Why publish this article?by Chase W. Snyder, Denver
Re "Two Hundred Gather to 'Affirm the Faith,' " by Heidi Martin (April):
The Mennonite is the official publication of Mennonite Church USA. For the past 10 years, since 2000, The Mennonite has had a moratorium on “articles and letters that address Mennonite Church USA’s teaching position on sexuality and related membership guidelines that were adopted in 2001.” Presumably, this is an effort not to alienate people on either side of this polarizing issue.
But the article by Heidi Martin, using quotes from various church members and pastors from Pennsylvania congregations, equated homosexuality to "unwholesome sexuality." It positively portrayed HarvestUSA and Six11 Ministries, two organizations that offer counseling to lead Christians away from homosexual lifestyles.
The article did provide a summary of a church-related event and, in that way, was valuable. However, the strongly opinionated undertone of the piece could send a negative message to church members who want to embrace their homosexuality while remaining active in the church. In this way, it seems that this article both violates the moratorium and overreaches The Mennonite’s mandate as the official publication of the denomination.
Editor's note: We have not made a change in the moratorium policy established in 2000. We do not publish letters to the editor or articles written to address Mennonite Church USA's teaching position on sexuality. We do, however, provide news reporting of events that relate to this controversy. In the past year, such news stories have covered the activities of the PinkMennos group as well as the request from pastors in Pacific Southwest Mennonite Conference that Mennonite Church USA stop such activism. Martin’s news article reported on yet another element in this churchwide debate.
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Associated Article: Two hundred gather to 'affirm the faith'
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