GENERAL
Thanks for reading this past Wednesday's installment of my weekly "Faith and Beliefs" column, and for writing with your interesting comments!
May I suggest you follow up publicizing your idea by writing a letter to the editor or an "As I See It" column? -- http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/letters/

Thanks for reading today's installment of my weekly "Faith and Beliefs" column, and taking the trouble to let me know it had meaning for you. I really appreciate this because, as you can imagine, not all the comments I receive are as generous as yours!  I hope that our nation can continue to move forward from misunderstanding, fear and prejudice, toward justice and support for all responsible relationships.

THANK YOU for being a regular reader!
With appreciation,
Vern

FAVORABLE
Thanks for reading Wednesday's installment of my weekly "Faith and Beliefs" column, and taking the trouble to let me know it had meaning for you. I really appreciate this!
 I am glad that readers like you understood what I was trying to do in writing about --

MISPLACED
I would hate to think that somehow that my column found its way under the canary perch at the bottom of the cage -- or was otherwise misplaced. I appreciate your unreasonable and apparently uncontrollable interest in reading what I write, and do not want to disabuse you by confessing it is hardly worth your time. Nonetheless, I cherish each of my readers and want to be sure their addiction is properly reinforced. So here is the column:

Thank you for remembering that column! I think it was one of the more important than I've written recently. I include the text below my name/identification, and you can also find it in the archive on my website on the right-hand side of the page at  http://www.cres.org/star/

but if you have any difficulty, please write me and I'll send you the text. If you want a hard-copy of The Star's printed version, send a stamped, self-addressed envelope to me at the address below. If you would like a PDF image of the print version, let me know and I'll respond by email.

Underneath the column you'll find comments and other readers and my responses in two sections, emails and comments posted on The Star's website.

Additional information about finding other columns:
http://www.cres.org/team/58_StarFind.htm

CLARIFY

I do appreciate your writing and giving me a chance to applaud your words and to clarify mine.

DISAGREE
I do not expect you to change any of your thinking as a result of my response. I simply wanted you to know I have read your email, thought about it, and wanted to express my appreciation for your taking the trouble to write me, even though we continue to disagree and no doubt could engage in a lengthy exchange, but probably to no different outcome.

You are quite right that the column fails to deal with the complexity of issues involved. Other writers have addressed them, so I focused on a single point I have not seen adequately addressed. within the small space I am given to write.

Thank you for stating that the purpose of your email was not to convince me of your position, and I assure you I do not seek to change yours. But I did not want to ignore your thoughtfulness in writing me and I felt I should do my best to respond briefly to the points you raised in order to assure you that I honor your position, even though I disagree with it.

You are most welcome to follow-up by making your criticism public by writing a letter to the editor or an "As I See It" column? -- http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/letters/.

SPECIFIC MODEL 1

People do have strong reactions to issues such as this, so if you feel like vomiting, I understand. And I know people with views opposite to yours who have the same visceral reaction to the kind of thing you have written. But reactions do not establish facts. They can prevent us from seeing the facts.

While I have answers for the questions you raise (it is, for example, extremely simple to explain (as scientists have explained) why homosexuality is found in cultures around the world and throughout history without impeding reproduction),  I simply wanted you to know I have read your email, thought about it, and wanted to express my appreciation for your taking the trouble to write me, even though we continue to disagree and no doubt could engage in a lengthy exchange, but probably to no different outcome.

I do not know what your experiences and background may be, but I imagine you have some basis for believing as you do. I would be grateful if you could please extend the same presumption to me, with my more than four decades of ministry, study, prayer, and reflection.

You are most welcome to follow-up by making your criticism of my column public by writing a letter to the editor or an "As I See It" column? -- http://www.kansascity.com/opinion/letters/.

Although on this column, my mail is running far more favorably than otherwise, I certainly do not expect all my readers to agree with me.

In any event, I always appreciate hearing from my readers, and I want to thank you for setting forth your views so clearly.
 

INTERFAITH
Do you know about our "Passport" program? -- http://www.cres.org/passport/

You can contact the Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council -- http://www.kcinterfaith.org/ -- there seems to be some problem with their website at the moment (Bob Bacic, Convener 913 341 7323).
And thank you for your compliments and good wishes!


I am not inclined to schedule a meeting with anyone who I've invited to my place of worship and failed to show up, who failed to provide responsibly requested factual information on a point of discussion, falsely accused me of financial machinations and in many other ways tried to defame my character, and announced that he knows what I believe and wants others to know it but declines repeated invitations to state what that is. I wish anyone who does such things well as I take no personal offense since anyone like this does not know me and is perhaps projecting anger and hurt onto an image of me, but I am not obliged to meet with such a person.