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Letters to the Editor

March 14, 2014

In Your Opinion: 'Old-time religion' is plenty tolerant

This agitation for a right to reject gays in public spaces (masquerading as “religious liberty”) is merely a hypocritical sham. When I went to Sunday school, I was taught that my Redeemer thought highly of associating with those you held to be sinners — not shunning them. Is the Redeemer out of date?

In reality, religions have to bend to public welfare. We don’t allow kissing the genitals of children on religious grounds, or using hallucinogens in church ritual, or faith-based chicken killing. These activities are sacred in some faiths. Moreover, we don’t like burning people at the stake, jailing Quakers and Catholics, or whipping Anabaptists, for all that our New England founders thought such things the will of the Almighty. We don’t yield to the demands of some Calvinists that we give up the vote in favor of letting the Elders legislate.

No religion actually has concrete rules that you can’t associate with gays. No doubt some individual consciences don’t like being civil to some sexual minorities. Same way we once felt about albinos or epileptics. Most of us have learned better. But some political operators see a few votes in stirring up bigotry. For me, I’m happy with the old-time religion.

Richard Mulliken

Jefferson

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