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I have been a Presbyterian all my life, but for many years have been frustrated that our views of a Christianity based on peace, compassion, and forgiveness have been overshadowed by the strident voices of the right-wing fundamentalists. Intolerance, bigotry, promises of financial rewards in exchange for faith, and a view of the world as a Christian Holy War are as far from my understanding of Christ's teachings as can be imagined.

Abortion is a more complicated question. Many protestant churches take a pro-choice view, but I can sympathize with those who sincerely believe that life begins at conception. Nevertheless, I would like to see all people of faith and compassion dedicate their energies and resources to caring for our children already in this world, providing them with safety, health, education, love and hope before we even consider bringing thousands of additional children into a society where we do not care for them. There's no morality in considering the unborn as human beings only to abandon them to conditions that should be intolerable to any believer in Christ. Demonstrating concern for those already in our care would go a long way to bridging this most devisive gap among American Christians.