Religious issues not black and white
Re: “Religion not responsible for all the world’s ills”, (Citizen, July 4)
I appreciate Perry Foster’s criticism of my letter in which I spoke of religion not being an excuse to deny another person human rights. I think he has completely missed my point, though, as well as the point of Art Seger’s letter, which he also criticized.
I did not mock or condemn religious belief. I even stated in my letter that I was not attempting to insult religious individuals in any way. Just because I pointed out one issue, it does not mean that I hold an anti-religious viewpoint.
The point of my letter was that religion does not serve as an excuse to deny somebody their human rights. Freedom of religion is integral to our Charter. I would never want that to be taken away. I was speaking about those individuals who want to use their religion as an excuse to remove the rights of others. This is not acceptable. Everyone has a right to be protected from discrimination.
Mr. Foster also suggests that we might want to tear down cathedrals and Renaissance masterpieces of Europe. This is a serious misrepresentation of what Mr. Seger and I were trying to say. All we said was that religion is not an excuse to harm others or deny them rights. Mr. Foster seems to have interpreted this as wanting to censor and destroy art. Absolutely no one is asking for that.
I never said that religious faith was the problem, however Mr. Foster seems to think that it has never been a problem. He cites the death tolls of atheistic belief systems like Communism and Nazism. Christianity has not been immune to violence in its past, either. The European colonization of the Americas killed millions. There were also several Crusades. There has been good and bad people in the history of religion, but to pretend that there is nothing to call into question reflects a lack of understanding of religious history.
My letter very blatantly targeted those religious individuals that want to deny human rights to LGBT+ people, not religion as a whole. LGBT deserve all the freedoms and protections that you do. Of course we want to leave room for a balanced discussion, but my letter was penned to point out injustices. It was not the time or place for praise of religion. That would be for another discussion.