Brown was aware

To the Journal Editor:

Mike Marsden and Matt Surrell’s op-ed published in The Mining Jourtnal last Tuesday on Bobby Glenn Brown was interesting but they gave the impression government was the cure all concerning Bobby Glenn Brown, gay rights, tolerance and some church issues.

This country was founded on freedom of speech, worship and separation of state and religion.

Three years ago, Bobby Glenn Brown joined the Catholic Church, accepting the teaching that marriage is between a man and a woman and other church doctrines. If Brown had any questions, that would have been a good time to ask.

Since then Brown has stated he is gay and issued a … statement on his union with a man. This is in direct conflict with what he professed three years ago.

He was discreetly asked to step down from his leadership role but chose a wider forum. Brown was not asked to leave the church or sit in a specific location. Yes, he has choices to make to receive the sacraments. Normally all this would be private, but he has chosen to make this public. We may never really know his final decisions it will between him and his maker.

Marsden and Surrell should know the church recognizes the role of the state in many matters. But the reverse is also true. The state recognizes the role of the church.

Marsden and Surrell’s comment on gays rights, “they must receive equal and fair treatment under all circumstances.” Respect is important and discrimination should be avoided. Gays are always welcome in our Church. Period.

But Marsden and Surrell’s interpretation suggest the Catholic Church accept government edicts on what marriage is legally. We may accommodate the law but not accept it as our doctrine.

Brown’s civil rights have been honored. He chose us knowing our doctrine. It is not our obligation to change our religion to accommodate practices that go against our faith. The courts agree with this position.

There probably is a religion out there that will accept just about anything you desire, ours is not one of them. In the end, God is forgiving but we must confess and be truly be sorry for our mistakes.

Dialogue can help heal the wounds, as Marsden and Surrell have suggested, cultural accommodations can and will be made on many items in the Catholic Church but doctrine belongs to Jesus.

Stephen W. Dupras