GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

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July 15, 2013

Letter: Pulling together in the name of love

To the editor:

In all the discussion of Rev. Syman’s recent Midweek Musing (the Times, Wednesday, July 3), I have wondered what I could contribute that would be constructive.

Let me offer a few items and remarks. As a gay man who lives as a neighbor to Rev. Slyman, may I ask what harm has come to anyone due to that proximity?

As someone in a same-sex marriage, has any one else’s marriage been ripped asunder and destroyed by the existence of mine? As someone in a long-term relationship of 41 years standing, may I ask if that has ended anyone else’s relationship?

As a neighbor, I recognize that people have differing views of same-sex relationships, have always respected Rev. Slyman’s rights to express those views, and now applaud his guts in expressing them as he well knows how heated the opposition will be here in liberal Massachusetts. And I appreciate the fact that our community newspaper offers a forum for these views.

As a former Roman Catholic seminarian, I have had a life-long interest in theology, and what is required of me as a Christian. As a plain old and very flawed human being, I well know how easy it is to be hot-headed, judgmental and quick to condemn.

But the more we try to overcome these ways, the greater the depth of our understanding and love will animate what we do. The more we try to do that, the more we open our lives and hearts will be to love.

In his own way, Rev. Slyman personifies these efforts, although our paths are quite different. I am sure he would agree with me on one sad and overwhelming point: there is no surplus of love in this vale of tears.

All I ask is please do not make love any more difficult than it is. And I will try to do the same.

I offer Rev. Slyman my hand in friendship and Christian fellowship in this effort.

MICHAEL D. O’CONNOR

Rockport

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