The recent back-and-forth letters to the Sun News editor that argue the rights of gays and lesbians to marry – as revealed by God and Jesus Christ – have been educational and I would encourage more such public discussion.
But both sides need to include in their arguments the impacts that these words ought to have on others.
Throughout history, religion has been a very powerful instrument for both the advancement and destruction of civilization. On the positive side it has provided faith to the downtrodden, support for the arts and culture, and a beacon for those seeking ethical direction. But when zealous religious leaders force their personal values on others by aligning themselves with the power of government, disaster and human misery predictably follow. Some of the more notorious examples include the Inquisition, The St. Bartholomew Day massacres in France, the Reformation in England and oppressive Muslim theocracies that control 150 million humans around the world today.
In our own country the religious right has tried to force its personal faith and values on other Americans by aligning itself with political parties. Consequently, good citizens are denied their constitutional rights to marry and manage their families, based on religious challenges. Biblical bigotry is still bigotry.
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The writer lives in North Myrtle Beach.