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Letter to the editor: Get to know someone's story

To the editor,

There are letters in the paper every week, arguing for one position or another on the proposed amendment to the Minnesota constitution that would limit the freedom to marry to opposite gender couples. I know and love many gay and lesbian people whom this amendment would really hurt. But I'm not going to pose an abstract argument to try to convince you to vote one way or another. That's because my friends are humans, and as such, they are made in God's image. They are not abstract ideas. Each is God's creation and is worthy of respect.

Here's what I propose: Between now and Election Day, have conversations with people about this proposed amendment. Tell your story and listen to others'. Seek to understand; ask questions. Try hard not to let your "inner pundit" out.

When we do that, something new is created: community; compassion; deep relationship. Our democracy is strengthened. It's easy to spout off opinions and demonize those we disagree with. To tell stories and really listen to others is a courageous, counter-cultural thing. And perhaps the only way the world can be changed.

Deb Stehlin

Deb Stehlin is pastor of Light of the World Church in Farmington