Dear Editor: The following is an open letter to Assemblyman Connors
Dear Assemblyman S Connors:
In response to your comments regarding Pastor Mario Gonzalez, after getting over simply being angry, I realized my anger actually was derived from being disappointed. I have always considered you a smart guy. You have always seemed truly respectful of differences and different opinions, yet you are challenging this man on what and why he believes as if he is unable to hold office and serve because of how he understands scripture. So what, there is an enormous population of Christians in our city who believe the same thing? I have seen you stand and speak to congregants leaving churches whose members overwhelmingly believe the same thing. There are millions of Christians and Catholics in this country and well over 2 billion all over the world. (I still remember you claiming to be one yourself.) But even if you are not, all over this country, every one of those individuals have a God given, then constitutionally endowed right to believe and practice a religious right.
What then gives you the right to decide that he will not be able to perform his duties as a councilman and represent, discuss, care about others, simply because he is a God fearing evangelical pastor? Disagree with him on tax codes, budget and governance even on his beliefs, but respect who he is and what he believes. The Catholic Church believes the exact same thing. You really should know better. Are Christians only to suit you when you need a picture or visiting a feast and celebration? Are we only tolerant if we agree with you? I have seen you at church picnics and Catholic festivals. We have spoken at some. If this is how you feel towards Christians, how can he be the hypocrite? Remember what they say about people who live in glass houses. I am persuaded to believe that the Christian ethic that for simple political points, you now mock is the same that keeps Pastor Mario from returning your attacks. Otherwise he might talk about how you once called your running mate and Marine Corps Veteran “Un-American” and how now he is American enough to run with. However, just in case you are still not clear, a hypocrite,” is a person who acts in contradiction to his or her stated beliefs or feelings.” You owe him and those like him an apology. But I have another issue with this. I endorsed Steven Fulop. I did it because I believed that he and his team would be approachable and respectful to clergy regardless of nationality and denomination. I am disappointed in the lack of leadership on this issue. This is your team and you pride yourself on dealing and speaking to the issues. I appreciate the idea of working with you to improve relationships in our city but respectfully, we have not yet voted and endorsements can be taken back.