Letters to the Editor

Gay clergy question has nothing to do with Constitutional rights

Kathleen Dolan-Bowes seems to have sacrificed logic on the altar of her true religion — political correctness.

In her Oct. 25 Guest Opinion (“Why is anyone’s sexual preference even an issue?”), Dolan-Bowes attacks Independent columnist Adele Ferguson for an earlier account of how her church is dealing with the potential ordination of openly homosexual clergy members (“Church grapples with same-sex issues again,” Oct. 15).

While making her muddle-headed case, Dolan-Bowes sputters, “Do consenting adults not have the right to live their private lives as they choose as long as they do not put others in harm’s way?”

For the record, please show me where Adele or anyone else suggested limiting anyone’s rights or privacy.

Of course people have the right to be homosexual. But the question of whether or not Adele’s church chooses to drop its traditional restrictions on gay clergy has to do with its own bylaws, not the U.S. Constitution — which, last time I looked, is the document in which our rights are enumerated.

Not embarrassed by her first butchering of basic civics, Dolan-Bowes goes on to make a complete fool of herself when she states, “There are women and men who have fought and died for this country to maintain our freedom of choice.”

Very true, and one of the most fundamental of those freedoms is the choice to practice one’s religion.

Which tells me that if anyone’s cherished rights in this case are under assault, it’s Adele and her denomination, since the Constitution is unambiguous on the question of religion but strangely silent about sexual persuasion.

Dolan-Bowes further fulminates that she is “...offended for my friends who choose to live a life with a same-sex partner and are not shown the respect they deserve...”

Apparently it’s fine for her to demand that religious observers show respect for others who don’t share their beliefs, but it isn’t necessary for her to show that same respect for those who choose to live their lives in accordance with religious principles.

Bigots, I think she called them.

If Kathleen Dolan-Bowes chooses not to join Adele Ferguson’s church or any other that considers homosexuality a sin, that’s her privilege. By the same token, however, Adele and the rest of her fellow Christians have a constitutionally protected right to practice a religion consistent with their faith in the Bible.

Adele is on firm ground, logically speaking, to question how a church that professes to be based on the precepts laid out in the Bible can be led by a pastor openly flouting one of the more obvious of these.

And constitutionally speaking, she’s on far firmer ground than Dolan-Bowes, whose understanding of the concept of constitutional rights is about as selective as her application of tolerance.

T.P. DUNN

Port Orchard

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