Why is it that some religious folks are bent on inserting themselves (and their particular beliefs) into the business of government or civil matters, such as equality for all taxpaying citizens and, in this specific case, Buncombe County workers? [“What's Next, Polygamy Benefits?” March 27 Xpress.]
While the county commissioners' vote approved benefits for both opposite and same-sex domestic partners, it was clear why the three Republican commissioners voted against it, though they tried to keep a low profile. The real motives to oppose “hit the fan” when some local religious leaders spoke up. Thankfully, Rev. Joe Hoffman recognized the diversity of the community and distanced himself from three other clergymen [“Equality or Sacrilege?” March 27 Xpress].
In Mr. Ogden's letter, it shows he is in the camp of three, as he writes (among other things), "As a leader, your first sympathies belong to the Lord and to the exaltation of His righteousness." Wow. No kidding? And I thought our elected officials' (Christian or not) priorities had to do with maybe city improvements, maintaining roads, keeping crime to a minimum, etc., etc. I think the word “Sodom” is even mentioned a couple of times in his letter.
I hope, Mr. Ogden, you're not trying to compare Asheville with Sodom, which all brings me to the issue of separation of church and state. A wise theologian, who believed in religious freedom and the separation of church and state and also denounced the concept of "enforced uniformity of religion" came to this country from England in 1631.
He was an integral part of the formation of one of the original colonies. His idea, his concept of, separation of church and state has been thought to influence the foundation of the religion clauses in the U.S. Constitution. His name was Roger Williams.
When you get the chance, Mr. Ogden, please Google him. You'll discover to your amazement that he was co-founder of The Baptist Church of America. Yes.
My wife and I moved to and fell in love with Asheville, because of the beauty of the area and the open-minded spirit that includes everyone here.
— Brad Dawson