82 Colorado Faith Leaders Unite to Oppose Amendment 67

Saying “it goes too far and is too extreme,” 82 Colorado faith leaders today joined together in united opposition to Amendment 67, the proposed constitutional amendment to ban all abortions, including in cases of rape, incest and when the health of the mother is at risk. Among many of its far-reaching consequences, Amendment 67 would also restrict access to certain forms of birth control, and restrict access to in-vitro fertilization for women who want to have a family.

“This amendment would impose one religious viewpoint in our state constitution, when there are many religious perspectives on this issue, said Rev. Jann Halloran, president of the board of the Colorado Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice, which provides faith-based care and services to women. “We support the rights of conscience, and a woman’s capacity to make a personal decision with consultation from her doctor, her family, her clergy and her God.”

Signatories include representatives from Christian, Jewish and Unitarian Universalist organizations and denominations, including Rev. Dr. Thomas V. Wolfe, President and CEO of The Iliff School of Theology; Rabbi Joseph R. Black of Temple Emanuel in Denver; Rev. Amanda Henderson, executive director of the Colorado Interfaith Alliance; Rev. Sue Artt of the Rocky Mountain Conference-United Church of Christ; and Rev. Nancy Bowen, Pacific Western Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association.

“There are several things that are upsetting about Amendment 67,” said Rabbi Black, who heads the largest Jewish congregation in the state. “The manipulative use of language confuses voters to make them think they are voting on behalf of women’s rights, when in fact it’s exactly the opposite. While my tradition upholds the sanctity of life, the life and health of the mother is always more important than that of a fetus. To claim that a fertilized egg is anything other than a potential life is to go against Jewish values. It is a dangerous precedent.”

“This amendment goes too far in criminalizing women and doctors, and intruding on private decisions regarding family planning, birth control and fertility treatments,” said Rev. Amanda Henderson, executive director of The Interfaith Alliance of Colorado. “The Interfaith Alliance stands for freedom for all people to make decisions regarding their own faith and values, and we speak out when this freedom is threatened.”

A copy of the full statement follows, along with the list of 82 signers.

The Vote NO 67 coalition is broad-based, nonpartisan coalition of doctors, nurses and other health care professionals, faith and civil rights leaders, attorneys, Latina, African-American and Asian-American organizations, and dozens of community groups.

More information, including a list of organizations that have also endorsed the Vote NO 67 campaign, can be found at www.VoteNO67.com.

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Colorado Faith Leaders Unite to Oppose Amendment 67

As faith leaders, we stand in opposition to Amendment 67. By establishing fertilized eggs as persons, this amendment will in effect outlaw and criminalize abortion under any circumstance, including rape, incest and the life and health risks of the mother. Amendment 67 would effectively put into the Colorado Constitution one religious position, negating other faithful perspectives on this issue. It would, therefore, take away the religious freedom of many people of faith who respect the private rights of women and families to make personal choices based upon their own conscience.

We believe religious freedom is one of the foundations of our democracy, and one religious belief or doctrine should not be written into the state Constitution. There are many religious perspectives on this issue, and many Christian, Jewish, Unitarian Universalist and other people of faith agree strongly that a woman can make a faithful decision for an abortion under many circumstances, a decision that is loving, fair, and ethical based upon her own personal medical history, beliefs and needs.

These issues of reproductive justice are played out in public, but we know as clergy that individual women and their families are the ones who suffer in private. We have walked with women who have been abused and violated, and we have struggled with women and families who must make heartrending decisions about their own lives and the future of their families.

We respect open and public dialogue on these issues which affect public policy and the common good, and which include religious perspectives. We do not agree among ourselves as to where each line needs to be drawn, but Amendment 67 goes too far and is too extreme, leaving no ground for the protection of women nor their personal ethical agency to make decisions based upon advice from their doctors, support from their clergy, and their relationship with God.

Please stand with us and vote NO on Amendment 67.

Colorado Faith Organization Leaders

Rev. Sue Artt

Acting Conference Minister

Rocky Mountain Conference-United Church of Christ

Rabbi Joseph R. Black

Temple Emanuel, Denver

Rev. Nancy Bowen

Regional Lead

Pacific Western Region of the Unitarian Universalist Association

Rev. Jann Halloran

Prairie Unitarian Universalist Church, Parker

President, Colorado Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

Rev. Amanda Henderson

Executive Director, Colorado Interfaith Alliance

Rev. Dr. Thomas V. Wolfe

President and CEO of The Iliff School of Theology

Colorado Faith Leaders

Dustin Adkins

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Youth Pastor

Denver

 

Rev. Dr. David Bahr

Pastor, Park Hill Congregational United Church of Christ, Denver

Rabbi Eliot J. Baskin

Jewish Family Service, Denver

Har Shalom, Durango

Rabbi Birdie Becker

Temple Emanuel

Pueblo

Rev. Dr. Barry Bloom

Community Minister, Jefferson Unitarian Church

Golden

Rabbi Lewis Bogage

Denver

Rev. Cheryl Breiner

Fireside Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Denver

Rev. Roger Butts

Unitarian Universalist Community Ministry

Colorado Springs

Rev. Paul Carlson

Senior Pastor, Our Savior’s Lutheran Church

Denver

Beth Chronister

Ministerial Resident, First Unitarian Society of Denver

Rabbi Sandra Cohen

Denver

Angie Combs

Intern, Cairn Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Lafayette

Emily Conger

Unitarian Universalist Seminarian

Boulder

Rabbi Julian Cook

Denver

Rebecca C. “Beckett” Coppola

Intern Minister, Jefferson Unitarian Church

Golden

Rev. Kelly Dignan

Unitarian Universalist

Rev. Lydia Ferrante-Roseberry

Unitarian Universalist

Lafayette

 

Rabbi Brian Field

Judaism Your Way

Denver

Rabbi Hanoch Fields

Colorado Springs

Rev. Selena Fitch Wright

Senior Pastor, Kirk of Bonnie Brae United Church of Christ

Denver

Rabbi Steven Foster

Emeritus, Temple Emanuel

Denver

Rev. Gergory Garland

United Church of Christ

Pastor, United Church of Broomfield

Rev. Shelly Garrison

Associate Regional Minister to Youth

Central Rocky Mountain Region of the Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Rabbi Bernard Gerson

Rodef Shalom, Denver

Rabbi Sara L. Gilbert

Denver

Rabbi Mark Asher Goodman

Har Mishpacha

Steamboat Springs

Rabbi Keren Gorban

Assistant Rabbi, Temple Sinai

Denver

Rev. Rudi Gelsey

Unitarian Universalist

Rev. Larry Graham

United Church of Christ

Professor of Pastoral Theology and Care

The Iliff School of Theology, Denver

Rabbi Salomon Gruenwald 

Hebrew Educational Alliance

Denver

Rev. Gretchen Haley

Associate Minister, Foothills Unitarian Church

Fort Collins

Rev. Linda Harding

Associate Pastor Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Greeley

Rev. Rebecca Heller

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Chaplain

Denver

Rev. Jerry Herships

Founding Pastor, After Hours

Denver

Rev. Kierstin Homblette

Unitarian Universalist

Beloved Community Ministries of Colorado

Rev. Dr. Charisa L. Hunter-Crump

Senior Minister, Cairn Christian Church (Disciples of Christ)

Lafayette

Rabbi Brian Immerman

Temple Emanuel

Denver

Dr. Valerie L. Jackson

Senior Pastor, First United Methodist Church of Aurora

Rev. Dr. Ellen Johnson-Fay

Minister Emerita All Souls Unitarian Universalist Church

Colorado Springs

 

Rev. Katie Kandarian-Morris

Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Durango

Rabbi Steve Kaye

Denver

Rev. Tom Korson

Unitarian Universalist

Rev. Paul Kottke

United Methodist

Rev. Laurel Liefert

Namaqua Unitarian Universalist Congregation

Loveland

Rev. Dana Lightsey

Unitarian Universalist

Developmental Minister, High Plains Church

Colorado Springs

Rev. Howell Lind

Minister, Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder

Rev. Tim Lister

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Chaplain

Denver

Rabbi Evette Lutman

B’nai Havurah, Jewish Reconstructionist Congregation

Denver

Rev. Julia McKay

Columbine Unitarian Universalist Church

Littleton

Rev. Susan McKee

United Church of Christ

Minister for Interfaith Relations, Park Hill Congregational Church

Denver

Diana K. McLean

Ministerial Intern, Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder

Rev. Barbara Molfese

Retired, Unitarian Universalist Church of Boulder

Rev. Mike Morran

First Unitarian Society of Denver

Rabbi Adam Morris

Temple Micah

Denver

Rabbi Anat Moskowitz

B’nai Torah

Westminster

Rev. Marilyn Nichols Wolfe, LCSW

United Methodist

Denver

Rachel Nelson

Christian Church (Disciples of Christ) Youth Pastor

Loveland

Rev. Stephan Papa

Two Rivers Unitarian Universalists

Carbondale

Rev. Penny Rather

Unitarian Universalist

Rabbi Richard S. Rheins

Temple Sinai

Denver

Rabbi Susan Rheins

Denver

Rev. Dr. Vernon K. Rempel

Mennonite Church USA

Rev. Loren Richmond Jr.

Disciples of Christ Minister, Henderson Community Church Henderson

Ruth Rinehart, MA

Seminarian, Iliff Seminarians for Reproductive Justice

Rev. Dr. Jim Ryan

Doing Justice LLC.

Denver

Rev. Janet Schlenker

Presbyterian Church (U.S.A.)

Rev. Jeannie Shero

Associate Minister, First Universalist Church

Denver

Rabbi Joel R. Schwartzman

Lone Tree

Rev. Todd Smiedendorf

Senior Minister, Washington Park United Church of Christ

Denver

Rabbi Marc Soloway

Congregation Bonai Shalom

Boulder

Rev. John D. Spangler, Ph.D.

United Methodist

Retired faculty, Iliff School of Theology, Denver

Rev. Nadine Swahnberg

Unitarian Universalist Pastoral Counselor

Jefferson Unitarian Church, Golden

Rev. Sondra Tilsley

Christian Church, Disciples of Christ

Rev. Jane E. Vennard

United Church of Christ

Iliff School of Theology, Denver

Rev. Wendy Williams

Unitarian Universalist

Senior Minister, Jefferson Unitarian Church

Golden

Rev. Nathan Woodliff-Stanley

Community Minister at First Unitarian Society of Denver

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