LETTERS: The problem isn’t media, it’s citizens

Appropriately, Harry Long’€™s letter blaming the media and leftists for society’s woes, without supporting facts (“Collapsing society,” July 14 Review-Journal), was exquisitely contradicted by the highly unfavorable Hillary Clinton political cartoon above it on the opinion page. Michael Ramirez’s cartoon strongly suggested, in Pinocchio overtones, that Mrs. Clinton is a liar. That is hardly a leftist opinion. (Mr. Ramirez’€™s biased drawings often dominate the Review-Journal opinion pages, as anyone who regularly reads the paper knows).

It is not the media — the messengers — who create bias. It is the citizens themselves who don’€™t look to facts. An example: Mr. Long asserted that the insulting history of the Confederate flag and the word “€œrebel”€ are just perceptions, not reality, writing that “a majority of us do not see [these] as problems.”€ It would have been helpful if Mr. Long had provided or pointed to some researchable facts that reflect those views.

Even better, reading “€œNarrative of the Life of Frederick Douglass, an American Slave” would undeniably prove that “€œperception”€ did not cause the bloody shredding by a horsewhip of the skin on the back of a black woman slave who “€œdispleased”€ her mistress because she was “€œpretty.”€ Additionally, a quick glance at the Constitution would have shown Mr. Long that our founders saw that God and religion being part of government was unnecessary and unhelpful. So their document banned it. Mr. Long’s restructuring of our judicial system to preclude interaction on social needs and the system’s role in government also conflicts with the Constitution.

However, possibly most helpful to Mr. Long would be reading the story of the rise and fall of the most important and influential civilization the world has ever known. No, it’€™s not the U.S. — yet. But it could be. It was The Roman Empire. When it fell, it fell hard and forever. That fall was not caused by leftist leanings. It fell, among other reasons, because of greed and the elimination of its middle class, something the Republican Party stands accused of today.

John Dombek

Santa Clara, Utah

Gay marriage ruling

Jim Graham’s letter asked why Christians are upset about the recent Supreme Court ruling legalizing same-sex marriage (“Marriage ruling won’€™t harm Christians,” July 10 Review-Journal). Assuming that his question is not rhetorical, I would like to give an answer.

Christianity is founded upon the word of God as stated in the Bible. The Bible strongly condemns homosexuality in many Old Testament and New Testament passages. If I were a baker, photographer or wedding planner, I would be required under the new law to provide services for those who violate God’s word.

We have recently learned of the couple in Oregon who refused to bake a cake in support of a homosexual couple. For standing firm on their religious convictions, they were ultimately ordered to pay the couple $135,000. These bakers even suggested other bakeries that would service the lesbian couple, but to no avail. A similar case unfolded in New Mexico, where a wedding photographer declined to photograph a gay wedding. Presently, in Canada, it could be considered a “hate crime” for a preacher to give a message against the practice of homosexuality.

Let’s suppose that my wife and I are housing coordinators at a Christian college in the U.S. If a married gay or lesbian couple applied for housing, we would be forced under the new ruling to grant them housing against our religious convictions. If we refused, we could be sued individually, or the Christian college could lose its tax-exempt status. In the worst-case scenario, the college could be forced to close its doors for noncompliance.

I hope this response answers Mr. Graham’s question. Many Christians could be irreparably harmed for refusal to comply with a ruling that goes against their religious beliefs.

Robert Gardner

Mesquite

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