Readers React

The persecution suffered by gays and Christians

To the editor: Can you imagine being compelled to perform a task that you felt was morally objectionable? Can you imagine being made an object of scorn for refusing to perform that task? ("Backlash against religious freedom laws helps gay rights in Indiana, Arkansas," April 4)

Would you really want someone who objected to your getting married on moral and religious grounds making the cake or photographing the wedding? Would you really want someone who was not on board involved at all? Would you really want to force someone to perform any task that they found morally objectionable?

The much-maligned Jerry Falwell said that Christians are commanded to hate the sin but love the sinner. Most of the businesspeople accused of hating gays do not object to hiring gays or selling them cake. They simply do not want to participate in a same-sex marriage, which they believe is offensive to God.

Christians and gays have suffered more in the way of bias and irrational hatred than most of us. I think they have a great deal in common.

Nathan Post, Santa Barbara

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To the editor: The Times has printed several articles on the backlash in Indiana stemming from legislation that claims to protect the "rights" of religious believers (which invariably means fundamentalist Christians) to practice their faith.

This is misleading; no Christian in this country is or has been denied the right to practice or act out his or her faith.

Rather, the real issue is that these people want to have the "freedom" to discriminate against those they don't like. This is an Orwellian abuse of language.

In the name of honesty, I would hope that the term "religious rights" would be replaced by "right to discriminate," because that is what this is really all about.

Jon Nelson, Panorama City

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