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Where is the line on opinions, and what is the role faith plays? E-mail
Opinion
Tuesday, 20 March 2018 10:56

By EARL WATT

• Leader & Times

How did I let Larry Phillips’ editorial print last Friday? That was the question making its way around social media after he questioned the television industry, its acceptance and, in his view, advocacy of the gay lifestyle.

To those who disagree with his view, I never should have given him the chance to share it.

As you can see on this page, there are opposing viewpoints also being shared, and I encourage you to read them.alt

What is the standard? Some say I only print opinions that I share. If that’s the case, why have so many anti-Trump, anti-Kansas Legislature, anti-conservative opinions been printed on this page? I am a conservative, and yet I handpicked editorials from across Kansas and across the nation that do not support the conservative position, and I printed them on this page.

Why would I do that if I only print my views?

One of “my views” is that every view has a right to be heard. Whether it be liberal or conservative, for or against abortion, for or against tax increases, for or against social issues.

Where do I draw the line?

In addition to the policy that is regularly printed below, any call for violence or bullying will not be tolerated.

Larry Phillips has been a highly decorated columnist, having won first place for his writing multiple years by editorial judges from six different states.

Larry strongly questioned not the people who have chosen a gay lifestyle but the television industry. The beauty of America is that people can choose their own lifestyle, and being gay is their choice. I would protect any person who has chosen this lifestyle from any law that sought to limit their freedom. Everyone, LGBTQ or straight, has the same protection of the Constitution.

GLAAD, a gay rights advocacy group, said in a USA Today article in January that there is a misperception that gays already have full rights. Some believe that the battle now is beyond having the same rights to having specialized rights.

For example, the case currently before the Supreme Court is whether or not a Christian cake maker is required by law to make a wedding cake for a gay couple.

According to the article, support for gay positions dipped for the first time in several years, a sign that many are starting to believe that there is a difference between placing gay rights over someone’s religious rights.

I’m not writing to say which is right or wrong, but that it is a conversation that should be taking place in America, and we are having it here.

Both sides should have a chance to make their case on whether or not gay rights are being adequately protected and if other rights are being restricted.

Another question might be about television also showing acceptance of premarital sex, adultery, murder and just about everything on every soap opera. If we are going to question what television is advocating, let’s look at the entire body of work, not one issue alone.

A bigger question is also a part of this conversation.

Faith is part of the discussion, and one opinion printed today states support for the gay lifestyle within the Christian faith.

Is there a difference between the legal right to gay marriage and the spiritual endorsement? Should Christian churches be compelled to conduct gay marriages in their buildings if a request is made? Do parents who wanted a girl instead of a boy have the right to reassignment surgery and hormone alteration?

While believers are expected to love all people, do believers also have to endorse the actions and lifestyle choices of all people as well?

Hopefully, we can have thoughtful conversation on these issues. They aren’t easy, and we all might be challenged on what we believe, but the worst thing we could do would be to ignore it or to limit the free exchange of viewpoints.

Only by listening to each other can we truly grow.

We may reach a point where some simply agree to disagree. Neither is wrong. What shows up on this page is simply opinion, and you may agree with some and disagree with others. 

My job isn’t to make that decision for you.

We all may have to get out of our comfort zones if we truly believe in a free and open society, but that is the only way meaningful discussions can take place.

 

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About The High Plains Daily Leader

The High Plains Daily Leader and Southwest Daily Times are published Sunday through Friday and reaches homes throughout the Liberal, Kansas retail trade zone. The Leader & Times is the official newspaper of Seward County, USD No. 480, USD No. 483 and the cities of Liberal and Kismet.  The Leader & Times is a member of the Liberal Chamber of Commerce, the Kansas Press Association and the Associated Press.

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