GloucesterTimes.com, Gloucester, MA

July 5, 2013

Letter: Gloucester rises above hateful rhetoric


Gloucester Daily Times

---- — To the editor:

All my buttons were pushed Wednesday morning when I read all that Biblical mythology with my coffee.

To start with, Rev. Slyman (Midweek Musings, Wednesday, July 3), please keep your archaic religious myths out of my City Hall.

The wall of separation of church and state is strong here in Gloucester, the home of the mother church of the Unitarian

Universalists. Thomas Jefferson said “I contemplate with sovereign reverence the act of the whole American people,” which declared that their legislature should make no law respecting establishment of religion or prohibiting the free exercise thereof.

John Adams said: “Although the detail of the formation of the American government is at present little known or regarded in Europe or in America, it may hereafter become an object of curiosity. It will never be pretended that any persons employed in that service had interviews with the Gods, or in any degree under the influence of heaven … It will forever be acknowledged that these governments were contrived merely by the use of reasons and the senses.”

Rainbows are caused by the splitting of white sunlight into component colors by raindrops. Some of the light that falls on a water drop enters the drop, and every time this happens it is a basic act of nature. They are not signs from some made-up God, signs that he is giving mercy upon sinful men.

My God is a loving God, not the vengeful God that Rev. Slyman seems to believe exists. To believe in the Bible as literally the word for word of God is your civil right, but then you have to believe all of it — not just the parts that allow you to attack something as simple as a rainbow flag.

You have to believe men can have hundreds of wives — King Solomon had 700 official wives and 300 concubines (Kings 11:1-7.) You have to believe that perhaps playing football — and even worse, getting paid to play football on the Sabbath — is an abomination. (Leviticus 11:7-8, Exodus 20:8-11.)

Your comparing today’s use of the rainbow flag — a symbol of civil rights for all LGBT (lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender) citizens in a celebration of peace and love — to that myth of the Sodom story is just a sign of your inner conflict with reality.

Reverend, you have your civil right to preach that men are wicked to your flock, but outside the walls of your church, there are many other forms of religion and we have freedoms that keep us from your cry for an Iran-like theocracy.

You accuse the loving and caring residents of Gloucester that raised a rainbow flag as a symbol of tolerance as mocking God, then suggest your revengeful, hateful God will burn Gloucester to the ground? How dare you!

JANICE JOSEPHINE CARNEY

Heights of Cape Ann, Gloucester