ELCA bishop submits video for ‘It Gets Better’ video essay, telling gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender young people ‘You are a beloved child of God’

Mark Hanson

Mark Hanson, bishop of the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, has submitted a video for the “It Gets Better” video essay on YouTube.com, an effort designed to support and encourage gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender young people.

“I’ve listened with pain and shock to reports of young people taking their lives because they’ve been bullied and tormented for being different, for being gay or perceived to be gay, for being the people God created them to be,” Hanson said. “I can only imagine what it’s like to be bullied for being lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender.”

The video is below. If it does not function properly, you can view the video here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VJOhjLXJmaY

 Read a transcript of Hanson’s video here. Read the ELCA press release here.


8 thoughts on “ELCA bishop submits video for ‘It Gets Better’ video essay, telling gay, lesbian, bisexual, transgender young people ‘You are a beloved child of God’

  1. Once again, the Bishop fails to seize the opportunity to reveal the “Fullness of Truth” with Love. Homosexuality is one of the big four sins that cries to Heaven for punishment and cannot be condoned in our society. If homosexuality has no place in society, how can it have a place in the Bishop’s Church? The worst thing we can do is tell someone engaging in homosexual behavior that it is ok or we accept it because that’s how you were created. It’s complete fabrication. They need to be told the truth. Then they need to seek repentence and confess their sin. They need to ask for God’s forgiveness and mercy. If they ask with a sincere heart, it will be granted! Then and only then will the healing process begin.

  2. John, you’re a sick freak. It isn’t up to you to decide what others can do. Close your blinds and worry about what happens in your own house.

  3. Kip says “stop being a bigot”? Well then, what do you call it when the majority leadership of ELCA Inc. say that it is ok for rostered clergy to have a homosexual”long term committed relationship” , but the layity can’t? Is it a don’t ask, don’t tell? Why doesn’t this also apply to the layity, or does it extend to them, but it just isn’t official yet? By extension, the same definition of a “long term committed relationship” would have to be applied to heterosexuals. (A reality that exists, but not talked about.) All the above completely negates the need / necessity of marriage completely, for clergy, and layity both. Why even have marriage in the ELCA? It means nothing to the majority leadership. When a group hijacks a whole denomination, pulling it away from what once made it a great statement of faith, only the layity suffer, and by extension the rest of Christianity not in agreement with that group, and/or like minded people. Then they have the audacity to call those who have not changed their historical beliefs bigoted? What bigotry. Well, aren’t they special? Now in reality, they are the judgemental ones, those who do not see sin where sin exists. Those who selectively ignore the totality of scripture. Those who eliminated the two great doctrines of the bible, those being LAW and GOSPEL, the seperateness of the two, and the relationship between the two. (Not sin, no need for forgiveness)! They have discarded the core of true Lutheranism, and have absoloutely no valid claim to be, or use the name LUTHERAN!! I have great empathy and concern for those in the ELCA that don’t agree with what has happened to their once great denomination. The only ones left with ANY integrity in that corporation, are the ones that are in the process of leaving.

  4. Now the term “sick freak”? My goodness, how the level of credability has declined. Sounds bigoted to me. I think it was Shakespeare who said, “let a man speak long enough, and he will prove even to himself to be a fool”. Keep talking defaulter.

  5. I suppose the basic question is still whether homosexuals choose to be such or are born with those desires. I am heterosexual but have known several homosexuals as family members, close friends or family of close friends. All of those who have experienced homosexual desires will tell me they were born that way, that they have known it from early childhood. It is only heterosexuals who will claim it to be choice even though they have had no experience to base their opinion on. God made each of the 7 billion people on this earth today and He made each one different. Each one has a different finger print, different voice, different intelligence, different talents, different sexual desires, no two are the same. That is a tribute to the greatness of God’s creative ability. To say He casts everyone from the same mold is an insult to God. He created all of us with sexual desires, about 8 to 10 percent with predominant homosexual desires and I am in no position to criticize God for doing so, others obviously think they are. The beauty of God’s creativity is in its diversity and I would thank Him for it, not criticize Him.
    The objective of ‘Things get better’ is to console those who fear being threatened by a heterosexual world because of their God given sexuality. There are many teens in cemeteries who took their own lives for no apparent reason. It occurred to me that perhaps many of them would rather be dead than gay in a heterosexual world. I have a very good friend who is getting close to age 30 and has known he is gay since early childhood. He has met several gay boys in his youth and men as an adult so I asked him how many of those acquaintances have told you they considered suicide rather that live a life of being gay in a heterosexual world. He said all except one. Perhaps an even greater threat to them is to be rejected by ones’ own parents. I cannot even imagine the emotional and mental torment one must endure if they are rejected by their own mother. Thus, it is our responsibility if we claim to be followers of Christ’s teaching to love and support those who may be somewhat different rather than to demonize them. Condemning one who is gay is condemning God for His creation. When any church or church group tells a homosexual God created them to be sinners and are condemned to hell because of their sexuality they are telling them they must first live their life on earth in the absence of God and Christ’s love. That will not only drive that person from their church membership, fellowship with other Christians. It must be an unimaginable torment to be told you are living outside of God’s love and care and are condemned to eternity in hell because of the way God created you.

  6. Glenn; I am heterosexual. I have not once understood that homosexuals are “doomed” any more than heterosexuals. I am convinced that heteros fight with the same urges as homosexuals, only aimed in a different direction. The difference in todays society is that heteros can still acknowledge their sin outside of marriage, (thinking about it, and doing it), and seek forgiveness, whereas homosexuals appear to defiantly see no sin, or the need for forgiveness. The homosexual community evidently constantly considers being a homosexual, and “doing” homosesuality one in the same. I see none of them ever consider being celebate. I have specifically asked some of them that question. However, todays culture shows that celebacy is not much of a consideration for many unmarried heteros either. So, to recap, not one is not any better than the other. Both are sinners. All need to see their sin,(the work of the law), and then the Gospel shows us our salvation, which is through faith in Christ crucified for us in our stead. There is no one who is sinless, and there is no sin so great that can’t be forgiven . All of us fight with that on a daily basis, whether we admit it or not. Be it fudging on taxes, stealing a pencil at work, or thinking about “boinking” the neighbors spouse.

  7. Glenn; Just an after-thought, Although it is not our place to determine someones weaknesses to be worse than anothers, and condem them personally, It is also not our place to approve behavior (sin) where sin exists. This approval IS what the good Bishop appears to be doing. His emphasis of “it gets better” is wrongly placed. The correct emphasis of “it gets better”, is when someone acknowledges sin, repents, and then realizes that those personal, pet sins are forgiven. When that is recieved, the burden of guilt is removed, and” it doesn’t get better than that”. Then” go and sin no more”. “Upon rising, one should remember one’s baptism. The good Bishop should go back and study Luther’s Catechism, both small and large. He seems to have forgotten the content, and intent. He has also forgotten the “paradox” of saint, yet sinner.

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