President of Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod speaks out in opposition to Board Bill 203

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President Matthew Harrison of the Lutheran Church-Missouri Synod is joining with Archbishop Robert J. Carlson in opposition to Board Bill 203, calling it a threat to the synod's beliefs in the sanctity of human life.

"It is sad enough that the proponents of Board Bill 203 seek special protection for unqualified termination of life in the womb, such that non-profit organizations, businesses, property owners and individuals are stripped of first amendment guarantees of the 'free exercise of religion,'" Harrison, stated in a Jan. 25 statement, adding that many conscientious people object to abortion as a matter of ethical and or religious principal.

Individuals of faith would be forced to participate in activities that support the taking of human life, Harrison stated, and would lose their livelihood or be subject to fines and penalties. He also urged Lutherans to protest, oppose and appeal the legislation, if passed.

The synod teaches that life begins at conception and ends at natural death, and that life is a gift from God, who alone decides its beginning and end, the statement added.

The synod has been part of the St. Louis community since 1839 and provided thousands with care in times of need, including the 1849 cholera epidemic, adoption and orphanage services, hospital care, neighborhood revitalization, education and more, according to the statement. "Missouri Synod Lutherans have earned the right to participate in the life of this great city without recrimination over the fact that our views on the sacredness of human life have not and will not change."

The city's Housing, Urban Development and Zoning committee held a hearing on Board Bill 203 earlier this month, and discussion is expected to continue in the coming weeks. Follow for updates on the legislation. 

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