Tennessee’s Anti-LGBT Adoption Bill Fails God’s Command to Love Without Condition | Opinion—EXCERPT

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The following is an excerpt of an opinion piece from The Tennessean by the Rev. Mark W. Wagner. Rev. Wagner is pastor at a Methodist church in Washington state. He grew up in East Tennessee and is a Middle Tennessee State University graduate. Last week, he read an article announcing the passage of a new bill in the Tennessee Senate that would allow adoption agencies to discriminate against same-sex couples who hope to adopt a child.

If passed, this bill would prevent hundreds of loving families from embracing a child in need and providing a loving and stable environment for a child who otherwise would never know the love of a parent.

From The Tennessean: “For those of us who have been fortunate enough to know the love of a parent, we know that this consistent and loving presence builds a solid foundation upon which we can pursue healthy and productive lives. The outcome for children who grow up never knowing the love of a parent is not so positive.

Almost half of all children in foster care end up in jail within two years of aging out of the system. Professionals will tell you that this outcome is primarily caused by a lack of stability and the absence of a loving and stable family environment.

While those in positions of power may believe they are following their religious convictions and their interpretation of the biblical text to justify this bill that will prevent loving adults from caring for our most vulnerable population, this resolution is not reflective of the heart of Christ. God’s will in scripture is clear: Take care of my children. Christ’s teaching is clear: Love the least of these. There are no exceptions to Christ’s command. God’s command is to love without condition.

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