Archivos para enero 14, 2012


El obispo John Bradosky de la Iglesia Luterana de América del Norte se ha unido a otros líderes cristianos y  religiosos de otras comunidades de fe en una carta abierta defendiendo el matrimonio y la libertad religiosa.
“El matrimonio y la libertad religiosa: los bienes fundamentales que sostienen o caen juntos – una abierta Carta de los líderes religiosos en los Estados Unidos a todos los estadounidenses “, fue lanzado el jueves, 12 de enero.
“Como líderes religiosos a través de una amplia variedad de comunidades de fe, nos unimos para afirmar que el matrimonio en su verdadera definición debe ser protegida por su propio bien y por el bien de la sociedad, ” dice la carta.
“Animamos a todos los hombres de buena voluntad para proteger el matrimonio como la unión entre un hombre y una mujer, y de considerar cuidadosamente las consecuencias de largo alcance para la libertad religiosa de todos los Estadounidenses si el matrimonio es redefinido “, dice la carta.
La carta señala que la modificación de la definición del matrimonio va a cambiar cientos de leyes. También se establece que aquellos que se aferran a las creencias religiosas tradicionales sobre el matrimonio se enfrentaría las sanciones y la discriminación legal para la celebración de su fe si la definición del matrimonio es cambiado.
“En especial, exhortamos a los encargados del bien público para apoyar las leyes que defienden la definición de todo los tiempos  del matrimonio, y así evitar que amenazan la libertad religiosa de un sinnúmero de las instituciones y de los ciudadanos en este país.

El matrimonio y la libertad religiosa son profundamente entrelazada en el tejido de esta nación “, dice la carta.
Además de obispo Bradosky, firmantes de la carta incluyen a líderes de una amplia gama de
Cuerpos de la iglesia cristiana – de los católicos romanos y anglicanos a los bautistas y pentecostales.
El reverendo Matthew Harrison, presidente de la Iglesia Luterana-Sínodo de Missouri, fue uno de los 35 signatarios.
La Iglesia Evangélica Luterana en América y algunos otros órganos de la iglesia protestante liberal no tiene líderes firmaron n la carta.
“Ser audaces en nuestra confesión de Cristo a una cultura hostil nunca es fácil. Es la hora de tomar una posición por lo que creemos que nos pone en relación con los de diversos
perspectivas teológicas. Que es el caso entre los que se han unido para firmar la declaración dada a conocer hoy con respecto a la preservación de la libertad religiosa, la santidad de matrimonio, y la definición del matrimonio conservada en la Escritura y la fiel interpretación de las Escrituras a través de miles de años “, dijo el obispo Bradosky.
“Aunque creemos que estos conocimientos y los valores son esenciales para el bien de todas las personas en nuestra nación y en todo el mundo, y además creen que la presión política ejercida sobre la iglesia a aceptar o redefinir el matrimonio de acuerdo a la comprensión cultural relativista es una perversión de los derechos garantizados por nuestra Constitución, que es aborrecible para nosotros porque es contrario a la enseñanza de las Escrituras. La definición del matrimonio es establecida por el Creador, por el Salvador y bendecido por el Espíritu Santo, afirmó. Por tanto, es imposible que la Iglesia para redefina o acepte a estos cambios de fe.
“Es triste reconocer que nuestra cultura ha llegado a un punto en que tal declaración es necesaria, y sin embargo, es sólo para un momento como este, que el Señor ha llamado a la Iglesia Luterana de América del Norte, para poder afirmar y ofrecer nuestro apoyo a esta causa tan importante “, el Obispo Bradosky dijo. “Por todas estas razones tengo el honor de firmar este documento.”
En diciembre de 2010, el Obispo Paull Spring de la NALC se unió a otros líderes religiosos de América en la firma de “La Protección del Matrimonio: Un compromiso compartido”.
La carta con la lista de firmantes está disponible en línea en http://www.thenalc.org. Una lista de frecuencia preguntas y un resumen ejecutivo están disponibles en línea.


MARRIAGE AND RELIGIOUS FREEDOM:
Fundamental Goods That Stand or Fall Together An Open Letter from Religious Leaders in the United States to All Americans
Released January 11, 2012
Dear Friends:
The promotion and protection of marriage—the union of one man and one woman as husband and wife—is a matter of the common good and serves the wellbeing of the couple, of children, of civil society and all people. The meaning and value of marriage precedes and transcends any particular society, government, or religious community. It is a universal good and the foundational institution of all societies. It is bound upwith the nature of the human person as male and female, and with the essential task of bearing and nurturing children.
As religious leaders across a wide variety of faith communities, we join together to affirm that marriage in its true definition must be protected for its own sake and for the good of society. We also recognize the grave consequences of altering this definition. One of these consequences—the interference with the religious freedom of those who continue to affirm the true definition of “marriage”—warrants special attention within our faith communities and throughout society as a whole. For this reason, we come
together with one voice in this letter.
Some posit that the principal threat to religious freedom posed by same-sex “marriage” is the possibility of government’s forcing religious ministers to preside over such “weddings,” on pain of civil or criminal liability. While we cannot rule out this possibility entirely, we believe that the First Amendment creates a very high bar to such attempts.
Instead, we believe the most urgent peril is this: forcing or pressuring both individuals and religious organizations—throughout their operations, well beyond religious ceremonies—to treat same-sex sexual conduct as the moral equivalent of marital sexual conduct. There is no doubt that the many people and groups whose moral and religious convictions forbid same-sex sexual conduct will resist the compulsion of the law, and church-state conflicts will result.
These conflicts bear serious consequences. They will arise in a broad range of legal contexts, because altering the civil definition of “marriage” does not change one law, but hundreds, even thousands, at once.
By a single stroke, every law where rights depend on marital status—such as employment discrimination, employment benefits, adoption, education, healthcare, elder care, housing, property, and taxation—willchange so that same-sex sexual relationships must be treated as if they were marriage. That requirement, in turn, will apply to religious people and groups in the ordinary course of their many private or public occupations and ministries—including running schools, hospitals, nursing homes and other housing
facilities, providing adoption and counseling services, and many others.
So, for example, religious adoption services that place children exclusively with married couples would be required by law to place children with persons of the same sex who are civilly “married.” Religious marriage counselors would be denied their professional accreditation for refusing to provide counseling in support of same-sex “married” relationships. Religious employers who provide special health benefits to married employees would be required by law to extend those benefits to same-sex “spouses.” Religious employers would also face lawsuits for taking any adverse employment action—no matter how modest— against an employee for the public act of obtaining a civil “marriage” with a member of the same sex. This is not idle speculation, as these sorts of situations have already come to pass.
Even where religious people and groups succeed in avoiding civil liability in cases like these, they would face other government sanctions—the targeted withdrawal of government co-operation, grants, or other benefits.
For example, in New Jersey, the state cancelled the tax-exempt status of a Methodist-run boardwalk pavilion used for religious services because the religious organization would not host a same-sex “wedding” there. San Francisco dropped its $3.5 million in social service contracts with the Salvation Army because it refused to recognize same-sex “domestic partnerships” in its employee benefits policies. Similarly, Portland, Maine, required Catholic Charities to extend spousal employee benefits to same-sex “domestic partners” as a condition of receiving city housing and community development funds.
In short, the refusal of these religious organizations to treat a same-sex sexual relationship as if it were a marriage marked them and their members as bigots, subjecting them to the full arsenal of government punishments and pressures reserved for racists. These punishments will only grow more frequent and more severe if civil “marriage” is redefined in additional jurisdictions. For then, government will compel special recognition of relationships that we the undersigned religious leaders and the communities of faith that we represent cannot, in conscience, affirm. Because law and government not only coerce and incentivize but also teach, these sanctions would lend greater moral legitimacy to private efforts to punish those who defend marriage.
Therefore, we encourage all people of good will to protect marriage as the union between one man and one woman, and to consider carefully the far-reaching consequences for the religious freedom of all Americans if marriage is redefined. We especially urge those entrusted with the public good to support laws that uphold the time-honored definition of marriage, and so avoid threatening the religious freedom of countless institutions and citizens in this country. Marriage and religious freedom are both deeply woven into the
fabric of this nation.
May we all work together to strengthen and preserve the unique meaning of marriage and the precious gift of religious freedom.
Sincerely Yours:
Rev. Leith Anderson
President
National Association of Evangelicals
Johann Christoph Arnold
Senior Pastor
Bruderhof Communities
Randall A. Bach
President
Open Bible Churches
Dr. Gary M. Benedict
President
The Christian and Missionary Alliance
The Rev. John F. Bradosky
Bishop
North American Lutheran Church
Bishop H. David Burton
Presiding Bishop
The Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day
Saints
Rabbi Abba Cohen
Vice President for Federal Affairs
Washington Director
Agudath Israel of America
Most Rev. Salvatore J. Cordileone
Bishop of Oakland
Chairman
USCCB Subcommittee for the Promotion
and Defense of Marriage
Cardinal-designate Timothy M. Dolan
Archbishop of New York
President
United States Conference of Catholic Bishops
The Most Rev. Robert Duncan
Archbishop, Anglican Church in North
America
Bishop, Anglican Diocese of Pittsburgh
Dr. Barrett Duke
Vice President for Public Policy and Research
Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty
Commission
Rev. Jim Eschenbrenner
Executive Pastor
General Council of Christian Union
Churches
Dr. William J. Hamel
President
Evangelical Free Church of America
Rev. Dr. Ron Hamilton
Conference Minister
Conservative Congregational Christian
Conference
Rev. Matthew Harrison
President
Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod
John Hopler
Director
Great Commission Churches
Dr. Bill Hossler
President
Missionary Church, Inc.
Clyde M. Hughes
General Overseer
International Pentecostal Church of Christ
Rev. Kenneth D. Hunn
Executive Director
The Brethren Church
David W. Kendall
Bishop
Free Methodist Church USA
Dr. Richard Land
President
Southern Baptist Ethics & Religious Liberty
Commission
Most Rev. William E. Lori
Bishop of Bridgeport
Chairman
USCCB Ad Hoc Committee for
Religious Liberty
Dr. Jo Anne Lyon
Chair Board of General Superintendents
The Wesleyan Church
Most Rev. Kevin C. Rhoades
Bishop of Ft. Wayne – South Bend
Chairman
USCCB Committee on Laity, Marriage,
Family Life and Youth
Commissioner William A. Roberts
National Commander
The Salvation Army
Rocky Rocholl
President
Fellowship of Evangelical Churches
Rev. Samuel Rodriguez
President
National Hispanic Christian
Leadership Conference
David T. Roller
Bishop
Free Methodist Church USA
Matthew A. Thomas
Bishop
Free Methodist Church USA
Dr. Joseph Tkach
President & Pastor General
Grace Communion International
Berten A. Waggoner
National Director
Vineyard USA
W. Phillip Whipple
Bishop
United Brethren in Christ Church, USA
Dr. John P. Williams, Jr.
Regional Director
Evangelical Friends Church, North America
David P. Wilson
General Secretary
Church of the Nazarene
Dr. George O. Wood
General Superintendent
Assemblies of God


Bishop John Bradosky of the North American Lutheran Church has joined other American Christian leaders and religious leaders from other faith communities in an open letter defending marriage and religious freedom.
“Marriage and Religious Freedom: Fundamental Goods That Stand or Fall Together — An Open Letter from Religious Leaders in the United States to All Americans” was released on Thursday, Jan. 12. “As religious leaders across a wide variety of faith communities, we join together to affirm thatmarriage in its true definition must be protected for its own sake and for the good of society,” the letter states.
“We encourage all people of good will to protect marriage as the union between one man and one woman, and to consider carefully the far-reaching consequences for the religious freedom of all Americans if marriage is redefined,” the letter says.
The letter notes that changing the definition of marriage will change hundreds of laws. It also states that those who hold to traditional religious beliefs about marriage would face discrimination and legal sanctions for holding to their faith if the definition of marriage is
changed.
“We especially urge those entrusted with the public good to support laws that uphold the timehonored definition of marriage, and so avoid threatening the religious freedom of countless institutions and citizens in this country. Marriage and religious freedom are both deeply woven into the fabric of this nation,” the letter says.
In addition to Bishop Bradosky, signers to the letter include leaders from a wide range of Christian church bodies — from Roman Catholics and Anglicans to Baptists and Pentecostals.
The Rev. Matthew Harrison, president of The Lutheran Church—Missouri Synod, was among the 35 signatories.
The Evangelical Lutheran Church in America and some other liberal Protestant church bodies did not have any leaders sign the letter.
“Being bold in on our confession of Christ to a hostile culture is never easy. There are times when making a stand for what we believe brings us into relationship with those of diverse theological perspectives. That is certainly the case among those who have joined together to sign the statement released today regarding the preservation of religious freedom, the sanctity of marriage, and the definition of marriage preserved in the Scripture and the faithful interpretation of the Scriptures over thousands of years,” said Bishop Bradosky.
“While we believe these understandings and values are essential for the good of all people in our nation and throughout the world, and further believe that political pressure exerted on the church to acquiesce or redefine marriage according to relativistic cultural understandings is a perversion of rights guaranteed by our Constitution, it is abhorrent to us because it is contrary to the teaching
of the Scriptures. The definition of marriage is established by the Creator, affirmed by the Savior and blessed by the Holy Spirit. It is therefore impossible for the Church to redefine or acquiesce to such changes and remain faithful.
“It is sad to admit that our culture has reached a point where such a statement is necessary, and yet it is for just such a time as this that the Lord has called the North American Lutheran Church into being, to be able to make such a stand and offer our support to this important cause,” Bishop Bradosky said. “For all those reasons I am honored to sign this document.”
In December of 2010, Bishop Paull Spring of the NALC joined other American religious leaders in signing “The Protection of Marriage: A Shared Commitment.” The letter including the list of signers is available online at http://www.thenalc.org.

A list of frequently asked questions and an executive summary are also available online.