Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

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Letters to the Editor

June 10, 2013

Time to get over the differences

— — It is so disheartening to see letters like a recent one in the Bluefield Daily Telegraph. The writer makes the accusation that President Obama is destroying our country, and should be impeached.

Sometimes a president takes office and does things with which we do not agree. This is the norm, not the exception. The last time I checked, refusing to agree with the GOP wasn’t grounds for impeachment.

Equally as perplexing as the writer’s disregard for the legal process surrounding impeachment are his claims that Obama is a Muslim because he congratulated Jason Collins for coming out.

Islam condemns homosexuality, basing much of their religious reasoning on the same Sodom and Gomorrah story found in the Judeo-Christian holy texts. In fact, homosexuality is punishable by death in a few Muslim countries, a law which I’m sure would delight many area Christians (Leviticus 18:22).

For someone characterized as “100 percent Muslim,” Obama sure has a penchant for killing Muslim extremists. Google “U.S. drone policy” for more information. I believe that a minimal amount of information on our continued drone strike campaigns in countries like Yemen, Pakistan and Afghanistan puts to bed any notion that Obama is somehow consorting with the enemy (extremist terrorists).

Also, for those still convinced that Obama practices Islam, please reference the first amendment to the U.S. Constitution for more information about freedom of religion. I do not believe the president is a Muslim, but even if he were, that’s his prerogative. Remember, the vast majority of Muslims are decent, law-abiding folks.

As for Tim Tebow, it doesn’t take much courage to engage in behavior confirming you agree with the roughly 79 percent of Americans that identify with some sect of Christianity (Pew Forum). Perhaps Obama would call Tim Tebow to congratulate him if he were a better football player.

I am not gay and cannot speak to the immediate experience of having to come out as such to the community at large, but I am an atheist, and “coming out” as such in an area this conservative allows me to empathize with Jason Collins. Telling others that you are different is a trying ordeal, one that often results in resentment, anger and contempt from people that otherwise would have continued to happily associate with you.

Jason Collins was indeed very brave, and as strong as public support has been for his decision, areas like southern West Virginia continue to boil over with vitriol and spite for anyone that doesn’t meet the white Anglo-Saxon Protestant norm. Perhaps Obama called Mr. Collins because he knows what it’s like to be subjected to the banal, uneducated, ostracizing rantings of people just like the writer.

Some of us are different, just get over it.

John McCormick

Athens

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