As a minister I have come to see the Domestic Partners ordinance, while not perfectly written, reflective of something much deeper than politics, government policy or fiscal issues. For me, it is a matter of social justice. I firmly believe the passing of the Non-Discrimination and Domestic Partnership Ordinance will permit our city to more perfectly reflect the higher standards of equality, dignity and affirmation found in our varied faith traditions and in our collective belief in the goodness of humanity.
In the Christian tradition, these principles are spelled out in scripture, modeled by the life of Christ and are standards to which we are called as Christ followers to emulate.
In teaching his disciples to pray, Jesus said when you pray, pray like this, "Your kingdom come Your will be done, on earth as it is in Heaven". That prayer is meant to inspire and motivate us.
We are to take responsibility, to pray and to work so that our world looks more like God's kingdom when we are finished then when we started.
Ask yourself. If this ordinance fails, what would it feel like to wake up in a city where 51% of people do not value you as a worker or acknowledge you as a person of equal worth?
As a person of faith, as a minister, I feel it is my sacred duty to do all I can to ensure that isn't a case for anyone in my parish or in our city. Can I count on you as citizens of two kingdoms, to help close the gap bringing equality and justice for all our friends and neighbors?
* * *
My fellow Chattanoogans, today, I implore you to reflect within your hearts. Do we really want to be a city that systematically discriminates against our mothers and fathers? Our brothers and sisters? Our neighbors?
Let's not kid ourselves. The aforementioned, in fact, make up those working for our great city. They are our city. They are us. Yes, they may be LGBTQ. That does not mean they are any less of a person, however. That does not mean they are undeserving of equal rights.
In August, we, as citizens of Chattanooga, will be faced with a dilemma. Faith as well as equality for all, I believe, can be thoroughly reconciled. God loves all, this is true. Why does it seem so difficult for those among us to accept those that God has made in his very image? We have people claiming the banner of righteousness that would simultaneously seek to deny our LGBTQ brothers and sisters their human dignity. Does that sound like they adhere to a loving God? To me, that is the antithesis to what Jesus stood for and eventually died advocating.
It is not regressive to demand that all who stand before the law are treated justly and fairly. On the contrary, it is morally imperative that we stand up and be heard on this issue. When you vote, vote with the knowledge that it will have far-reaching consequences. Your vote will either extend equal rights or it will deny equal rights. That is a fact.
If you can sleep soundly believing that future generations will commend your efforts at subjugating others to second-class citizens, then you clearly lack a conscience. Please, join in the fight to extend equality in our city and be on the right side of history. Vote FOR the Non-Discrimination and Domestic Partnership Benefits ordinance.
Patrick Moore, Chattanooga Resident (East Brainerd - District 4)
* * *
I find it interesting that a minister does not use any Scripture to back up his stance on this subject. It does not matter what the subject matter either. If a person is going to identify themselves as a Christian minister, it is their duty to show the Scripture that they base their stand upon.
Mr. Greene wrote, “In the Christian tradition, these principles are spelled out in scripture, modeled by the life of Christ and are standards to which we are called as Christ followers to emulate.” What Bible verse(s) spell out the principles that is/are the basis for your endorsement of this ordinance?
Mr. Greene also wrote, “We are to take responsibility, to pray and to work so that our world looks more like God's kingdom when we are finished then when we started.” God’s kingdom is to look like His standards written in His Word. If you are inferring that God condones same-sex marriage, what Bible verses do you base that on? It is your responsibility to do this.
Again, the subject does not matter. If you are going to publicly take a stand, based on Christian principles, and do not provide the Scripture that you base this stand on, then you are simply giving your opinion. If you do this without any biblical basis, then please do not identify yourself as a representative of God and His Word.
* * *
The ordinance will not let a city employee insure a blood relative in their care. Say you have a grown brother or sister, father or mother that relies on you for their care and well being. If you are a city employee this ordinance denies you that right while installing that right to non-married partners, whether they really are partners or not, who can actually prove it?
So, actual blood relatives are being discriminated against it appears to me. Some people are crying discrimination because folks don't agree with insuring friends or lover before actual blood relatives are insured, but should not actual blood relatives take precedent over lovers or friends?
When you are at life's end, more than likely it will be a blood relative or married partner holding your hand.
Now as for same sex marriage so that can be included, you need to take that up with your legislature and go from there.