Faith may be factor in high teen births, but not the cause
The April 26 letter, "Teen births and religion," blames teen pregnancies on religion, especially Christianity.
In multivariate problems like teen pregnancy, being one among many variables doesn't signify causality. Every patient under any doctor's care will eventually die; that of itself doesn't make the doctor the cause of death.
Studies have established statistically significant (not anecdotal) variables affecting the incidence of teen pregnancy: primarily economic and cultural backgrounds and education levels, especially in demographic groups where promiscuity is the norm.
To thoughtful Christians, it's not sex education per se that's objectionable. "Abstinence only" doesn't mean "abstinence" is the "only" method taught (advocates, take note), but the "only" method practiced.
It's the only 100-percent effective method for preventing pregnancies, STDs, and the attendant social/behavioral/emotional/economic damage. So-called "safe sex" is actually "reduced-risk sex," only about 80 percent effective.
The for-profit fetal holocaust of humans is reprehensible. It's a scientific fact that, from conception through death, every cell in a person is:
■ Genetically identical to all that person's other cells, excluding genetic accidents.
■ Genetically different from every other person's cells, including the mother's.
■ Identifiable as living (metabolizes and replicates).
■ Unmistakably identifiable genetically as human.
In context, Jesus said our faith (not intelligence) must be like a child's trust in his/her father or older brother. The Bible isn't advocating suicide when it says, non-contextually, "Judas hanged himself"; "Go and do likewise."
That letter was hatemongering, based on ignorance, arrogance and intransigence.
Donald G. McPherson
Bible belt values life
The writer of the "Teen births and religion" letter suggested the reason teen birthrates were higher in the Bible belt is because people are not educated about sex and birth control.
I suggest they are as well-educated as most on the subject, but the reason the birthrate is higher is because there is less abortion. Of the Top 10 states with the highest teen abortion rates, none are in the Bible belt. Could it be that those in the Bible belt value life more highly?
As for Jesus saying one must be as a little child to enter the Kingdom of Heaven, he is not talking about intellect, he is saying you must be willing to believe and accept by faith that which you cannot understand.
Just as a child trusts his father to help him when he is in trouble, we must trust our Heavenly Father to help us get off the road to hell and onto the road to heaven. Jesus made that way when he took our sins upon himself on the cross.
We finite humans cannot understand how one act 2,000 years ago could save whosoever would believe in him, but it is a fact, a monumental truth, that only those who experience it know for sure.
In view of the way things are going in this old world, I suggest the letter writer and those like him start giving serious consideration to where they will spend eternity.
First, give respect
Regarding the absurd discrimination complaint the Gay and Lesbian Services Organization filed against Hands On Originals for not accepting their T-shirt order, Blaine Adamson, managing owner of HOO, sincerely and respectfully expressed his decision in not doing so — religious beliefs, faith, life values.
Can the GLSO not respect his life values? What is this need to continuously try to get attention? Its complaint is an embarrassment and does not gain it the respect it is seeking.
I read that during the organization's peaceful demonstration, members were excited about receiving many honks from vehicles expressing support (they were holding up signs). I'm guessing many of the honks aimed at them were not that of support.
Also, I read they had no disturbances from people with opposing views. Why? We don't care.
The GLSO needs to respect Adamson's values in lieu of receiving unsavory attention. By showing respect in all matters, including Adamson, the GLSO would gain genuine respect and admirable attention.
Stephanie R. Witt
Follow law, Jesus
Three thoughts on the Hands On/Gay Lesbian Services Organization incident:
First, if Blaine Anderson had not wanted Hands On to do business with GLSO, he should never have bid on the T-shirt deal.
Second, some letter writers have protested that a business should be able to serve whoever it likes, and refuse service to others. That argument was rejected long ago by the people of the United States. A public restaurant cannot refuse to serve blacks. A public business cannot refuse to hire Irish or Catholics. Refusing to do business with gay people should be just as offensive to all of us.
Third, as a person who tries to follow the teachings of Jesus, I am disgusted when people misuse his name to support their personal biases. Adamson claimed that he won't do business with GLSO because he is a Christian.
A letter in the April 11 Herald-Leader stated: "I ask myself, 'What would Jesus do?' Exactly what Hands On Originals did."
Jesus said absolutely nothing about homosexuality. The dislike some people have for homosexuals is based on our society, not on the teachings of Christ.
What would Jesus do? The Gospels tell us that he had no problems in keeping company with people who were scorned by his society.
Additionally, he said things that are often forgotten by so-called Christians, such as "Do to others as you would have them do to you."
For the first time a transgendered woman, Jenna Talackova, competed in the Miss Universe pageant.
Talackova, who four years ago had a sex change and is now anatomically a woman, was accepted, rejected and then accepted again in Donald Trump's Miss Universe pageant.
When the organization found out that she was transgendered they kicked her out of the competition and announced that in order to be a contestant you must be naturally born a female. After reconsideration, it quickly retracted its statement and allowed her to compete.
She was born a man; however, due to her gender reassignment surgery she is now considered a woman and should have the rights as any other woman. She also has a passport and drivers' license that identify her as a woman.
The Miss Universe Web site only states that contestants must be between the ages of 18 and 27, it does not say anything about the rules regarding sexual reassignment or that they must be naturally born a female.
If anyone were to pass Talackova on the street they would not think twice about whether she was a man or woman.
Trump said he is in the process of making a policy change to include women who are transgendered. This is a step in the right direction; there should be equal rights for all women, transgendered or not.
Erica Cohen Mash