This letter is written with humility and respect for the individuals of our county.

I am very concerned about the mental condition of our families who listen without question to preachers in our community. My concern is the Biblical teachings that no longer reflect our society and our failure to stand with the Supreme Court rulings on the issues of legal abortions and same-sex marriage.

In the Rev. Ken Pardue’s letter dated Sept. 20, he stated that he believes on-demand abortion and unquestioning acceptance of the LGBTQ community are destroying the Biblical family. First, let’s talk about abortion rights. In 1965, before Roe v. Wade legalized safe abortion practices and empowered women to make their own medical decisions, illegal and back-alley abortions made up one-sixth of all pregnancy-related deaths - and that’s just according to official reports, Doctors believe it was much higher. Prohibition of safe, legal abortion particularly hurts people with low incomes; a survey conducted in the 1960s found that among women with low incomes who had obtained an abortion, 8 in 10 had attempted a dangerous self-induced procedure.

Wilkes County is one of the poorest counties in our state. Our mothers, sisters and daughters will be the ones suffering without access to safe, legal abortions. Abortion is healthcare. One in four women in America will have an abortion in their lifetimes. Roe v. Wade protects a person’s right to make their own medical decisions.

The majority of Americans want access to safe, legal abortions and think it should be legal in all or most cases. The overwhelming majority of 18-29 year olds support Roe v. Wade.

As for his opinions on same-sex marriage, the Rev. Pardue is correct about just one thing. A man and woman are needed to bring a child into the world. Two parents of opposite genders are not required to raise a child. According to a 2016 study done by Rachel Farr at the University of Kentucky, children of same-sex couples experience no differences from different-sex couples. And because sexual orientation had no impact on any differences found in the study, it actually offers some interesting conclusions for all families to consider.

Rev. Pardue, my concern is for you and your parishioners who would rather stick their heads in the sand and pretend the world is not an ever-evolving landscape of differences and change. My concern is for the shame and prejudice your Biblical family shows to women and the LGBTQ community. Instead of working to divide our community, shouldn’t you be preaching love and inclusion? I look forward to a day when all types of families can hold hands and truly love one another.

JAMEE THOMPSON,

Wilkesboro, N.C

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