Letter: A right to follow own moral code



In his March 9 column, "Senators Rivers, Benton on wrong side of bigotry bill," Columbian Opinion Editor Greg Jayne missed the point. He wrote of businesses denying services to individuals who practice fornication or homosexuality or idolatry, or who have been divorced. Many religions would classify each of these as sinful. Unfortunately, Jayne blurred the line between sin and sinner.

A lawyer who believes divorce is a sin opens a practice in contract law. She takes clients whether they have been divorced or not. Should she be able to refuse taking a divorce case, or is that unfair discrimination based on the client's marital status?

A baker believes blasphemy is a sin and serves clients who may believe differently. He is asked to decorate a cake with a quote that includes profane statements about Jesus, Allah and Buddha. Should he be able to refuse the job, or would that be religious discrimination?

Many of us hate sin without losing our love of those caught in sin. Honestly, we all sin. According to Jayne, businessmen who refuse to take part in sinful acts discriminate against the actors. That's where he missed the point. The lawyer and baker should be able to serve the public without having to violate their own religious beliefs.

David Arnett