Summary: The pastors reject and oppose all forms of prejudice, but do not consider advancing godly behavior to be a form of prejudice. They note that in some other locations where such laws have been passed, the effect has been to infringe on the free exercise of religion, freedom of association, and freedom of expression. They believe Proposition 5 will pose a similar threat to religious liberty here in Anchorage. It could criminalize the convictions of those who oppose its passage on religious grounds and could lead to discriminatory action in censuring or punishing people who make decisions from deeply-held religious convictions regarding sexuality. Churches and Christian organizations might be pressured to hire, to allow into membership, and to make facilities available to those who openly practice and promote what they cannot condone. Thus they conclude that creating protected classes in an anti-discrimination code for a preferred lifestyle and personally-chosen identities would be bad law, and urge a No vote.
Scope: The pastors primarily represent Baptist and non-denominational Evangelical-orientated churches, with a sprinkling of mainline Protestant churches included. Three Catholic priests also signed the letter, but without naming their particular parishes. As a member of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, I am disappointed to find not a single LDS bishop or stake president on the list. The LDS Church has not taken an institutional position on Prop 5, but stake presidents and bishops are not barred from doing so as long as they don't impose it as a test of worthiness upon members. On the other hand, no LDS bishop or stake president has publicly declared in favor of Prop 5.
Neutrality wasn't an option in the pre-mortal existence; when Lucifer rebelled, we either declared ourselves on the Father's side or on Lucifer's side. Those of us who came to earth are those who rejected Lucifer, who became Satan. And neutrality won't be an option in the next world, either; one will have to declare either for or against Christ for eternal salvation.
These 85 pastors deserve props and publicity for declaring themselves in favor of liberty and tradition; a screenshot showing their names and churches is published (after the jump):
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