Letters to the Editor

Fairness ideals

May 4, 2007


To the editor:

I read Carl Burkhead's April 30 letter, "Healing power," with great impatience. How does one respond to capital-lettered pronouncements that homosexuality is a SIN? List all the other biblical "laws" people break without inciting Mr. Burkhead's self-righteous indignation? Argue that discrimination of any kind goes against virtually all of Jesus' teachings? Cite the Golden Rule, or mention the often-ignored "Do not judge lest ye be judged" passage? Perhaps point out that there are many religions for which homosexuality is a nonissue, and that practicing those religions also is protected under the law? Or quote medical journals and psychological studies that show, repeatedly, that homosexuality is a naturally occurring and benign orientation?

In truth, however, it doesn't matter what Mr. Burkhead, or the neighbors, or our religious leaders believe about homosexuality. It doesn't matter if folks are uncomfortable with same-sex relationships. We are all entitled to our own interpretation of the world and to make our own choices accordingly.

What does matter is that America is based, foremost and fundamentally, on ideals of fairness and equality. There are people who are troubled by interracial marriage, and people who would be troubled if their daughters married Muslim men or their sons married Jewish women. But we don't pass laws against interracial or interfaith marriages just because we're troubled. We recognize that what makes this country great is that we Americans value fairness and religious freedom above all, even if it means we might be uncomfortable with our neighbors' choices.

I'm sure I don't need to underscore how dangerous it is to allow the religious convictions of some to become the law for all - we see evidence of those perils all too often.

Angela Richmond,



John Kyle 8 years, 6 months ago

Nice letter! It's often forgotten that many religions have no problem with homosexuality or gay marriage.

mom_of_three 8 years, 6 months ago

There were laws prohibiting inter-racial relationships as late as the 1960's. Those laws were repealed, because people realized the error of their ways.
Loved the letter.

SettingTheRecordStraight 8 years, 6 months ago

Wrong, Angela. Fairness, tolerance and equality are not virtues if they're used to trump morality and truth.

Linda Endicott 8 years, 6 months ago

Who's truth, STRS?

I choose not to believe in your supposed truths...and that is my right. Because in this country, I have the right to follow any religion I want to...or no religion at all.

And you are a hypocrite. The Jesus in my Bible sat down with Roman soldiers and tax collectors, whom everybody else at the time thought were immoral. And Jesus did this willingly, and told the others that they were wrong to discriminate against those people.

Are you writing your own religion? Aren't the words and actions of Jesus good enough for you?

Great letter, Angela. I agree 100%.

deec 8 years, 6 months ago

How can Fairness, tolerance and equality not be considered components of morality? Or does morality only mean sex stuff to you?

Raider 8 years, 6 months ago

Can someone list the religions that Angela refers to? I'm just curious. Thanks!!

Jamesaust 8 years, 6 months ago

"Fairness, tolerance and equality are not virtues if they're used to trump morality and truth."

And what, asks Jesus, are the path to morality and truth?: love God and love thy neighbor as thyself.

A little more Bible study there, straightrecord. Judge not lest ye be judged. Or, as St. John (Jesus' "beloved disciple") writes: For I testify unto every man that heareth the words of the prophecy of this book, If any man shall add unto these things, God shall add unto him the plagues that are written in this book. You'd better be sure that you're not adding ANYTHING through your interpretation, or the fiery pit awaits you. A little humility that you have God all figured out, that Jesus is in your pocket please.

bliddel 8 years, 6 months ago

Apparently, biblical arguments against homosexuality are on pretty weak ground. See http://wouldjesusdiscriminate.com/ . It strikes me as odd that some people believe that murder is a sin unless the murder victim is homosexual or transgendered. I refuse to think of myself as a victim just because other adults choose to be themselves in a loving and non-violent non-confrontational manner. No victim means no crime, at least in my mind. Bigotry is bigotry, and if you can't change your mind, you can't change anything.

Daniel Kennamore 8 years, 6 months ago

And for the record, anyone who uses the bible in their argument over this proves the point of this letter.

Jamesaust 8 years, 6 months ago

"anyone who uses the bible in their argument over this proves the point of this letter."

I've long wondered why we haven't seen a movement to amend the U.S. Constitution to incorporate the Bible by reference. It certainly would be more efficient and honest than trying to convince anyone that these arguments are anything more than individual religious opinion and that secular society must bow to theological rule.

(Which version of the Bible would we include? Surely, if someone wanted to use the original, foreign language text the English-first-last-always crowd would turn into Mad Hatters.)

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