As a marital and family therapist for 40 years, I am saddened that issues about LGBTQ people are divisive and even need to be discussed, voted on. Yet that is where we are. I have heard scriptural arguments to support or condemn such individuals, and I will not attempt such. I suggest looking at LGBTQ people from a humanitarian viewpoint. Every individual has the fundamental need for love and acceptance. Without those needs being met, children grow up with emotional scars. Yet, as adults, we create circumstances in which alienation, isolation, exclusion and, at worst, shunning occur. Those behaviors cause hurt, rejection, loss, aloneness. Wouldn’t it be great if we could view one another as individuals who hurt at times, who need love, acceptance, belonging? To view people as people, unconditionally, not “I’ll love you when . . .” or “I’ll accept you if . . .” or “You’re OK, but . . .”
I remember a time in the Mennonite church I attended when short hair for women, wedding rings, musical instruments in church, organized sports and television were forbidden. Some offenses required public shaming and confession if you wanted to remain a member. Are we doing the same to LGBTQ people? Yes, we are. How sad.
Lowell Nofziger, Wadsworth, Ohio
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