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SGA decision

Monday night, Concordia Student Government Association (SGA) passed an official position regarding the upcoming marriage amendment vote.  Part of the position reads SGA “encourages a vote ‘no’ on the proposed marriage amendment taking place on November 6.”  This is the first time, in known history, that SGA has adopted an official position on a political issue not regarding institutional policy since its inception in 1962. Much of the hour-long debate revolved around the arguments whether SGA should take a stance on a political issue.

The official statement also encourages a continued discussion on marriage equality. However, no concrete plans on how SGA would foster a continued discussion have been determined. The original resolution regarding an official SGA stance was submitted by Meg Henrickson and Levi Bachmeier. They decided to introduce an official stance to the SGA Forum because, as the resolution reads, “many citizens, colleges, and businesses continue to speak out on their position of the marriage amendment.”

The recent announcement of “Sin is Sin” shirts contributed to the reason for SGA taking an official position. Concerns also mentioned during the debate revolved around how outsiders would view the position. SGA was originally sanctioned to “act as the official representatives of the student body subject to the will of the students at large.” And while it should be noted that this official position is not supposed to be a reflection of the student body wishes, it is easy to see how some could confuse the language of the resolution to also include the views of the student body.

After some discussion concerning the effect an official position would have on alumni donations, SGA members were ensured that the effect on donations would be negligible, but only time will tell the true effect on donations. Regardless on your stance about the marriage amendment, I encourage a discussion stemming from both sides of the issue.

Letter to the editor submitted by Cole Kantos, SGA Academic Affairs Co-commissioner.


  1. peter peter September 25, 2012

    Yes, it is a church-affiliated college. It’s sad that the SGA would come up with this statement; even worse, that the ELCA has shown such total disregard for God’s Word; but worst of all, that the ELCA is mimicking the false prophets of Jeremiah’s day. Read through the book of Jeremiah, and see for yourself. Page back to Isaiah and see what God thinks of people telling lies in God’s name.

    It’s not pretty. Jerusalem was destroyed, its inhabitants reduced to familial cannibalism. (Read the book of Lamentations for Jeremiah’s song of mourning over Jerusalem. Don’t skip 2:14 – “The visions of your prophets were false and worthless; they did not expose your sin to ward off your captivity. The oracles they gave you were false and misleading.”)

    How much worse are we, when we know (or pretend to know) the Bible’s history and warnings – and we shut our ears to the truth? God is no less serious about his word today. God still hates people who fail to expose sin.

    When the Bible speaks clearly – as it has on this topic – the discussion ends.

    • Melisa Barish Melisa Barish September 27, 2012

      We are welcome to our own opinions, as are you, and I would appreciate it if you would discontinue your stubborn position. You can feel free to post again once you have something productive and thoughtful to add to this discussion.

      • Ex Cobber Ex Cobber September 28, 2012

        Melisa, after reading through all the comments it would appear that Peter is adding some very productive and thoughtful comments. He is even backing them up with scripture. I find it interesting that you want Peter to ‘discontinue your stubborn position’ until when?…until he agrees with you? I find it comical that those who claim to be in favor of ‘tolerance’ are the very ones who are the most intolerant of anyone who holds a ‘stubborn’ opinion that differs from theirs.

        • Melisa Barish Melisa Barish September 28, 2012

          My problem is not that he is not changing his mind, but that he will not accept that others have the same choice. I request that he simply accept that fact and discontinue harassing them until that time.

          • Ex Cobber Ex Cobber September 28, 2012

            Sorry Melisa…it’s the first sentence I (and others?) don’t understand, ‘My problem is not that he is not changing his mind, but that he will not accept that others have the same choice.” The same choice as what?…to not change their mind? Don’t want to keep running in circles here, but Peter has clearly stated his position and even backed it up with biblical and extra-biblical sources, and for you to tell him that he can ‘feel free to post again afther he has something productive and thoughtful’ to say makes it sound like you believe you are the moderator of this site. You aren’t…are you?

          • Melisa Barish Melisa Barish October 11, 2012

            I am indeed the editor for this site.

            What I meant was that we all have rights to our own opinions, regardless of whether we have “proof” for them. What I view Peter as doing is harassing those who wish to keep the opinion that gays and lesbians should have the right to marry. If he were to produce questions or other contributions other than trying to force his opinion on those people I would welcome him to the conversation.

        • Alex MacArthur Alex MacArthur October 1, 2012


  2. Matt Hansen Matt Hansen September 24, 2012

    I feel like it’s necessary to point out that a no vote on the marriage amendment does not usher gay marriage into the state of Minnesota. You people do realize that, right? By voting no, one is merely encouraging a continued discussion of gay marriage.

    Also, if you are no longer proud to be a Concordia alumnus because of this decision, then you are crazy. This decision is by a student group. C’mon. Clearly, however, you (1) did not pay attention during any religion classes at the college or (2) failed to meet anyone unlike yourself. I suppose I understand, then, your hesitation to be associated with a place that fosters critical thought and diversified opinions (sounds an awful lot like a college, eh?).

    Pardon my frankness, but: This is not a church. It is, however, a college associated with a church — the Evangelical Lutheran Church of America. That association, which, quite frankly we should be proud of, encourages this type of discussion.

    • Geneva Geneva September 27, 2012

      Well said, and agreed on all counts.

    • Ex Cobber Ex Cobber September 28, 2012

      Matt, the first rule in having a discussion is not to call the other person ‘crazy’…like you did in the first sentence of paragraph 2. The world needs a lot more tolerance these days and you seem very intolerant of other’s thoughts and opinions…so please be more tolerant. Thank you! 🙂

      • Melisa Barish Melisa Barish October 11, 2012

        I think you failed to see his point. He was trying to say that our religious affiliation actually encourages both tolerance and discussion.

  3. Alex MacArthur Alex MacArthur September 24, 2012

    Just going to paste what I’ve said earlier here:

    I don’t buy for a second that the sole rational for this decision is to “foster critical thinking.” Should the election this November have been poised the other way — to implement gay marriage in MN — it’s highly unlikely SGA would feel so motivated to officially oppose THAT piece of legislation for the sake of “continued discussion.”

    I think the leaders of SGA need to be a little more honest with themselves & the campus they’re supposed to reflect.

  4. Elisabeth Elisabeth September 24, 2012

    As an alumni, I am proud that Concordia’s SGA decided to make a statement about the upcoming vote. Churches and other religious institutions have every right to exercise their beliefs and decide who they want to marry within their walls. Government, on the other hand, really shouldn’t have a say in a contract between two people, which is essentially what civil marriage is. I applaud the SGA for recognizing the importance of separation of church and state in this issue and having the guts to take a stand.

    • Ex Cobber Ex Cobber September 28, 2012

      Again…what’s with all this ‘two people’ talk?? Is everyone forgetting about the bi-sexual and transgender? It is GLBT…not just GL! So how about the rights of the bi-sexual who is in love with a man and a woman? Are you going to deny him or her their rights to marry both? People should be allowed to marry as many people as they love. Saying no to 3-4 people who are in love sounds very ‘biphobic’ to me.

  5. Dave90sGrad Dave90sGrad September 24, 2012

    Can’t say I’m happy about this. Not sure I’d recommend my kids attending CC anymore and would probably left if I were still a student. My wife and I are both Concordia grads and will both be voting YES to keep marriage where it belongs. I’m tired of people saying “Times are changing”.

    • 05 Grad 05 Grad September 25, 2012

      Great, send them to Liberty University. I’m sure they will feel welcome over there and get 1/2 the education.

  6. Jenna Jenna September 24, 2012

    So proud of the Concordia community today!! Way to go, SGA! My husband and I are both Concordia alums and we wish that our gay and lesbian friends had the same rights we do. This is the first step in that direction.

    • Ex Cobber Ex Cobber September 28, 2012

      How come you left out the Bi-sexual and Transgender of GLBT?? Everyone seems to be focusing on gays and lesbians and their ‘rights’ to marry…how about the bi-sexual who wants to marry one man and one woman, or two women and one man? Are you only in favor of one person marrying another person? If so, it would appear that you are ‘biphobic’ and maybe even ‘transphobic’ when it comes to their rights to marry whomever they love. A little tolerance of those who are different than you would be appreciated.

  7. Kate Kate September 24, 2012

    I agree with Peter. So sad for this college I was once proud to be an alum of.

  8. LINDA LINDA September 24, 2012

    this is so sad. the word of God is being so watered down within the church and religious colleges
    . Who do you serve? As for me and my house we will follow the Word of God.

  9. peter peter September 24, 2012

    Yeah, I would agree, Matt Hansen. It would be pretty tough to make a pro-homosexual argument based on Scripture. Feel free to try, though.

  10. Gene Samuelson Gene Samuelson September 23, 2012

    … So the Scripture doesn’t mean anything; the writings of Luther don’t mean anything. How do you say in Latin: “Culture alone. Hollywood alone. Progressivism alone”?

  11. Matt Hansen Matt Hansen September 22, 2012

    The most effective argument is always to out Bible verse someone. Good job, commenters. Concordia has taught you well.

  12. peter peter September 22, 2012

    Concordia alumnus, yes. But: what Christ do you follow? The Christ of Mark 8 and Romans 1 – or a Christ of your own making?
    You’ll notice that the core/root/initial sin in Romans 1:17 & following was idolatry…deserting God led to deserting everything that God says.

  13. Courtney Ward Courtney Ward September 22, 2012

    I am very proud to be a Concordia alumnus today. Many of my gay friends are friends I made at Concordia 25 years ago. “Luther” is right about one thing — donations will be affected. I am getting out my checkbook now. Excellent work, Cobbers. Courtney Ward-Reichard, class of ’89.

    • Steve Steve September 24, 2012

      For every one of you who “bump up” their alumni giving there will probably be 10 who pull their’s.

  14. peter peter September 21, 2012

    But…how can a “Christian” college take such a wrong public stand on a clear-cut Biblical issue? My vote is that Concordia stops pretending and removes any reference to “Lutheran” or “Christian” from its campus.

    • ab8562 ab8562 September 21, 2012

      I so totally agree! This makes me so SAD and it is so wrong.

      • Luther Luther September 21, 2012

        Martin Luther correctly identifies homosexuality with the sin of Sodom. Commenting on Genesis 19:4-5 he writes:

        I for my part do not enjoy dealing with this passage, because so far the ears of the Germans are innocent of and uncontaminated by this monstrous depravity; for even though disgrace, like other sins, has crept in through an ungodly soldier and a lewd merchant, still the rest of the people are unaware of what is being done in secret. The Carthusian monks deserve to be hated because they were the first to bring this terrible pollution into Germany from the monasteries of Italy. (Luther’s Works, Vol. 3, 251-252)

        And then in the same section of the Genesis lecturers, Luther refers to:

        the heinous conduct of the people of Sodom ” as “extraordinary, inasmuch as they departed from the natural passion and longing of the male for the female, which is implanted into nature by God, and desired what is altogether contrary to nature. Whence comes this perversity? Undoubtedly from Satan, who after people have once turned away from the fear of God, so powerfully suppresses nature that he blots out the natural desire and stirs up a desire that is contrary to nature. (Luther’s Works, Vol. 3, 255)

        It is disgusting that the college will take such a political stance on a moral issue that attempts to squash any TRUE Christian response that is still left to defend the Word. And regardless of the “language” that is used, those outside are not going to distinguish between a supposed “representation of the majority” and the ideals of the entire college. This is putting a label on every student simply because they attend this school, and that every student agrees with this movement is NOT the case. You don’t think donations will be affected? Think again.

    • Julie Julie September 24, 2012

      I totally agree with peter. They are forgetting about Genesis, God created man and women to be fruitful and multiply. Why are people forgetting about the Bible, Gods Truth. These are earthy issues, not even thinking about life in eternity.

      St Cloud State’s Student government, voted last week to abstain from this issue “We abstained our vote…Student Governments should not take stances on state issues unless it directly effects the school and the students…” This was quoted by a member of the student government body. How does this affect the school or the students?

      Does this directly effect the school at Concordia or St Cloud State, NO! Go off campus and take your stand there. Not sure if I would be willing to donate or send my child to a private school if this is what happens. Where is Gods word in this, I think it has been put away. I think it needs to be dusted off and studied.

    • Mandy Mandy September 25, 2012

      Maybe because they recognize the value of the separation of church and state. Americans have the right to whatever religious beliefs they hold, but they do not have the right to impose those beliefs on others.

      • Ex Cobber Ex Cobber September 28, 2012

        If a Muslim lived in America and wanted to cut the hand off of his Muslim neighbor for stealing his chain saw and you told him he couldn’t or you would call the police and have him taken to jail, would you expect him to say, ‘you have no right to impose your religious beliefs on me and my neighbor?’ If a Muslim man in Detroit wanted to kill his daughter for dishonoring the family…who are you to impose your religious beliefs on him? Think about it Mandy. Also, it is safe to say you must believe it’s OK for a man to marry 3 or 4 women at the same time if he loves them all? No?? Who are you to impose your religious beliefs on others Mandy?

    • Dan Dan October 4, 2012

      By their fruits, ye shall know them.
      Anyone can say they are a Chirstian, but that may or may not be true. It isn’t as though you are a Christian just because you go to a certain school or church. only you know for sure if you are a Chirstian, and if you are a Christian you will follow the Holy Bibles teachings. Some seem to think that they can vote on what part of the Bible they should adhere to, but remember, they didn’t draw straws, or vote, to see who would go to the Cross.

  15. Geneva Geneva September 21, 2012

    I’m so glad to be apart of a college that encourages dialogue on tough issues such as the marriage amendment. Kudos.

  16. Ian Snyder Ian Snyder September 21, 2012

    Great to see that more and more people are growing to understand that this is not about politics. It’s about people’s lives, and honoring love and commitment across Minnesota!

  17. Amanda Pederson Amanda Pederson September 21, 2012

    I am proud to see SGA standing on the right side of history in making such a statement. Though I recognize that alumni donations to the college are an important income, I hold higher importance in the morality and ethics behind standing up for the equality of all our citizens. I hope that this statement fosters continued conversation and growth in the hearts and minds of our students, alumni, and faculty.

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