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Letter to the Editor: City Leaders, Community Should Oppose Natatorium Gay Marriage Issue

The following speech was delivered during the public comments section of the March 8 Parks and Recreation Board meeting by Pastor Chris McCombs. Now, McCombs offers it to the City Council and Falls community for further consideration.

Editor's note: The following was submitted by Chris McCombs, the Pastor of in Cuyahoga Falls. 

REASONS TO PROTECT AND PRESERVE THE SOCIAL INSTITUTION OF MARRIAGE:

This is not personal, but about principle. This is more about what we stand for, than what we stand against.

No one is attempting to take away another person’s rights or freedoms. No one is telling another person how they can live or not live. No one is denying anyone access to patron any establishment in our community.

The social institution of marriage in civilization and in our society has always been understood to be one man and one woman. Marriage is for the purposes of procreation, establishing family and perpetuating community. I am asking this board to please not get sucked into this social agenda that has been pushed upon us or attempt to find a way to skirt around this matter by giving gay marriage a different title. I hope you will have the courage to make the right decision for the good of our community by protecting and preserving the social institution of marriage.

  • The State of Ohio’s Constitution clearly defines marriage. To not recognize that is a violation of the law. That should be the end of it. That is the law. Several years ago, our State had the foresight to make the definition of marriage an amendment to the Constitution. Our State did this for a reason – to establish guidelines and protect the social institution of marriage from situations such as this.
  • The city is fiscally responsible for the operation of the . The Natatorium currently operates in the black. The Mayor’s position has been big on this point. We would be wise to heed his advice.  
  • Historically, the social institution of marriage and sexual preference has remained separated. Since the dawn of civilization, marriage has been understood as one man and one woman. We need to honor the institution of marriage that has preserved mankind in our community and throughout history.
  • Religious reasons for not redefining marriage come from our U.S. Constitution. We have freedom of religion, not freedom from religion in our nation. Our religious views have merit in our public discourse. In expressing religious views, we are engaging our government, holding them morally accountable. Additionally, all five major world religions as a whole do not condone gay relationships as a form of marriage (Christianity, Judaism, Islam, Hinduism, and Buddhism).  

As a pastor in our great city, I am obligated to stand up for my God, congregation and community for what is right. Although I have not made my faith or the Scriptures a major part of my argument, they are extremely important to me and to many others in this community. Again, this is not about what we are against, but what we are for…marriage! According to the Scriptures, God is the designer and definer of marriage. I am here to proclaim His view of marriage as best for our community. I have done my best to present this truth from a logical perspective. 

I thank you for your service, thank you for listening to me and thank you for your time.

Read on:

Wanda Minor March 21, 2012 at 12:54 PM
Let's do away with religion. Religion threatens the sanctity of my atheism. I somehow feel less atheist with religion infringing on my free thought.
Pastor Chris March 21, 2012 at 01:15 PM
Wanda, I understand your feelings and you have the right to express your "religious" views of atheism and free thought...a belief in no god. I defend your right to do that. But we cannot do away with religion. Nor does religion infringe upon you as you suggest. Our forefathers were wise enough to protect freedom of speech and religion in the Constitution. You and I may be worlds a part in how we view our world and religion...but we should be united on the constitution protecting those rights. Your free thought philosophy is protected because of the Constitution and you have the freedom to do so without fear of the government persecuting you or harming you; additionally, our government doesn't make you attend or give money to an established State Church; rather you and I have the freedom to belief as we choose. We need to keep America Free...I believe that freedom comes from God...you believe it comes from man...but we both should agree that means we need to protect the freedom of speech (that is done in a way that does not harm others...i.e. name calling, bullying, threats, intimidation etc.) and freedom of religion (which does not mean removing religious thought or God from government or the public square, it simply protects us from the government forming a state religion.) You may view them slightly differently than I do...but the overarching concepts are understood. Thanks for you comments...I stand behind our religious freedoms as being a good thing in our country.
Pastor Chris March 21, 2012 at 01:17 PM
Additionally, the author's letter comprises many arguments outside of religion. Yes, freedom of religion is one of the arguments and the expression of personal faith in the conclusion. But there are other arguments made based on law, history and finances as well. A free thinker would at least acknowledge and consider those points.
Morgana La Fey April 07, 2012 at 02:08 AM
I am not a christian. I do not believe in the institution of being a christian. I am not going to judge you if you are or if you are not. The person or people of god or lack there in doesn't matter. It says no where that people can act like this towards other people. Romans 14:1-13 As for the one who is weak in faith, welcome him, but not to quarrel over opinions. One person believes he may eat anything, while the weak person eats only vegetables. Let not the one who eats despise the one who abstains, and let not the one who abstains pass judgment on the one who eats, for God has welcomed him. Who are you to pass judgment on the servant of another? It is before his own master that he stands or falls. And he will be upheld, for the Lord is able to make him stand. One person esteems one day as better than another, while another esteems all days alike. Each one should be fully convinced in his own mind. . Christianity is frankly a new concept, only about a thousand years old. Before that there was paganism, and homosexuality was widely acceptable. No one thought any different. These were also the societies that women were equal to men. Why should we choose one over the other, in the end it doesn't matter. We are all going to think what we feel like thinking. And one day we will die and see if we were right or wrong. Until then we just need to sit back and enjoy the ride we shouldn't worry, this really is not affecting us at all. There are plenty of better causes.- Morgana
Pastor Chris April 08, 2012 at 12:48 AM
Morgana...thanks for writing. Your use of Scripture is misguided and so is your view of history. In the same letter in Romans that you quote and use as part of your argument Paul writes in Romans 1 about how important the Gospel is, how we are all accountable for our actions before God, calls out particular sins...including the sin of sexual immorality. Additionally, in Romans Paul talks about how we are all sinners (Romans 3:23), how we have victory over our sinful nature through Christ (Romans 6:23). We are not to remain in sin, but to overcome sin through a relationship with Christ. Someday when we stand in judgment before God one can be justified only through Christ, He is the only righteous one, it will be His righteousness that saves those who embrace Christ as Lord and Savior. As for history, we do see homosexuality embraced by some cultures. But sexual preference was never confused or connected with the social institution of marriage. Not even the Greeks did that. So your historic claims fall short. The sad thing is our culture is becoming more pagan - or should I say secular and that is the real problem. Whenever secularism prevails - values and morals are eroded. Christianity is not a new concept...its origins come from Judaism under the Israelites. God chose Israel to reveal Himself to all people. Jesus is the Messiah. He fulfilled the law and now we can live under His grace. Christianity comes from the origins of mankind, it was God's plan for man.

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