Letter about Franklin sisters was infuriating

Published 10:37 am Wednesday, November 17, 2010

To the Editor:

As a fairly well educated person, I would like to respond to Bob Baum’s letter (“Not surprised by ‘gay rights agenda’ in schools” Nov. 10), which he wrote in response to the article (“Sisters United: Siblings Start Gay Straight Alliance,” Nov. 3).

I want to preface this by saying I do not know the two young ladies who are starting the aforementioned club at Franklin High School, nor do I know Mr. Baum.

I keep asking myself why anyone would want to associate with somebody who would write a letter like Mr. Baum’s. Mr. Baum used the Bible to tell a teenage girl she was going to burn in a lake of fire for eternity because of her nature. How can any self-respecting person read that and not be furious?

Mr. Baum claims the gay “agenda” is being “promoted” through these children. Promoted? Promoted, he says. Have not he and others like him preached this nonsense and hatred to children for centuries? That is what “promoting” is, Mr. Baum, not the actions of two sisters starting a high school club.

And for anyone who believes, in principle, the claims Mr. Baum makes but thinks his ideas could be addressed more effectively to a child, I say this: The way religion should be addressed to a child is to let the children make up their own minds when they are old enough and intellectually suited to do so, not to preach damnation to them from the time they are born.

I doubt organized religion could stand up to that kind of test. That is, to teach only to those who are intellectually suited to weigh the probability of its truth.

Furthermore, if children were just taught the difference between right and wrong, and how to respect all people instead of being forced to attend Bible study and taught that the consequence of not living a certain way is eternal damnation, over time the attendance at churches on Sunday would greatly increase, and the judgmental attitudes people have towards those different from themselves would decrease.

What would not decrease, however, would be the overall intellect of this nation as well as the reward/admiration for qualities such as reason, morality, self-respect and honest discourse. But then whom would Mr. Baum preach to?

Hudson Bryant
Virginia Beach
Native of Franklin