Jonathan Otten: Freedoms can be harmful

March 18, 2014 

The author of the March 17 letter “Please be civil” is being neither civil nor rational. Does he seriously think his stance hurts no one?

Nine out of 10 LGBT teens have reported being bullied due to their sexual orientation or gender identity within the past year. Of those, 25 percent have reported being physically assaulted.

Two years ago, the heinous Amendment One was passed in this state, denying LGBT couples their right to marriage. Are people being hurt by this? I think the answer is obvious. Regarding freedom of religion, we are free to believe, and our churches are free to preach, whatever they want. The rest of us, upon hearing these preachments, are free to shake the dust from our feet and leave those churches as quickly as possible. We all have freedom of religion, but none of us has the freedom to injure or to oppress others with our beliefs or the right to force our beliefs onto the rest of society.

Rightly are bigots so called. Rightly do we say – collectively, as a society – that we will not tolerate harmful intolerance. Pleas to have us do otherwise are damaging and ought to be rebuffed.

Jonathan Otten

Raleigh

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