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Hate Crimes Legislation

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I’m certainly not opposed to prosecuting someone who assaults another human being.  Why do cases of race and sexual orientation need to be considered as special subsets?  Assault is assault.  I *do* have a problem when the lawyers (and they WILL) try to blame someone other than the perpetrator for the crime.

The president of the LCMS (Lutheran Church – Missouri Synod) has issued a statement concerning this recent legislation.  It’s brief.  You can read it here: http://www.lcms.org/pages/internal.asp?NavID=15941

In that article, he makes the point that it’s possible that based on this legislation that pastors could be prosecuted for teaching what the Bible teaches concerning sexual behavior outside of one man-one woman marriage.  It remains to be seen, just how strictly this hate crimes legislation will be implemented.  Let’s hope that our freedoms of speech and religion are protected.

One closing thought:  What if a pastor preaches that stealing is wrong and some “confused” parishioner beats up a person he believes is a thief?  Should the pastor be prosecuted?  Think about it…

Thailand Pictures!

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Rachelle and I went to Thailand at the end of July with the Pastoral Leadership Institute.  This was the culmination of our four year learning experience.  We and three other couples from our “collegial group” (collegial groups are made up of 5 to 7 pastors and their wives who stay together during the PLI program.) went to Thailand to experience a variety of ministry settings and to assist as we were able.  We were in Thailand for about 10 days.  We visited Bangkok and Chiang Mai.  We saw the offices of Lutheran Hour Ministries, Concordia Gospel Ministry Center, the LISA training center for pastors, Phong Phet Church, Concordia Day Care, Bang Na Daycare, Mae Rim Student Center, some Hmong Villages and then several tourist attractions at the end of our mission trip.

You can see pictures from our trip by clicking here:

Thailand General

You can hear the audio of the message I preached following our trip clicking here.  (I used a different slide show during the sermon, but many, if not all, of the pictures are in this larger slide show posted on this blog).

or view the same pictures in slide show below:
http://picasaweb.google.com/s/c/bin/slideshow.swf