To the editor:
In response to the May 18 "Truth sounds like bigotry" letter to the editor, I would like to offer a few comments.
First, regardless of faith, every person has the right to stand up for what he or she believes in. Freedom of speech is most important when confronted with opinions and values different from our own. If we all agreed on everything, there would be no need to defend our right to stand up and speak out against that with which we disagree.
Second, it is important to acknowledge that "truth" is a relative concept. People hold different beliefs; the entire historical record is a testament to that, as are the existence of various faiths, denominations, sects and spiritual practices.
Clearly, there is not a single agreed upon "truth."
Important to this understanding is the recognition that all "Christians" are not the same. Attacking the President of the United States for making a mockery of the Christian faith is unfair and misleading: Plenty of Christians and Christian churches are "welcoming" to gay and lesbian members and support same-sex marriage.
The Daily Mining Gazette welcomes letters to the editor from readers.
Letters should be signed and include name, address and telephone number. Names will not be withheld and letters should be no longer than 400 words. No personal attacks. Writers are limited to one letter per month. The Gazette reserves the right to edit letters for length, as well as for spelling and punctuation.
Mail letters to: Letters to the Editor, The Daily Mining Gazette, P.O. Box 368, Houghton, MI 49931. Letters may also be e-mailed to firstname.lastname@example.org or submitted on the Gazette's Web site, mininggazette.com, by clicking on "Submit News."
While it is meaningful for individuals to publically share their faith/views/spiritual interpretations with others, it is unreasonable to expect everyone else to agree or interpret scripture in the same way. Everyone's "truth" is true for them, and we each value our respective "truth" as much as anyone else.
Third, it is also important to acknowledge the distinction between marriage as a religious sacrament and marriage as a civil right/legally binding contract.
While individual churches and faiths may consider extending the sacrament of marriage to same-sex couples as contrary to their understanding of "truth," the government should not restrict the legal right of marriage (and the accompanying benefits).
Because we live in a society where our citizens hold a wide range of beliefs, we cannot use the beliefs/interpretations of some citizens to restrict the legal rights of others. I would not want my civil rights determined based on someone else's interpretation of their faith any more than anyone else would.
The reality is that we all want our values, beliefs and opinions to be heard and respected. The only way to ensure that occurs is to allow everyone the opportunity to share their respective ideas but not to enforce or codify any one faith, version or interpretation as "the law of the land."