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Terry Graff, Sabin, Minn., Published April 06 2013

Letter: Letter writer’s Bible quoting is being taken out of context

The letter from John Paul (April 2) turns words and logic on their heads, which isn’t unusual with letters printed regarding the abortion debate. He makes some out-of-context quotes from the Bible purporting to support his position. He calls for “toleration” for his position and proclaims the pride of many North Dakotans in the recent unconstitutional legislation passed in the North Dakota Legislature and signed by Gov. Jack Dalrymple. As usual, his call for toleration ignores what toleration means.

As a society set up to be tolerant, we allow for freedom in the area of religious beliefs. Paul is entirely free to believe his religious views as stated in his letter. He is free to interpret the Bible in the way he did and proclaim those religious beliefs as interpreted. For that matter, if he wishes, he is free to go to Appalachia and play with venomous snakes to demonstrate his faith if that is his religious belief. He is quite free to live his own personal life in accordance with the religious beliefs he espoused.

What he and the legislators are not free to do, however, is to force those of us who do not share his or their religious beliefs to have to follow them under penalty of law. That is the antithesis of toleration.

That is what happens in theocracies. We are free to believe differently. Those of us who believe differently than he, in this pluralistic society, are free to live our lives according to the religious beliefs that we hold, even when they don’t comport with those of right-wing zealots.