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Missing the boat in the letter tug-of-war

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POSTED June 11, 2009 1:44 a.m.

Reading the endless back-and-forth between Republicans and Democrats in these pages is often good for a few minutes of low-cost entertainment.

Rarely do I speak up, because a bitterly jaded portion of my soul has come to accept the notion that very few people on this planet possess the will to look inward and change.

But after reading Mr. Jerry Johnson’s response published in the June 10 edition of the Bulletin to a letter penned by Mrs. Dawn Sadlowski in the June 8 edition, I felt compelled to offer my two cents.

Mrs. Sadlowski was responding to Mr. James Simoni’s June 7 letter in which he lists the reasons why he is “fed up with a democRAT congress and a democRAT president.”

One of Mr. Simoni’s talking points had to do with Barack Obama’s nomination of David Ogden to deputy attorney general.

Ogden used to represent Playboy magazine.

Mrs. Sadlowski correctly points out that pornography is legal in the United States, and Mr. Johnson returns with, “Pornography may be ‘legal’ but that does not make it right. It certainly is not fitting for a man in the Justice Department. Would you want your children to live under laws by this man?”

Since Mr. Johnson holds the word of Jesus Christ in the highest regard, let me remind him of the following: “Let him who is without sin cast the first stone.”

The following is an abridged list of Republican public officials and their exploits in recent years:

• In 2008, Alabama Attorney General Troy King, a vocal anti-gay Republican, is caught having sex with his homosexual male assistant by his wife.

• In 2003, former GOP congressional aide Jeffrey Ray Nielsen of California pleads guilty of molesting two male teens.

• Florida’s Mark Foley resigns in 2006 after a 16-year-old male congressional page alerted Capitol Hill staffers to inappropriate e-mails of a sexual nature received from the congressman.

• In 2007, Idaho senator Larry Craig pleads guilty to disorderly conduct after allegedly soliciting gay sex in a Minnesota airport.

• In 2005, Spokane, Wash., Mayor Jim West, an outspoken anti-gay Republican, is found trolling gay chat rooms and having sex with teenage boys.

Mr. Johnson, would you want your children to live under laws created and upheld by these men?

My second issue with Mr. Johnson’s letter is the following sentence regarding homosexuality: “Now since you follow Jesus I would have you read Leviticus 18 verse 22 and see what God says about such behavior…”

While I recognize Christian dogma states that God, Jesus and the Holy Ghost are equal parts of the same Holy Trinity, I think it’s important to recognize that the words of Jesus Christ, as written in the New Testament, make no reference to homosexuality.

Jesus did, however, say this: “Do unto others as you would have them do to you.”

While I respect any person’s right to believe that homosexuality is wrong as instructed by their creator, I do not tolerate how many religious people break the golden rule in how they publicly and politically treat homosexuals.

Finally, Mr. Johnson says this: “Our nation was founded on the belief that our rights come from God and they cannot be taken by man.”

What follows are few quotes from our founding fathers.

From Thomas Jefferson: “I have examined all the known superstitions of the World, and I do not find in our particular superstition of Christianity one redeeming feature… Millions of innocent men, women and children, since the introduction of Christianity, have been burnt, tortured, fined and imprisoned. What has been the effect of this coercion? To make one half the world fools and the other half hypocrites…”

From George Washington: “Religious controversies are always productive of more acrimony and irreconcilable hatreds than those which spring from any other cause.”

From Benjamin Franklin: “I think vital religion has always suffered when orthodoxy is more regarded than virtue. The scriptures assure me that at the last day we shall not be examined on what we thought but what we did.”

“How many observe Christ’s birthday! How few, his precepts! O! ‘tis easier to keep holidays than commandments.”

“Indeed, when religious people quarrel about religion, or hungry people quarrel about victuals, it looks as if they had not much of either among them.”

Mr. Johnson ends his letter with this tidbit, of which I feel spotlights the inherently hypocritical nature of many followers of Jesus who also vote strictly down GOP party lines: “…the Bible says a man is worthy of his pay for his labors, not that he should spread the wealth.”

Mr. Johnson, I believe it is you who has “missed the boat.”

“Verily I say unto you, Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me.”

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