LETTERS: Religious beliefs don’t trump constitutional rights

Robert Gardner’s letter attempts to answer how the gay marriage ruling harms Christians (“Gay marriage ruling,” July 27 Review Journal.). I would advise Mr. Gardner that millions of times each day in this country, businesses provide goods and services to paying customers who “violate God’s word.”

Those of us who are atheist, and those who subscribe to religions which differ from Mr. Gardner’s, likely do not subscribe to his God’s word. I don’t discriminate against known religiously owned businesses, and they shouldn’t be allowed to discriminate against me. Hobby Lobby would happily swipe my debit card six days a week. By this time next year, Chick-fil-A will be swiping my debit card at least once a week, and I guarantee the restaurant won’t care that I’m atheist. The employees will just swipe.

I don’t understand why those who are religious think they’re entitled to know my religious beliefs or sexual orientation in order to transact business with me. Would Mr. Gardner support the baker, photographer or wedding planner discriminating against any other class of human beings, or only those who violate his God’s word? Mr. Gardner correctly points out that the Bible condemns homosexuality in both the Old and New Testament. I’d like to point out that this same word of God has no problem with the purchase of male and female slaves (Leviticus 25:44), with selling my daughter into slavery (Exodus 21:17), putting to death those who work on the Sabbath (Exodus 35:2), killing those who plant two different crops in the same field or wearing garments made of a linen-and-wool mix (Leviticus 19:19).

My personal favorite is the eating of shellfish being an abomination (Leviticus 19:19). I love my oysters! I cringe to think what our country would be like if we all lived by this word.

The bottom line is while marriage might be a religious union to you, for me it is a civil union. Churches don’t issue marriage licenses, governmental entities do. In this land of separation of church and state, your religious beliefs will not trump constitutional rights. If your God is as forgiving as your Bible states, I’m sure he will forgive your compliance with the law and save you from the irreparable harm you fear. As an atheist, I have the right to patronize any business you do. As a gay man, my brother is entitled to the same right.

Misty Bowen


A lesson in lying

I continue to hear ignorant liberals claim President George W. Bush lied to justify the war in Iraq. People who repeat the lie that Mr. Bush lied are either ignorant of the facts or are lying. A lie is when a person knowingly tells a falsehood. Example: “If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor,” or, “The attack in Benghazi that resulted in the death of a U.S. ambassador was caused by a YouTube video.” Those are lies as told by Democrats, and in the latter instance, to deflect attention from their incompetence in securing the safety of our personnel overseas.

On the other hand, we have statements that are false but were believed to be true when spoken. If people you trust tell you that something is true, and you repeat that statement but later discover it to not be true, have you told a lie? No, you repeated a false statement with the honest belief that it was true. Since President Bush was briefed that Iraq had weapons of mass destruction by numerous intelligence agencies, both ours and our allies, he did not lie when he repeated that charge. We discovered later that those charges were not true. Because we have known for years that he did not lie, anyone who repeats the lie that Mr. Bush lied is either ignorant of the facts or is lying.

Terry Ostlund

Las Vegas

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