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Opinion

Opinion

Letter: Tolerating intolerance

February 11, 2014

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To the editor:

Government employees should have the right to refuse service to people on the basis of these people’s religious or philosophical leanings? Seriously?

OK. Suppose that I’m a secular humanist and find disagreeable, even offensive and repulsive, many of the fundamental beliefs of religious conservatives. Especially those terrible religiously conservative Christian Republicans. Would I be allowed to query everyone who steps up to my desk?

“I do beg your pardon, but are you one of those terrible religiously conservative Christian Republicans? You are?!? I am so sorry, but you’ll have to join that line over there. It’s the one for terrible religiously conservative Christian Republicans. My desk is for everyone else. Have a nice day.”

Government employees are paid to serve the people. They are paid by all of the people to serve all of the people. Even socialists, communists, American Nazis, Buddhists, Moslems, anarchists, libertarians, religiously conservative Christian Republicans.  Even—gasp!—gays. Yes, even — oh horror of horrors — moderate Republicans and godless secular humanists.

A character in a Ken Bruen novel I recently read made an interesting point. Posed a question worth consideration. There seem to be so many differences of opinion tearing apart Western Civilization right now. Perhaps, this character postulated, a fundamental underlying question binding together these seemingly disparate issues is the question, “How tolerant should we be of intolerance?”

Hmmm. That question’s more than a mouthful. It’s a mindful. It’s a good question for Kansans right now.

Comments

Terry Lee 2 months, 1 week ago

C'mon. It has been known for centuries that "terrible religiously conservative Christian Republicans" are better than others and shouldn't have to look at let alone interact with the plebs of other religions or beliefs. The world is just lucky that the terrible religiously conservative Christian Republicans even let us breathe their terrible religiously conservative Christian Republicans air. Thank you terrible religiously conservative Christian Republicans.

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Renee Patrick 2 months, 1 week ago

Has all of the proposed legislation included language that specifically limits this right of refusal to abortion and birth control?

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Ron Holzwarth 2 months, 1 week ago

"Government employees should have the right to refuse service to people on the basis of these (sic) people’s religious or philosophical leanings"

That seems to be a new one for me, I don't remember that being a Constitutional right at either the federal or state level, or the result of any federal or state legislation either. Also, I don't remember that being a movement of any kind, except for the debate about abortion clinics. And, I was under the impression that I'm reasonably well read.

Could you please reference your statement to a source and relieve me of my ignorance?

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