Prejudice Presented as Religion: Is This Really What God Wants?

RECEIVED Tue., March 30, 2004

Dear Chronicle:
   In response to Jena Selman's recent letter ["Postmarks online," March 26], I am again appalled by the religious right's attempts to use their "ceaseless faith" to justify hatred, oppression, and prejudice. Ms. Selman informs us that both God and the majority of Americans oppose gay marriage. That Ms. Selman claims to know what God wants, I'll leave for her to sort out with her God and her conscience. But for her to claim that "it has been proven" that the American majority opposes gay marriage is unbelievable. When Ms. Selman has done an accurate assessment of the views of every man, woman, and child in America, and published that data in the peer-reviewed scientific literature, I'll believe her.
   However, even if Ms. Selman is correct, there is a much greater problem with her argument. There was a time in this country when the majority of people felt that it was OK to hold other human beings in bondage. There was a time when the majority felt it was OK to deny women the right to vote. The majority was wrong then, and Ms. Selman and her putative "majority" are wrong now, because prejudice against and oppression of any group of people, no matter how "minor" that group, is never acceptable in a free society. Leaders that champion prejudice against others may be desirable to Ms. Selman and her God, but I (and the "majority" of freedom-loving people I know) find such leadership repugnant and embarrassing. Ms. Selman and her ilk are doing a fine job of helping our president make a mockery of a country that once had the noble cause of "freedom and justice for all."
Ceaseless faith in freedom,
Amanda Walker
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