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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.
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.
When the Founding Fathers drafted the Declaration of Independence some 240 years ago, the small part about “all men are created equal” was only held to be true for white men who owned property, disenfranchising those of different races and of certain sub-socioeconomic creeds.
Slavery was a common practice then, with many of the founding fathers themselves owning slaves and operating large plantations. Yet, supposedly, all men were created equal, though at the time true equality was not practiced.
But as time passed after the interpretation of the Declaration changed with society, African-Americans and women were eventually given the same rights as what the white man had had prior, like the right to vote and land ownership.
Yet, though, there is a group of Americans born from the very fabric and definition of this country, defending it, dying for it, who do not have the same rights as everyone else. For a country that was built upon equality, even with its biased and troubled beginnings, one sould think that a developed and educated society would understand the definition of equality:
1. The state of being equal, esp. in status, rights, and opportunities.
Yet for a gay or lesbian couple to receive the same marriage benefits as those who are married to members of the opposite sex, they have to, against there will and personal pursuit of happiness, marry some one they do not want to, while being denied the right to marry the one they love and care deepest for.
Why? What is wrong with one man loving another or one women finding warm loving comfort in another woman and deserving the same rights as those who find love in their opposites?
One would argue the religious foundations that this country was built upon is enough to limit the rights of homosexual behavior. Though believing that is blindly ignoring history and replacing it with loose theological understandings of American history. Even with no clear separation between church and state written in any founding American documents, and the term not widely applied to the states themselves until 1947, the Founding Fathers believed there should be separation.
Yes, many of the Founding Fathers attended church, believed in God and were religious, but staples of American folklore like Thomas Jefferson, Thomas Paine and Benjamin Franklin were declared and open Deists.
But what brought many of us to this land was fear of persecution from the government as they wielded religion unjustly over the people, much like religion is tossed upon the dreams of gay and lesbian activists, today.
George Washington was so fearful of being labeled a religious man to his constituents that he stopped going to church after being confronted on why he was not taking communion, attending Sunday church just as sporadically as most American’s do today; 16 times in 1760 and just 14 times in 1768. He did, however regularly attend church while on business, usually participating in Anglican, Quaker, and Catholic services.
Who, today, attends three different denominational services?
Laws have been wrong and unconstitutional and always, laws will change for the better of all.
To deny gays and lesbians of their marriage rights to one another of the same sex harkens back to the 1960s when the African-American way of life was segregated from the whole of America, when they were not given the same respect in a country that declared, and still declares itself an equal nation.
I guess equality is obtained so long as a bigoted status quo is met.