To The Daily Sun,
A recent letter to The Sun by conservative writer Russ Wiles was titled, "When did it become hateful to insist on living by your own values?" Instead of responding to the whole letter, I will go a bit off-topic and just address the broader rhetorical question raised in the headline (which is a good one). Many conservatives falsely charge that liberals or progressives do not like conservatives living by their "own values."
There is nothing wrong or hateful about living by one's values. But, many on the right seem to want more than to just live by their own values. Many want to impose those values (some of which ARE hateful) on others and this is where many progressives have a problem.
The solution is simple. Do you believe gay sex is immoral? If so, do not have sex with a same-sex partner. You don't like gay weddings? Then do not attend or officiate at one. Clergy do not have to solemnize any marriage they do not like. Do you believe abortion or contraception is wrong? Good. Do not practice them. No progressives are asking you to. All that most of us expect is that you respect the rights of others.
Are you a conservative Christian? It is fine if you are or belong to any other faith. If your faith makes you a better person, neighbor, friend, spouse, or citizen, your religion is probably a positive thing. If, on the other hand, it inspires you to fly planes into buildings or kill gays, it is not a positive thing. Our Founders would have likely agreed with this.
But, do not try to make the U.S.A. a "Christian country." Stop trying to erode the separation of church and state which has been mutually beneficial to government and religion throughout our history.
Do you believe evolution is false and that the earth is only six thousand years old? Fine. Teach your kids that at home or send them to a private school but do not expect taxpayers to support your religious beliefs in the form of vouchers. Do not expect public school science classes to teach your religious beliefs or pseudo-science as "alternate theories."
If your values include being able to own any firearm with few or no restrictions, I am sorry. Your "right" might interfere with MY right to feel safe.
If you don't like minorities or immigrants, that is your right as long as you are not actually depriving others of their rights. But, do not expect the rest of us to join in the orgy of hate, ignorance, and disinformation.
E. Scott Cracraft
Message was submitted to The Laconia Daily Sun