I have heard today expressions of deep distress from a number of Outlook friends over the inclusion with the June 9 edition of the Outlook the study on marriage prepared by the More Light Presbyterians. I have thought hard and prayed harder, and with their counsel and God’s guidance, I want to express a heartfelt apology to our readers for what was a poor judgment call on my part. The decision to include the study was a business decision – to distribute advertising from one of many advocacy organizations relating within the Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.). But sending that study guide at such a time as this – just before the convening of a General Assembly that will be discussing these topics should not have happened.
The Presbyterian Outlook long has sought to maintain an independent voice for the church, providing a forum for the exchange of ideas around the most pressing matters before the church. From time to time we weigh in on those ideas with pointed editorials and other opinion pieces – while also publishing opinion pieces with which we disagree but believe deserve a hearing. We sought to do that with the highest care in the May 26 edition that focused on matters around the church’s marriage policy.
The distribution of this study guide in the subsequent edition is understandably being perceived as an abandonment of that independence, balance and fairness. No, we have not abandoned that position. And as stated in an earlier, more brief explanation, the “the content of the marriage study was prepared with no input from The Outlook, and the marriage publication represents the views of the organization which prepared it and paid for its distribution, not of The Presbyterian Outlook.”
Please forgive me – who as editor and publisher made a regrettable judgment call when agreeing to distribute such a study in this way and at this time.