This is Not About Religion.

Recently, the Becket Fund for Religious Liberty took out a page of the New York Times that stood in defense of the LDS Church's position on Prop 8. It went even further to accuse "many" of the protesters of being mob-like and using intimidation tactics instead of reasonable persuasion. While some people did not represent their dissent in as honorable of a way as they could have, this is a slap in the face to many (i.e. the majority of) people, including myself, who were careful to be as diplomatic as possible. Quite frankly any prejudices I may have voiced at the time have always been flaws of my own and were not representative of any cause or movement. In fact, there are people within the LBGT movement who are quite religious whereas I am not.

The original NYT ad can be seen here.

If you would like to take action, you can use the webform here to write a letter.

And my own letter to the NYT and the Becket Fund is posted below:

It is arrogant and cowardly for anyone to mount an attack on a minority group of our society. And it is irresponsible to claim that a minority of that group with extreme behaviors and gestures represents the group as a whole.

The LBGT community and its supporters believe that we should all be able to live peacefully, and equally.

Using religion as a means to prevent that from happening is absurd. The whole point of religious institutions is to bring people together and not tear them apart. Open up any history book - even scripture - and you will see how well that has worked in the past. You will also see glorification of what we would now consider terrorism.

But people who choose to be religious have every right to do so as well as every right to voice their opinion. We do not consider all who practice religion to be terrorists. It is, as you state in your letter, important for the health of democracy to be inclusive of all ideas and opinions. And especially not to allow them to be misrepresented.

Additionally, for the sake of democracy, we must not allow any group - be it minority or majority - to take away the inalienable rights of others simply to impose upon them a sectarian moral code. It is unethical to treat anyone as second-class citizens (an expense to their liberty) as it is to force them to live in fear; something that both the LDS and the LBGT communities have been familiar with. Your freedom of speech ends where hatred of people for what they are begins.

Yes, a few people have fought dirty on both sides. But that does not give license to you or anyone else to denounce an entire movement which strives for peace, harmony, and love just as much as yours probably claims to. This world is running out of room for that kind of behavior and I suggest you learn how to live within it instead of "above" it.

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