Last edited: November 23, 2003

Letter: Faiths That Do Harm Don’t Deserve Our ‘Tolerance’

Fredericksburg Free Lance-Star, July 13, 2003
P. O. Box 617, Fredericksburg, VA 22401
Fax: 703-373-8450

It appears to me that Whitney Miller thinks Thomas Johnson is intolerant of religion [“In gay-rights debate, it’s intolerant to bash faith’s defenders,” July 8]. Now stop and think. Do we really want to be tolerant of irrational religious beliefs, especially when these beliefs cause the oppression, suffering, and death of a whole group of citizens? No one has the right to a belief that is detrimental to the well-being of another human being.

Sadly, the foremost source of gay-hating is irrational religion. Science and medicine have determined that sexual orientation is a given—that is, part of who you are. It is not a sickness and it is not a choice. As always, we are waiting for religion to catch up with science and medicine. Getting religious people to read information that challenges their prejudices is a formidable task.

The Supreme Court recently ruled that gays deserve to be treated with the same dignity and respect as heterosexuals. They said the court was wrong in its 1986 Bowers v. Hardwick decision and apologized. I can only hope to live long enough for a similar apology from our churches.

To Mr. Johnson and others who find themselves alienated from religion over the issue of homosexuality, don’t worry: There is no one true path to God. God is much more beautiful, majestic, mysterious, and wonderful than a set of simple rules.

—Cris F. Elkins, Stafford

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