GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

Letters/My View

July 6, 2013

Letter: Column wrongly spread 'hate in the name of God'

To the editor:

We, as members of the Cape Ann clergy, are writing in response to the Midweek Musings column by Rev. Patrick Slyman (the Times, Wednesday, July 3) — a column with which we take great exception.

In this country, we enjoy freedom of speech, freedom of the press, and freedom of religion. These are vital rights and we believe our democracy is better for them.

However, when these rights are used to hurt people and to spread hate in the name of God, we as clergy are called to respond.

The first book of the Bible begins with the creation of the world. It is written that humankind is made in the image of God. No one is excluded from this assertion. We are all made in the image of the holy, the sacred, the divine, to create and to sustain love.

The rainbow is the symbol of God’s covenant with humanity, and has long been associated with human rights. It is a sign of inclusivity and kindness to all peoples and to all kinds of relationships. Relationships based on mutual respect and love are the building blocks to good, creative and safe communities.

Jesus’ own life and ministry bespoke love and inclusion, not condemnation.

We love because God first loved us. May our community continue to reach out to everyone, welcoming, appreciating and serving all of God’s beloved people.

May God’s grace, mercy and peace reign within and among us all,

FATHER RONALD GARIBOLDI

REV. RONA TYNDALL

REV. SUSAN MORAN

REV. MICHAEL DUDA

REV. ARTHUR MCDONALD

REV. ALICE ERICKSON

REV. DEIRDRE GREENWOOD-WHITE

REV. MICHAEL GELSOMINI

REV. ANNE DENEEN

REV. DEREK VAN GULDEN

REV. THOMAS BENTLEY

REV. RICHARD WHITE

RABBI STEVEN LEWIS

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