GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

July 4, 2013

Letter: Rev. Slyman's 'musings' an affront to community


Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

The musings of Pigeon Cove Chapel’s Rev. Slyman as they appeared in Wednesday’s column (Midweek Musings, July 3) do not represent my Rockport.

Twenty nine years ago my spouse, Susan, and I had the good fortune of rewarding ourselves by spending a night in Cape Ann after a 3,500 mile drive from British Columbia; we have happily resided here since, each day appreciating what a uniquely joyous, loving and progressive community this is.

During that time, we have gotten to know and subsequently become close friends with roughly a dozen same sex couples who, like any of our heterosexual friends are caring, tolerant, loving people who practice what I refer to as the Christian ethic. To me, that means leading a moral life, actively and constructively striving to make both the world and our community better places, not only by striving for social justice, but also by contributing to our cultural growth.

We are members of the Rockport Unitarian Universalist Society which has, for 10 years, proudly flown the Rainbow flag which symbolizes that we are a “welcoming church” to all races without regard to sexual preference, whether Christian, Buddhist, Jew, Atheist, Muslim, Agnostic, etc. That’s because we believe in the value and dignity of — and respect for — all living beings.

From my exposure to many of the other religious communities in Rockport, and to the general population of the Cape Ann, I have concluded that we live in an unusually loving, caring, tolerant and beauty appreciating community.

I happen to live within a six minute walk from Rev. Slyman’s church, which I have always assumed had a more conservative view from mine, but I have, of course, respected not only the rights of, but also the importance of divergent beliefs.

However, I believe that publicly advocating a position of bigotry — whether for racist or homophobic reasons, or whether clothed in narrow religious interpretation or not, does a great disservice to our uniquely special and wonderful community.

BOB BEATTIE

Sea Mist Lane, Rockport