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Letters to the Editor

Letter: Offensive proposal

February 22, 2014

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To the editor:

This latest proposal to legalize discrimination against gays by allowing business to deny them goods and services is so blatant and offensive that Kansas has got not just the attention of the other states and the federal government, but even nations in Europe and other civilized societies. They are asking “What in the world is happening in the land of the formerly free?”

Next we have the suggestion that the inside of your car gives you the right to expect privacy so that in Kansas you may carry loaded guns despite the fact that one out of eight or ten cars you meet at after 11 p.m. may be operated by a legally impaired   driver who also may have with him or her a firearm that is also loaded. The right to expect privacy would seem to imply that police officers would have to have a warrant to search if the offending evidence is not in plain view? Just how stupid and dangerous would this be?

One wonders just what their attitude is going to be toward interracial marriage? Going back a few years and examining Mississippi’s record should act as a probable guide.

Comments

Larry Sturm 9 months, 4 weeks ago

The religious right in this country are as bad as the Muslim extremists except they haven't started killing people yet. Or have they?

Bob Smith 9 months, 4 weeks ago

The staggeringly naive nature of your post suggests that you badly need to find out more about the world.

Fred Mertz 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Isn't condemning people you don't know because of their religion just as bigoted as a person condemning gays?

Not all religious people, even those considered "right" are evil, bigoted or anywhere close to a Muslim extremist. I consider myself conservative and religious, but believe in equal application of marriage laws, don't want religion in government or believe God has delegated His authority to judge to me.

I am sure there are many others just like me. So, if you want tolerance then model that behavior. It is more effective than hate.

MerriAnnie Smith 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Thank you, Brock. You're in the minority in that you're rare in stating what you've just said. Most of the ones we hear from like to project their hatred, rather than their lack of prejudice. You're a breath of fresh air on that point.

If you could only inspire other religious people to speak out it might help change the ones who are not fair to look inward at how their words and behavior hurt other people.

Unfortunately, we believe what we hear most of the time from the religious right. What else can we believe?

Fred Mertz 9 months, 4 weeks ago

MerriAnnie,

Here is how I look at things. The Bible lists many sins, but the one thing that stands out above all is to love others and you would love yourself. To me this doesn't mean loving or excusing the behavior of those that harm others. But it does mean loving "sinners" or do no harm to others. You know, people like me.

I don't know if being gay is a sin or not. Doesn't matter - I am not God and thus, will not judge. I do know that someone being gay has no good or bad effect on me. Their "gayness" means nothing. It is they the person that means everything.

How can I hate a good person because their sexual orientation is different than mine? Should they hate me because I am different than them?

Maybe I am this way not because I am a good person but because I am hedging my bets. When I stand before God to be judged, I believe it is more likely that I will be cast into the fires of hell (not really my idea of hell) for causing pain and suffering to others than being accepting and loving of others who are different than me.

This is the message I take from the Bible. Might change one day when God comes down and says, "Brock, I need a vacation. Take over for me for a while." Until then I will love others and leave the judging to him.

MerriAnnie Smith 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Larry, - Unless you want to count the years when they were able to kill blacks with impunity. Even today we see that some of them still would like to do that. In fact, there was a story in the news about upper class frat boys in Mississippi hanging a noose around the neck of a statue of the first black student at Oxford University just this week. Ugly prejudice hasn't gone away. It's still in the homes of the religious class. Their children are growing up thinking it's the norm and the smart way to act.

Fred Mertz 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Not all discrimination is bad and we all discriminate to a certain degree in our lives. With that said, discrimination based on race, gender, sexual orientation and religion is wrong. Only an ignorant person would discriminate against someone for their race, etc.

I adhere to the belief that two wrongs do not make a right and live my life based on what I believe to be right and not on what others do wrong.

However, it is challenging to take the right path when those who wail and cry about discrimination actively discriminate themselves. For example, it is difficult to sympathize with the LGBT community about the discrimination they face when they actively discriminate against others based on their sexual orientation. Simple Google "gay events" or "gay scholarships" and you will find many events and scholarships not open to people who are not gay. This is discrimination based on sexual orientation and is wrong.

I will continue to support a person's rights regardless of race or sexual orientation, but I wish the LGBT would practice what they preach. Demonstrate non-discrimination, model the behavior you wish others to follow and you will find more success.

MerriAnnie Smith 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Discrimination happens every day in every way:

  1. Families withdraw into their homes where others who are non-family are not always welcome.

  2. Religious people gather to celebrate their religious beliefs where they would not welcome anybody to come in and present other non-religious views openly. (In fact, churches get tax breaks, so they are supported by non-religious taxpayers, yet they would never stand for an atheist to come in regularly and debate opposite views.

  3. Hair stylists regularly work in businesses that do not hire stylists who can also work on black people's hair.

Every group of people who gather for a purpose will reject any members who are averse to their purpose.

Black groups do have a purpose, and just as religious people must join together to promote and maintain their religious views, to support one another, and plan for ways to keep their views marching forward, black groups and gay groups must form groups where they can support and inspire one another. Why? Because they are the single most likely groups to be discriminated against in general and in our laws.

They have, in fact, as much right to form groups of only supportive people as churches have to include only supportive people.

Some of us consider that to be simply logical. The most discriminated against have the hardest row to hoe, and they must find comfort and support within their own ranks, as much as they should try to find it outside their own ranks.

As for models, let those who have been the worst offenders lead the way in showing a better way to behave. If they're not willing, then why should anybody care if they are "left out" of some group.

Fred Mertz 9 months, 4 weeks ago

MerriAnnie You wrote, "Every group of people who gather for a purpose will reject any members who are averse to their purpose."

You're right, but a group should be accepting of those that gather for the same purpose and not discriminate based on gender or race. A person can't change their gender (well generally speaking) and their race.

A hair salon that does not hire stylist that can cut black hair because they don't want blacks in their shop is wrong. A hair salon that hires stylist that specialize in black hair isn't discriminatory but catering to a specific clientele. Nothing wrong with doing so.

Nothing wrong in my opinion for a group to form to combat black or gay discrimination provided they do not exclude members based on race or sexual orientation. However, a group that is formed to promote only black businesses while legal is wrong. It is discriminatory based on race.

Would we tolerate a group that promotes only white businesses? That is the litmus test. Insert white or straight and if it is acceptable then it is cool, if it wouldn't be accepted then it is wrong.

A scholarship open to only one group based on race, gender or sexual orientation is wrong. Again, would we tolerate a scholarship open only to whites or straights? Nope.

Racial, gender and sexual orientation discrimination is an attack on a group based on things they cannot control. They are born a race, a gender and with a sexual orientation. And, the attack is just as harmful when it is a minority group doing it against the majority.

Abdu Omar 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Well, men are men and women are women, sometimes you can tell them apart and sometimes not. BUT, although I know a few who are homosexual, they don't have it tattooed on their forehead and if they walk into a restaurant, who is to know that they are gay? So how can anyone really? Can you tell by my appearance if I am Christian, Jewish, Buddhit or Muslim? I don't think so. So how will those who want to discriminate know who to discriminate against unless there is a big deal made out of it.

Now, I am not for any kind of discrimination and think that the Kansas Legislature is totally wrong in denying people of the life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness that is guaranteed or that all are created equal. But in order for anyone to discriminate they must know you are in the group they don't like. How will they know?

Fred Mertz 9 months, 4 weeks ago

Maybe it is a hint that they are gay when they come in to purchase a wedding cake and ask for two men or two women on top?

Or maybe it is a clue when they arrive at the restaurant holding hands like many couples do?

Abdu Omar 9 months, 3 weeks ago

"It hurts when I do that", he said. "Well so stop doing it". she said.

So don't hold hands. My wife and I don't hold hands anymore, not because I don't love her, but out of respect for our age and we don't give displays of affection in public, a normal thing.

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