Letters to the Editor
May 2000
Right to abstinence

Many of us in the United Church of Christ believe that women have the right to abstinence and the right to contraception methods but not the right to abortion. One exception might be to save the mother's life.
      My Bible considers abortion murder. Is your writer's Bible different? How can anti-capital punishment people believe that capital punishment is OK for unborn babies? And why does your writer say "Reproductive Rights Services?" Why doesn't she just say "Abortion Rights Services?"

Elise H. McGowan
West Concord, Minn.

Abortion not ‘laughable'

God gave us free choice, no strings attached. God did not give us free choice with judgment should we make the "wrong" choice. Then it would not truly be free.
      I am deeply disturbed that faithful persons would find it "laughable" that someone who chose to have an abortion did so in the light of her relationship to God. None of us who has not had to make such a gut-wrenching decision can sit in judgment of those who have. Being pro-choice does not mean being pro-abortion. Abortion is one of our society's symptoms of a larger problem. Instead of criticizing and judging, our energy needs to be focused on valuing every woman, man, and child, on sex education and life skills for all people.
      When we join hands with those who choose abortion, we will then heal the need for it. We will be giving the hand of Christ.

Cynthia E. Robinson
Monroe Congregational UCC
Monroe, Conn.

Avoid a takeover!

After reading the article, "Congress threatens microradio stations," through the help of Senator Jim Jeffords' (R-VT) Rutland, Vt., office, I obtained copies of the proposed bills S. 2068 and HR 3439, "To prohibit the Federal Communications Commission from establishing rules authorizing the operation of new, low power FM radio stations." The summary of the Senate bill scares this "go-to-town-meeting libertarian" as it has an ex post facto clause to revoke existing licences.
      The House version would require greater channel separation to protect high power commercial broadcasters from the microstations than the current law requires for their separation from each other! This is clearly a blatant attempt for the commercial broadcasters to complete their takeover of the publicly owned radio spectrum.
      The tenor of both versions is the micro-management of engineering decisions by the Congress.

Emerson Frost
Pittsford Congregational UCC
Pittsford, Vt.

ONA represents grassroots

A letter last month contrasted 316 Open and Affirming (ONA) UCC churches to the other 5,700, asking if the denomination's leadership in affirming Lesbian/Gay/Bisexual/Transgendered people represented grassroots convictions.
      It's important to know just how grassroots the ONA movement is. ONA is coordinated not by a national UCC ministry, but by The Coalition, a UCC grassroots organization of several thousand individuals that raises its own budget.
      Imagine even 100 UCC congregations committing to a challenging study process averaging up to three years to complete—then deciding whether to become ONA. Yet, by today's count, 323 UCC churches have done exactly that, and voted yes.
      For 30 years, new groups of UCC people, delegates to General Synods, have affirmed lesbian, gay and bisexual people. All those delegates are members of local churches, most of which are not ONA. I belong to a non-ONA church, yet we are dealing with these issues.

The Rev. Mitzi N. Eilts
National Coordinator
UCC Coalition for LGBT Concerns

UCC TV evangelists

Thank you for sharing your beautiful service way down here in Southeast Texas."
      Such was one of the many calls I received on my voice mail following the national broadcast of our Easter service on ABC-TV. People from across the country called to thank us and ask where they could find a local UCC congregation in their area.
      It was an incredible opportunity for the people of Pilgrim Church in Cleveland, Ohio, to share the good news of the resurrection nationwide. But it also afforded the opportunity for people across the country to catch a glimpse of the United Church of Christ.
      I would like to extend my deepest thanks to the Office of Communication and the United Church Board for Homeland Ministries for helping make this project possible. Their support, encouragement and help gave the people of Pilgrim Church the chance to be evangelists in a very special way.

The Rev. Laurinda Hafner, Sr. Pastor
Pilgrim Congregational UCC
Cleveland, Ohio

Prop 22 ‘rightly' won

In my humble opinion, the opposition of two California Conference Ministers to California's Proposition 22 ("The Protection of Family Initiative and the Defense of Marriage Initiative") does not mean that a denomination concurs with their unique corporate viewpoints.
      I feel that the commentary which reported the news of Proposition 22's passage was subjective, and I suggest that—if not labeled as ‘commentary'—an article and its writer should strive mightily to be objective.
      The people of California rightly voted for Proposition 22, and the outcome should represent the will of the voters of California. It has done so.

Jim Harris
Angola, Ind.

 Send "Letters..." of fewer than 150 words to United Church News, 700 Prospect Ave., Cleveland, OH 44115-1100; e-mail goldere@ucc.org. Printed letters may be edited for clarity and brevity.