In an open letter to State Democrats, a member of the New Jersey clergy questioned Democrat Chairman John Currie’s motives for encouraging the media to attack religious leaders…
Chairman John Currie
NJ Democratic State Committee
196 W State Street
Trenton, NJ 08608
Dear Chairman Currie:
I am writing to you because I am disgusted with the offensive way the state Democratic Party, of which you are Chairman has used Matt Friedman and the Politico website to smear, attack and denigrate people of faith. You seem to think that you are above God, that in order to achieve salvation, we need only drink the Koolaid offered by the State Democratic Party and its allies in the media.
To be a Christian is to follow The Christ. That means to order your life to the discipline of the Word of God – not the word of your political party. We take our instruction from the Bible and not from the Star-Ledger or the Record or a political blog or a political party. When we follow the tenants of our faith, you and your allies in the media should not try to label us as “haters”.
My faith tells me that the “LGBT lifestyle” is wrong and that it is contrary to the Word of God. That does not make me a “hater” like you and your friends like to call us. It makes us Christians. Please let me share this story with you, a story from my life, and then you can decide whether you and your party and the Matt Friedmans of the world should call me a “hater”.
I am a nurse. As the AIDS epidemic hit Dayton, Ohio, in the early 80’s I volunteered for the Dayton Area AIDS Task Force. I personally cared for many men as they were dying of AIDS.
The only medicine available at the time was the toxic, previously banned for human consumption, AZT. From the disease and medicine, these men could barely take care of themselves. As a nurse, I helped take care of their daily needs, including bathing, toileting, dressing, and feeding them. I wiped their bottoms, gave them their medicine, took them to their doctors. I also did their eulogies and officiated over the memorial services.
Many clergy and church people stepped up to take care of these men and minister to their families. The accusation that the clergy is “hateful” towards LGBT people is false. I remember when the late Cardinal O’Connor was alive, he would go to the AIDS wards in New York hospitals, not just to pray for these men, but he helped feed them. He would take off his clerical robes, roll up his sleeves, and help bathe them. But your party and agenda driven reporters want to accuse all clergy of being haters bigots and homophobes. In so doing you show your hatred and bigotry to Biblical Christians, Torah Jews, and adherent Muslims. That’s a lot of people.
In New Jersey, LGBT identified persons have been given more rights, more protections, more attention than any other socioeconomic group in the state, with the possible exception of illegal aliens. This has all been done at the expense of the 1st Amendment rights of people of faith. This is by design. The New Jersey legislature has passed a plethora of bills in the last several years that deal with alternative lifestyles. Including enabling children to change sexual identity, mental health services, without parental consent at the expense of the taxpayer. They are now forcing children and teachers to be indoctrinated about the contributions of LGBT identified persons in every subject beginning in eighth grade. The contributions of other citizens perhaps even more qualified and more accomplished will not be taught because they’re not LGBT.
You and your media allies with your hate, will not rewrite Holy Scripture or destroy our faith. Political parties will not be allowed to intrude into religion and make it bend to their political will.
I am here to tell you today that your politics is intruding into our religion. You cannot judge us by your political yardstick which is your faith. When we don’t comply, you should not set your Matt Friedmans upon us to mock religion and call us names.
If you don’t know the difference between theology and politics, then perhaps we can teach you. We preach against adultery, but we encourage adulterers to attend our church. We preach against substance abuse, but we minister to those who suffer from it. We preach against sodomy, but all are welcome in our church. We stand with the Bible, but we do not treat any “sinner” different than another. And rest assured, that begins with the sinner in the mirror every morning. The ground is level at the foot of the cross.
To this end, I would like to invite you to attend a public discussion on this subject. We can work with your schedule.
Please let us know what week works best for you.
Rev. Greg Quinlan