Readers write: Marriage debate, bearing arms in the US

Letters to the editor for the Oct. 17, 2016 weekly magazine.

Debra Reid/AP
National Rifle Association volunteer shooting instructors Vern Marion of Elko, Nev., front, and Brian Beck of Lomita, Calif., fire at targets on the air gun shooting range at the NRA Convention in Reno, Nev. in 2002.

Marriage debate

Regarding the Aug. 15 & 22 cover story, “A florist caught between faith and discrimination”: I can empathize with the business owner who refused to provide flowers for a gay wedding, but I can in no way condone her actions. If one is to serve the public, then one cannot choose whom to serve. I’m sure that if Christ Jesus had been invited to a gay wedding at Cana, he would have attended gladly and wished the couple a joyous life. 

In my view, any Christian sect that condemns same-sex marriage as aberrant behavior does not meet the definition of Christianity.

John Harris

Healdsburg, Calif.

The Aug. 15 & 22 Monitor Weekly has an ironic juxtaposition of articles on the state and religion. Photos show us the attempts of the Communist regime to suppress religion in 1986 Poland. 

The next article, the cover story, “A florist caught between faith and discrimination,” shows the state attempting to do the same with a florist who simply followed through on her religious beliefs. We are letting a small minority dictate laws for the rest of us that usurp the religious freedom upon which this country was founded. As Pogo once said, “We have met the enemy and he is us.”

Paul Sedan

San Francisco

Bearing arms in the US

In the July 11 & 18 OneWeek article about gun control, “Would Australia’s approach work?,” the story refers to the Second Amendment to the US Constitution regarding the right to bear arms, neglecting to mention that the stated need to maintain “a well regulated Militia” is the justification for asserting that right. The right to bear arms has been passed to our armed forces – the military and local and state police. Civilian gun owners today do not constitute “a well regulated Militia.” Therefore the amendment has clearly outlived its ancient utility.

Steve Perrin

Bar Harbor, Maine

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Dear Reader,

About a year ago, I happened upon this statement about the Monitor in the Harvard Business Review – under the charming heading of “do things that don’t interest you”:

“Many things that end up” being meaningful, writes social scientist Joseph Grenny, “have come from conference workshops, articles, or online videos that began as a chore and ended with an insight. My work in Kenya, for example, was heavily influenced by a Christian Science Monitor article I had forced myself to read 10 years earlier. Sometimes, we call things ‘boring’ simply because they lie outside the box we are currently in.”

If you were to come up with a punchline to a joke about the Monitor, that would probably be it. We’re seen as being global, fair, insightful, and perhaps a bit too earnest. We’re the bran muffin of journalism.

But you know what? We change lives. And I’m going to argue that we change lives precisely because we force open that too-small box that most human beings think they live in.

The Monitor is a peculiar little publication that’s hard for the world to figure out. We’re run by a church, but we’re not only for church members and we’re not about converting people. We’re known as being fair even as the world becomes as polarized as at any time since the newspaper’s founding in 1908.

We have a mission beyond circulation, we want to bridge divides. We’re about kicking down the door of thought everywhere and saying, “You are bigger and more capable than you realize. And we can prove it.”

If you’re looking for bran muffin journalism, you can subscribe to the Monitor for $15. You’ll get the Monitor Weekly magazine, the Monitor Daily email, and unlimited access to CSMonitor.com.