Monday, May 11, 2009

Does God Hate?

Ruth Dorfman, of PFLAG's Naples, Florida chapter, published a moving and insightful op-ed in Friday's Naples Daily News about faith, families and the important role PFLAG plays in making houses of worship more welcoming, and understanding.

Writing ahead of this Sunday's Interfaith Convocation (also organized by the Naples chapter), Ruth says that, "I believe children, all children, including gay and lesbian children, need to feel safe when they are growing up, knowing they are surrounded by family members who love and cherish them. It requires a strong foundation for children to grow and achieve their full potential. Children of strong minds, high ideals and integrity grow out of the continuity, guidance, structure and reliability they receive within their families; they wither with condemnation or rejection. As parents we must love our children and instill in them the knowledge that we are all part of something greater than ourselves. We as a community of families must strive to provide this for every child. In an ever changing, highly mobile society, we are unfortunately seeing greater instability, less personal interaction, and heightened loneliness and isolation. We must do more to nurture our children and strengthen the family and encourage faith and belonging."

"I am saddened that in Naples I have been too often confronted with people who use religion to divide and stigmatize people," she continues. "I became active in PFLAG to make an effort to unite and educate people that faith and homosexuality are not incompatible."

"Based on Psalms: Behold how good and how pleasant it is when people dwell together in unity, PFLAG has created an Interfaith convocation remembering that unity requires us as believers to include everyone," the op-ed continues. "PFLAG is celebrating this unity with a significant faith-based opportunity to experience harmony with the blending of music and prayer. A committee of clergy and lay people from many faiths have come together to demonstrate that people of all faiths can pray together and bestow the public acknowledgment and social sanctions that are reinforced by communal worship."

"Through music, prayer and personal recollections, the service will engage our hearts, our minds and spirits, deepening our human understanding, uniting us and hopefully helping to break down the boundaries that separate people."

"We look forward to celebrating the joy of community, the gift of diversity and the vision of harmony together. I urge you and your family to make every effort to join us for this special and meaningful convocation on Sunday, May 17, 2 p.m., Unity of Naples Church, 2000 Unity Way."

To read Ruth's full op-ed from Friday's paper, click here. And for more information on the upcoming Interfaith Convocation, visit the PFLAG Naples site online.

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