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Jul. 20, 2019 | Saturday
Editorials and Opinions
Letter to the editor: Mennonite church discriminates against gays and lesbians
John Boydell. (File photo)

SUBMITTED BY JOHN BOYDELL, ST. DAVIDS.
OPINION

Dear editor:

In the article, “The Mennonites’ long road to Virgil,” published on June 13, The Lake Report celebrates the history of the Niagara United Mennonite Church in Virgil.

If gay and lesbian people were a race, the Mennonite religion would be called racist. If gay and lesbian people were a people of colour, Mennonites would be called spreaders of hate.

This religion actively discriminates and promotes discrimination against LGBT people, claiming that they are deviants against the will of God, that they are sinners, and that they will go to hell when they die. I call this hate.

As a man in my 60s, I have been persecuted my entire life for being gay. I have had decades of my life destroyed by heterosexual society.

Organizations such as the Mennonite and Catholic churches continue this perverse practice today, having only fairly recently been put under some control by the Supreme Court and the laws of Canada.

There does exist a small number of individual Mennonite congregations in Canada that are at least somewhat supportive of the LGBT community. However, I have been unable to find any mention of homosexuality on the Niagara United Mennonite Church website, https://redbrickchurch.ca/.

The Mennonite Church of Canada seems to have removed almost any mention of homosexuality from its website.

Wikipedia, on its website List of Christian denominations affirming LGBT, omits the Mennonite denomination.

On its website list of Christian denominational positions on homosexuality, Wikipedia states, “ … Mennonite Church Canada denominations work with the Supportive Communities Network to support the small proportion of congregations that include openly gay members” and “It must be noted that a vast majority of conservative Mennonite churches which practice conservative values (such as head coverings and modest dress) completely forbid homosexual marriage. In these churches and also in their conferences, homosexuality is seen as sinful. Homosexual marriage is seen as a sin and against the biblical teaching of a marriage between one man and one woman.”

To paraphrase Paul W. Bognar in a letter in the June 18, online edition of the Globe and Mail, the essence of heterosexual privilege is not recognizing it. Bigotry isn’t necessarily a conscious choice to be mean to a certain people. A bigoted society can exist despite its citizens being of goodwill.

While I am sure The Lake Report has not made a conscious decision to promote discrimination against gays and lesbians, with this article, that’s exactly what it does.

I do not celebrate the presence of the Mennonite church in my community, but in fact abhor it.

Sincerely,

John Boydell

St. Davids

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