Snohomish faith leaders issue letter supporting city’s Pride month declaration
SNOHOMISH — Last week, leaders of some Christian denominations submitted a letter of affirmation in favor of the Mayor Linda Redmon’s declaration that June is Pride Month to the City Council.
Opponents have said having the declaration speak for the town is divisive and wrong.
The pastors’ letter reads:
“We are concerned citizens and faith leaders in this community, whose names are listed below. Our diverse congregations, representing several denominations, have been present and active in Snohomish for a very long time.
First, we thank the mayor and council for their visionary proclamation making June Pride Month, a proclamation which reflects the radical inclusivity, hospitality, love and grace of our Christian tradition as we see it in the teachings of Jesus of Nazareth, and the statements made by St. Paul, especially in Galatians and 1 Corinthians. Those teachings call us to respect the dignity of every human being.
We are also speaking out tonight because of our deep concern for the health and wellbeing of all residents of the greater Snohomish community, some of whom have recently been publicly and verbally challenged by other residents.
We know that when the LGBTQIA+ community uses the word “pride” they are not talking about pridefulness but rather about having pride in — celebrating — an identity that they believe is God-given, as do we. We recognize that it is very difficult for those who have not experienced oppression to understand this.
The embrace of all people, no matter their race or ethnic background, their gender identity or sexual orientation, their faith or political persuasion or their geographical origin, is surely also a long-cherished aspiration for our national identity. As citizens of the United States of America we believe it is a self-evident truth that we are all called to make this great nation a place where all are welcome, where all people, and especially those struggling under the weight of oppression, might breathe free. We commit ourselves to work with all people of good will to preserve this cherished vision, to work to make it a reality, and to protect those less able to defend themselves from the challenging words and actions of our fellow citizens.”
Pastor Craig Beeker, Christ the King Lutheran Church, Snohomish
Pastor Michael Clifford, same
Pastor Penelope Gunterman, same
Pastor Janelle Kurtz, Snohomish United Methodist Church
Pastor Ann Lewis, First Presbyterian Church, Snohomish
Pastor Charlie Lewis, same
Pastor Mark Miller (ret.), St. John’s Episcopal Church, Snohomish
Pastor Nigel J. Taber-Hamilton, same
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