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I read, with interest, the column by Manya Warn about a Presbyterian congregation's debate on homosexuality, and the rebuttal offered by the Rev. Robert Melone Jr., a senior Presbyterian pastor in Erie, Pa.

I am a former Presbyterian who has served as a deacon and an elder. I chaired our church's fund-raising committee for two years and, at times, spent more time on that than on my occupation. It is a well-known trend in America that people are leaving in droves from the mainline churches, including the Presbyterian church. I think that what the Rev. Melone wrote can serve as good reason why so many are leaving.

No church of "warmth, beauty, tolerance and understanding" for him. We must be convicted of our sins. We need to come to his God for "correction, repentance, forgiveness and restoration." His God isn't much for tolerance. This deity wants us to "make disciples of all nations" and bring them to a unique Christianity. And if we don't like the faith, if we have the audacity to "challenge the basics," well, we better get out. In fact, the pastor will kick a little dust at us, and gladly show us the door. Although he doesn't say this in so many words, this can serve as a perfect basis for booting out the challenging, uncorrected homosexuals.

What a faith to promote! And in the name of Jesus, who preached and practiced tolerance, acceptance and love for all mankind.

Carl Jacobs

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