Wednesday, September 30, 1998

By Craig T. Kojima, Star-Bulletin
The Revs. Joan Ishibashi and Don Johnson were among
those at the Lutheran Church of Honolulu today criticizing
an advertising campaign in the same-gender marriage issue.

Clergy criticize
campaign against
same-sex marriage

Tactics of 'fear and
intolerance' decried

By Mary Adamski


An advertising campaign against same-gender marriage was decried by a group of Christian ministers today for its "tactics of fear and intolerance."

The Lutheran, Methodist and United Church of Christ clergy members said the campaign by Save Traditional Marriage -- which is backed by the Roman Catholic, Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints and fundamental Christian churches -- does not reflect the teaching of Jesus Christ.

The advertising urges residents to vote "yes" on a ballot question that would change the state Constitution to allow the state Legislature to limit marriage to a union between a man and a woman.

The Protestant ministers said they don't wish to interfere with those churches' internal teachings, but want to appeal to them to reflect Christ's justice and compassion in promoting their views.

"To promote bigotry and hatred is not a fundamental belief of any Christian," said the Rev. Jory Watland, director of Kokua Kalihi Valley.

The Rev. Joan Ishibashi of the United Church of Christ said a current ad which uses a child is particularly deplorable.

Barbara Ripple, head of the United Methodist Church conference, said, "I'm hearing there is a them and an us xxx 'If you are truly a Christian, believe as we do. If not, you're not truly a Christian.' I resent that."

Don Johnson, pastor of Lutheran Church of Honolulu, said that besides the public media ads, ministers are targeted with mail that "tries to convince me biblically. They are misinformed and sometimes downright wrong."

"What would Jesus do?" he asked, using a popular evangelical Christian theme. "He'd vote no, because he was concerned about justice for everyone."

Same-sex marriage:
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