The News Journal from Wilmington, Delaware on May 4, 2013 · Page A9
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The News Journal from Wilmington, Delaware · Page A9

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Wilmington, Delaware
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Saturday, May 4, 2013
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Page A9
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COMMENT SATURDAY, MAY 4, 2013 THE NEWS JOURNAL A9 Delaware Republicans should support the freedom to marry delawareonline.com The time is right for Republicans in the First State to lead on the freedom to marry. With a growing majority of Americans supporting civil marriage for all, Republicans are re-examining their values and realizing that moving toward freedom for MARGARET everyone isn't HOOVER jugt p0pUiar it's the right thing to do. Democrats have an early lead in the push for marriage, but in many cases, they are now being outpaced by Republicans. Democratic Sen. Tom Carper and Congressman John Carney recently announced their support. The same week they did so, Republican Sen. Mark Kirk of Illinois made headlines for his change of opinion, and two weeks before that, Republican Sen. Rob Port-man of Ohio embraced the issue. Marriage We are pastors of churches in New Castle County. Because of conviction of truth and out of compassion for our neighbor, we are compelled by conscience to speak as one voice about marriage. We believe the Bible reveals the character and purposes of God in a way that is binding on the conscience of the Church. We are charged by God to de DELAWARE VOICE CONSORTIUM OF PASTORS clare the whole counsel of God as found in Holy Scripture to the congregations we love and serve. We hope that many who are in communion with other church bodies, other religious bodies, and with no religious ties, who share our conclusions, may be strengthened to stand firm in the face of unrelenting public pressure to think differently. First, we recognize the institution of marriage as a union of one man and one woman that God has created and instituted. We also believe our Lord Jesus Christ taught the Church to hold this belief GMEttsasO Mu $12,200 .cHk jijwigEigg i, & fir j frWHI Sale runs from 51 SEME (M? (MB DE Bus. Lie. 2001101379 PA LIC PA039607 r illblllU'r lid I II a cii-T Di-;cji-;D Full licensed bonded and insured. All work done by owner. 27 years exp in just decks "steps extrapermit included" NJ-0000673876 For all the changes at the national level, even more Republicans have stood up for the freedom to marry at the state and local levels. In Delaware, state Rep. Mike Ramone (R-Middle Run Valley) co-sponsored the marriage equality bill that passed the House. Republicans have stepped up to the plate in New Hampshire and New York as well, casting deciding votes to protect and promote the freedom to marry in their states. In Rhode Island, the entire Senate GOP Conference backed the issue. More than 200 Republicans throughout 13 states, including Maryland and New Jersey, have voted for freedom for their friends and neighbors. What's behind Republicans' change? For many, they're going back to the basics and re-assessing how their values should apply to politics. The official "Guiding Princi should be when He said in the Gospel of Mark: "At the beginning of creation God made them male and female. For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." We acknowledge the many ways that sin has distorted God's original design. However, distortion does not require us to disregard His good design. His design gives human morality a firm place to stand, and without such a firm place, questions of human sexuality are determined solely by personal preference. We believe it is morally dangerous for a people to build and define an institution as central as marriage on the shifting sand of human sentiment alone. As Christians, we repent of our silence on past issues, which have likewise resulted in public harm and confusion. Those who follow the teachings of Jesus Christ have a further reason to hold fast God's design for marriage. God has given married love between a man and a woman as a visible representation of the love between Christ and His Church, which is ex ijJy h 1 t( r1 $1500!! &ETDEGKED LICENSED ples" of the Delaware GOP espouse individual freedom and personal responsibility. They say the people of Delaware should be free to make their own decisions, even if some people feel that those decisions are mistakes. They state that families, not government, are the best way to care for people. They resolve the GOP must "be committed to working always in the interest of Delaware's families." This principle resonates with people who know and appreciate the dangers of big government and people of faith who live by the Golden Rule. Many faith leaders support Delaware's freedom to marry legislation, including Wayne Wright, the state's Episcopal Bishop. Dr. Donald Morton, pastor of Perfected Life Church in Wilmington, recently explained his support for the freedom to marry as "making between a pressed by the Apostle Paul in Ephesians. Core to our faith is this picture of the covenant of marriage. We believe that God's definition of marriage and His prohibition against its alteration stem from love. He has given us marriage and has likewise established the boundary markers around marriage for its preservation and for our good. It is on this basis that we are conscience-bound to speak against any attempt to alter that which God has defined. In the same spirit we reject the accusation that our defense of marriage is a language of hate. Hate has not been and is not our motivation to speak. We acknowledge the LGBT community's need for acceptance as human beings made in the image of God. We desire their protection from discrimination, and we call on all who honor the name of Jesus Christ to refrain from hateful language and behavior toward those in the LGBT community. Such language and behavior has no place among us who are called to bless and not to curse. However, our call as Christians to bless and not curse cannot and should not silence 7 ( 'jo "J1 J-J D !Jlij nJDj JttD rJ rj rJ rJ r1 r r r1 JJJ uiJUiWiiii -57 not valid with any BONDED sure that everybody has equal protection under the law, whether they are black, white, gay or straight, everyone has equal protection under the law." Delaware's freedom to marry bill strikes the right balance - respecting the freedom of churches to define marriage as they see fit and ensuring all couples are treated equally regardless of their orientation. The love and commitment contained within the bonds of marriage are a common need for every couple, gay or straight. For gay and lesbian couples, the freedom to marry means stability, security and equal treatment under the law. For their children, it means their parents are able to care for them best with the legal rights and protections they need. Conservatives have long argued society is better off man and a the voice of the church when God's truth is set against the will of some. Marriage is of profound public consequence, and our conviction is that it would be wrong to remain silent on an issue of such importance. God's loving provision of marriage is for the public good and benefit, not simply for the Church alone, and we seek to protect the current definition of marriage in the state of Delaware as an act of love for our neighbor. Accordingly we call on all who honor the name of Jesus Christ to join with us in this affirmation of marriage between one man and one woman for life. These 28 pastors from 18 churches represent nearly 15,000 congregants in their churches, collectively, in New Castle County: Rev. Bill Schlonecker, Bible Fellowship Church of Newark; Rev. Jeff Wisot, Life Community Church, Newark; Rev. Jay Harvey, Evangelical Presbyterian Church of Newark; Rev. Greg Barrier, Grace Evangelical Free Church, Newark; Rev. Bob Harting, Grace Presbyterian Church, Middletown; Rev. Bo Matthews, Brandywine Valley Baptist Church; r pre existing offer!! NSURED If" IS '; fi M5800!!! when couples settle down and make lifelong commitments to each other. A civil society reaps the same benefits when same-sex couples marry. They join their families and assets, meaning they're less likely to depend on government. For pro-freedom Republicans, we see this as a way to reinvigorate the institution of marriage and reinforce its importance. Delaware's freedom to marry bill is consistent with conservative values. As the bill advances to the Senate, First State Republicans have a tremendous opportunity to honor their fundamental principles and advocate freedom for everyone. Margaret Hoover is a CNN political contributor and the best-selling author of the book "American Individualism: How A New Generation of Conservatives Can Save the Republican Party." She serves as president of American Unity Fund. woman Rev. Curtis Hill; Ogletown Baptist Church, Newark; Rev. Jon Boulet; Hockessin Baptist Church; Rev. Jeff Keith; Hockessin Baptist Church; Rev. Terry Foester; Hockessin Baptist Church; Rev. Bill Lockard, Pike Creek Valley Bible Church; Rev. Forrust Miller, Love of Christ Church, Bear; Rev. Stephen Harvell, Love of Christ Church, Bear; Rev. Mark Doherty, Berea Presbyterian Church, Hockessin; Rev. Bob Jones, Shellburne Bible Church, Wilmington; Rev. Chris McGarvey, Bethel Baptist Church, Wilmington; Rev. Ted Grabowski, Parkview Assembly of God, Newark; Rev. David Jones, New Life Christian and Missionary Alliance, Newark; Rev. Charles Walz, New Life Christian and Missionary Alliance, Newark; Rev. Vince Marshall, New Life Christian and Missionary Alliance, Newark; Rev. Tom Laymon, Sunday Breakfast Mission, Wilmington; Rev. Jim Christian, Faith Baptist Church, Wilmington; Rev. Tim Satryan, First Assembly of God, Wilmington; Rev. Guy & Desiree Fox - New Heart Ministries, Newark; Rev. George Nichols, Retired pastor, New Castle County; and Rev. Gayle Ryle, Retired pastor, New Castle County. BBB Rating w S9000 IW80sale 5

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