Reporter's Notebook: Word Alone

In many interview situations, a reporter talks to a source for hours. Yet only a quote or so makes the final cut. Here is an extended interview with Mark Chavez, director of

Word Alone

, an organization against the ordination of gays and lesbians.


talked with him in the process of researching the story,

"All God's Children."

He graduated from Luther Seminary in 1987 and has the soft voice of kindergarten teacher. It belies his bellicose rhetoric...

-Word alone. The name of the movement sums up what we are about: the authority of God.

-It's the front burner hot issue. Some people who want us approve of behavior that bible says is sinful. Lifelong partnership of man and women are ok. They're pushing the boundaries and claim that same-sexual relationships are not necessarily sinful. That's contrary to scripture.

-The problem isn't that people have those inclinations. All of us have simple inclinations. It's what we choose to do with them. But the truth is that as simple human beings we have no authority for god's word, sexually or any other way.

-Any sexual relationship outside of marriage is sinful. Being obedient to god's word, for the ability to be in the place of god. That is why he gave the law in the first place.

-I think the ELCA will try to keep things as muddled as possible. They know for certain approval will result in a precipitous decline in membership. It is clear that they want something that is muddled. So given that, I think what is likely to emerge is a social statement that is not clear. ("ELCA" refers to the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America, the largest Lutheran organization in North America-- 4.8 million members.)

-Bigotry is by definition a human point of view. The church's point of view has not changed for 2000 years. It is god's point of view. Their problem is with god. This isn't a question about welcoming people and caring for them. We all do that and we all welcome people with same sex inclinations. But we need to handle this the same way we would handle a serial pedophile or a pornography addict. In the eyes of God, they are no different than an adulterer. It's not like one sexual sin is greater than another.

-If the ELCA would approve sex outside of marriage... It's disastrously wishful thinking to think it will be unique. The United Church of Christ been so bold and approved these relationships and they're approaching a 40% loss in membership.

-Lutheran World Federation has made it known that the possible policy change will not be good for their relationship with the ELCA.

-One of the problems is that we are not dealing with reality. The myth it that 10% of the population is gay. Really, that's only 2%. There is the myth that it is genetic. But evidence strongly determines it is not passed down genetically. The discussion always refers to life long, committed, same-sex relationships. Those kinds of relationships are very rare in the GLBT community.

-There is this uncritical opening of the doors and boundaries that is troublesome.

-As a Lutheran I always believe the Lutheran confessions and try to uphold the authority of God.

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