Civil-unions decision best left to politicians, not pastors


POSTED: Friday, April 30, 2010

This past week, I have been discouraged by the many comments from local religious leaders, including several pastors, primarily because I am a fellow Christian pastor struggling just as they are in the world in which we live.

I am not a politician. I am only a humble Christian pastor. I do not seek to follow the whims of our culture but hold to the truth that is proclaimed through the historical and eternal Word of God.

I pray for peace and equality for all people throughout the world, but the passing or failing of House Bill 444 has not been entrusted to me to determine. We have elected officials who have been tasked to ensure the safety of our communities and strive for the common good. For those individuals I pray because their task is daunting. My obligation is to proclaim the message of the Gospel of Jesus Christ, as a pastor of His church and His people.

The Judeo-Christian scriptures do not support HB 444, and for fellow Christian clergy to take that stand raises the question as to whether they are true servants of God or of the popular cultural medium surrounding us.

I am also a parent of three keiki, and, from that point, I am very concerned with the passage of HB 444. Attempting to explain to my kids how it is normal for same-gendered couples to be recognized as married parents forces me to go beyond their basic understanding of natural order. They cannot comprehend or understand such relationships.

As their father, I teach them to love, respect and treat all individuals without partiality. This perspective is easy and natural for my children to have within our culturally diverse communities.

However, the topic of sexuality is a personal, private matter that I do not believe our government should mandate for our ohana to have to explain and defend, as it is in opposition to the basic trust and knowledge of my kids.

There should be equal rights for all people regardless of their age, gender, race, physical limitations or academic achievements.

I was born and raised in San Francisco following the sexual revolution, but I never imagined that a person's sexual preference would become a public debate and spectacle equated to women's suffrage or the civil rights movement.

As a Christian father and pastor, I do know what is best for my ohana, and I am happy that the state House has chosen to not vote on HB 444.

The Rev. Matthew Hilpert is a pastor in Kaneohe.