Religion should not impinge on others’ rights

Editor’s note: This is in response to the letter published in Thursday’s edition, ‘God gets to say whether something is right or wrong’.


Dear Editor:

Yes. You can take religion out of the argument regarding gay and lesbian rights. This is a nation where everybody should be free. Free to love one another, free to be themselves and free to live a life without lying to others about who they are. You want people to lie about who they are to others and most importantly to themselves. In this lying, you are also asking them to lie to your God.

Your image of God wants people to live in fear of him. Nobody should live in fear of anything, anybody or any God. I do not share this image, and frankly it is one of the many reasons why I left Christianity and embraced spiritual atheism. I will not live in fear, just as many others will not live in fear.

You are asking others to live according to the rules you think God has put forth, but others do not share the interpretation of those same rules and whine when others put forth different religious views and interpretations. When you demand that others follow your interpretation of your religion, you are impinging on the rights of others to live freely.

Allow others to follow their own religious inclinations, or lack thereof so long as their actions do not harm others. Love will prevail. The only sin committed is by you for not following Jesus. Most of the passages where God condemns these actions do not come from the teachings of Jesus. They come from the Jewish Testament and the books of the Christian Testament that do not include the works of Jesus.

As I see it, the Gospels, (Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John) are the works of Jesus. Not the remainder of the Christian Testament. Those four Gospels are the works to which you should look as guidance. In those four books are words of love for others. Jesus dined with sinners, including prostitutes. He did not condemn them for their actions, but would encourage them to change their lives so that they would not sin upon themselves.

You make yourself the judge and throw the stones. Does gay marriage actually cause you physical harm? Not likely. It’s that it violates your perceived notion of how the world should exist under your image of a god. I see that image of a god as egomaniacal, misogynistic and psychotic, and not worthy of my devotion.

Love one another is the greatest commandment and gift that we can give one another.


Heidi Coons
SIU alumna

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