Same-sex marriage will previal

This is a Daily Telegram response to this letter. Here is the published letter.

To the editor,

In response to Ken Nichols’ letter Mar. 24 in The Daily Telegram:

My, oh my, what bigotry do we have here? As an American Mr. Nichols can preach, pray and believe in whatever fairy tale he chooses to dictate the sick morality of his life, but to push his perceived supreme belief and lifestyle onto others in a country founded upon religious freedom simply disgusts me.

What surprises me about his argument is his assumption that being American and being Christian are synonymous — they aren’t and thinking so is just narrow minded and, in actuality, faux nationalism. “Christians” transform into “us” as his argument continues and befuddles the Christian religion like a cheap buffet, picking and choosing the delicious juicy bits — though delicious and juicy are subjective.

What god gave you is not be what everyone wants.

The safety of the traditional family unit eludes me. With 50 percent of all marriages ending in divorce, it would seem that the “traditional marriage” has more to worry about than same-sex couples walking down the aisle. Divorce, as science has concluded, is brutal for the emotional and developmental groundwork of the children involved. If a married heterosexual couple provides the “safest” environment for children, why are we risking the future of children born into these potentially dangerous situations?

The financial security once provided by marriage is no longer there, thanks to such things as woman’s rights, something the Bible struggles with greatly. With more women graduating from post-secondary schools and with it the accessibility to better paying jobs, women don’t need marriage to live successfully, as much as that pains many who follow the Scripture. “Let a woman learn in silence with all subjection. But I suffer no woman to teach, nor to usurp authority over the man; but to be in silence.” (1 Timothy 2:11-12)

For those that oppose same-sex marriage, remember, you will be on the wrong side of history and be laughed at like the racists of the 1960s who opposed the anti-segregation movement and inter-racial marriages.

I, as an American, cannot and will not stand idly by as hatred and bigotry from a religion that has had its hand in the murders of millions for what it thinks to be right continue to discriminate against my family, friends and coworkers. This bigotry is a disgrace that plagues our nation.

Anthony Alaniz

History advocates equality not Christianity

This is another Tecumseh Herald response to this letter. Here is the published letter.

To The Editor,

This is in response to Ronda Keck’s letter, published in the November 3, 2012 issue.

It seems that we find ourselves in need of a history lesson again.

First, it is imperative to explore whom former Secretary of State and Senator Daniel Webster was. A prominent hiccup in his career occurred during the 1820 Massachusetts Constitutional Convention. At the convention he spoke in opposition of universal suffrage (for white men at the time), and believed that the right to vote be based solely on whether one owns property.

Yes, at the time, any form of universal suffrage was over a century from becoming a reality, but how can anyone praise a man who wanted to limit any American’s right to vote? Granted, there are still those few today who cannot grasp the concept of equality.

Webster was also an avid supporter of slavery. In his famous The Seventh of March speech, he believed that maintaining slavery was essential to keeping the South from seceding from the Union. He also supported the Compromise of 1850. One of the provisions of the compromise was the Fugitive Slave Law of 1850. It declared that all runaway slaves be returned to their masters upon capture.

Webster believed slavery and religion went hand in hand saying, “There are thousands of religious men, with consciences as tender as any of their brethren at the North, who do not see the unlawfulness of slavery.”

Granted, the Bible supports slavery as well, “However, you may purchase male or female slaves from among the foreigners who live among you.  You may also purchase the children of such resident foreigners, including those who have been born in your land.  You may treat them as your property, passing them on to your children as a permanent inheritance.  You may treat your slaves like this, but the people of Israel, your relatives, must never be treated this way (Leviticus 25:44-46).

Webster was also delusional on the treatment of slaves in the South. He said, “The South, upon the other side, having been accustomed to this relation between two races all their lives, from their birth, having been taught, in general, to treat the subjects of this bondage with care and kindness, and I believe, in general, feeling great kindness for them.”

The conditions slaves faced in the South was detestable, with sub-par living conditions, a life lived in perpetual fear, and no hope of ever being free.

If Webster would have only looked to the Bible for help in determining how long slaves should be owned for, “If you buy a Hebrew slave, he is to serve for only six years.  Set him free in the seventh year, and he will owe you nothing for his freedom” (Exodus 21:2). Webster must have missed this passage.

Because of his ill-received remarks, he resigned from his Massachusetts Senate seat. Why would anyone want to associate Christian values with a man who cannot see the unlawfulness of slavery? Webster was a no more than a political bigot.

Also, Webster was born in 1782 and had no hand in the founding of this country in 1776, or the vicious battles that led up to our freedom.

The idea of the “biblical family” has no credence over the people of this country. America was founded on the idea of religious freedom, and freedom from religion.

One religion cannot impose their beliefs upon others simply because they believe their morals are societally superior. President Obama did not “twist the scripture,” he advocated for equality.

Between 40 and 50 percent of traditional “biblical family” marriages end in divorce or legal separation. “Anyone who divorces his wife and marries another woman commits adultery against her. And if she divorces her husband and marries another man, she commits adultery” (Mark 10:11-12). Clearly, there are larger issues with the “biblical family” than homosexual marriages.
Our relationship with Israel is an unnecessary drain on the U.S. government’s financial sustainability. Since WWII, $115 billion in bilateral assistance has been given to Israel. In 2007, the Bush administration and Israel agreed to a 10-year $30 billion military aid package according to the Congressional Research Service.

Critical public investments like education, job training and infrastructure would benefit greatly from $30 billion.
During the Great Depression, 32 million people became unemployed in this country. Sixty percent of American’s were considered poor by the U.S. government in 1933. In New York 25 percent of schoolchildren were malnourished. In the mining countries of West Virginia, Illinois, Pennsylvania, and Kentucky, 90 percent of schoolchildren were malnourished during this time.
Due to the low quality of life many American’s felt during the Depression, the U.S. government sought to protect the American people from the ills of unstable economies. Out of those protections came many social programs that still provide unemployment benefits, food stamps, welfare, healthcare, and retirement provisions.
The current economic downturn is one of the worst in recent American history. Sadly, many families are struggling for a livable income that provides food, shelter, healthcare, and other necessities. Yes, there are those who abuse the system, though, could anyone consciously allow a quarter of this country’s children to go hungry?
Perhaps if the $30 billion that is earmarked for Israel is put towards education and job training, there wouldn’t be the “entitlement society” that has evolved today.

This country was founded upon the belief of an individual’s freedom. We have the choice to partake or abstain from certain activities and have the freedom of free choice separate from social and political pressures, especially when concerning one’s body. This, of course, includes abortion. If you find the act detestable, then do not partake in it, protest against it and raise awareness, but do not dictate what a woman, or anyone, can and cannot due to their body.

Forgoing any quotes by historically political bigots, I end this with Christopher Hitchens, “Take the risk of thinking for yourself, much more happiness, truth, beauty, and wisdom will come to you that way.” Perhaps the only change this country needs is the gift of freethinking.

-Anthony Alaniz

Response to Christian bigotry

This was published in the Tecumseh Herald and was in response to this letter.

To the Editor,

This is in response to Ronda Keck’s letter in the Sept. 10, 2012 issue.

Who makes the rules?

In a democratic republic, we, the people, have the freedom to elect officials to represent us in local, state, and federal government. The people we elect then vote on bills that then in turn become law.

In essence, we make the laws.

Thankfully, through the foresight of our Founding Fathers, who wanted to eliminate the very single-minded orthodoxy that they fled from, we have religious freedom and freedom from religion today.

However, Christopher Hitches, British-American journalist and author, says it best, “How dismal it is to see present day Americans yearning for the very orthodoxy that their country was founded to escape.”

Yes, our country was founded upon Christian principles, but to declare our Founding Fathers as Christian men who fought vehemently to create a Christian nation is, well, quite myopic.

Benjamin Franklin wrote, “A man compounded of Law and Gospel, is able to cheat the whole country with his Religion, and then destroy them under Colour of Law.” Yes, Franklin was a Christian, though a noted anti-clerical Christian.

Thomas Jefferson, the third president of the United States, took a copy of the New Testament, eliminated all references of Christ as the son of God, miracles, the virgin birth, resurrection, and other things that he considered were mere fables. He created a work of the moral sayings of Jesus, which he felt was appropriate for an age of science and reason. It is disappointing that we are still waiting for that Golden Age.

George Washington attended church in Philadelphia, though was known to avoid taking communion. When the priest approached him about it, Washington apologized though ceased to attend church whenever communion was to be offered for fear of being labeled a religious man. One would think a founder of a Christian nation would not avoid taking communion, criticize religion as the destroyer of democracy, or create a book of heresy and name it, cynically, The Jefferson Bible.

The events that took place at Chick-fil-A restaurants across the country were a triumphant moment for the freedom of speech, though that very Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion.” The Founding Fathers were so fearful of religion that they placed it before the freedom of speech — an unalienable right of American culture.

Though the Amendment can be interpreted in many ways, it has been decided that there can be no law that fosters “an excessive government entanglement with religion,” according to the decision in Lemon v. Kurtzman, (1971). The religious beliefs of a person cannot be imposed upon others, or disenfranchise a group of people based on them, no matter the question of “morality.” One person’s sin is not the country’s sin.

To establish one’s morals on a book would imply one is inherently moral-less. Some can obtain morals without a how-to book of slavery and abominations. The most wondrous trait of this country is that not everyone is a slave to Christianity — society can interpret God’s law how he or she sees fit.

Religion is an individual experience.

Yes, Federal law does state that marriage is between a man and a woman, though there have been laws dictating that African-Americans were three-fifths of a vote, that separate was equal, and were considered to be second-class citizens for far longer than any American deserves. To condemn homosexuality makes one no better than a racist.

President Obama is not endorsing sin, he is endorsing equality — the very foundation that our country was founded upon, yet still struggles with today. Just because a Federal law defines marriage does not mean it is correct, morally right, or even constitutional.

Argentina, Belgium, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Iceland, Mexico, the Netherlands, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, and Sweden all recognize or perform same-sex marriages.

To say the United States is a revolutionary leader and visionary on equality and freedom is faux nationalism. One would think American exceptionalism would lead this charge on this change.

Hitches once said, “We keep on being told that religion, whatever its imperfections, at least instills morality. On every side, there is conclusive evidence that the contrary is the case and that faith causes people to be more mean, more selfish, and perhaps above all, more stupid.”

“Human decency is not derived from religion. It precedes it.”

-Anthony Alaniz

Please feel free to post your responses in the comments below!