The Bible simply does not speak with the clarity the reader hopes on the issue of homosexuality.  In fact, the word “homosexuality” never appears anywhere in the Hebrew, Aramaic or Greek texts of the Bible.  There are just five passages that speak directly about same-gender sex, but it is almost certain that the writers have in mind people of heterosexual orientation who engage in same-gender relations – something most of us would find abhorrent.

The Rev. Eric Elnes, Ph.D., Omaha. Member of Heartland Clergy for Inclusion

Written by Eric Elnes

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Welcome to the Heartland Clergy for Inclusion’s presentation of The Heartland Proclamation. Join us in an ongoing conversation about God’s unconditional love for all people and about advocation of justice for lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender persons.