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PRAVDA USA UPDATE: The Chicago Tribune's moral confusion

6/19/2005 3:21:00 PM by John F. Biver - Renew Illinois

The Chicago Tribune's recent editorial "Out of touch" was an embarrassing expression of intolerance against two groups unafraid of exercising their First Amendment right to religious expression.

The Trib apparently doesn't understand the First Amendment religious freedoms of the American Family Association and the Illinois Family Institute. Within the tenants of their religion, standards are held and defended even as there is toleration and forgiveness for those who fall short.

Sometimes their faith demands that they hold up this standard when it comes to matters in the public square. This is a great tradition in American history and it deserves respect.

Ignorance regarding the simple concept of "morality" is very common in some quarters of America. Clearly the Trib doesn't understand that the debate over "gay rights" is a debate about morality, not civil rights.

Religious and nonreligious Americans know the difference between things like race, gender and age on the one hand, and sexual behavior on the other.

One need look no further than the existence of "religious exemptions" when "sexual orientation" is added to non-discrimination laws. Americans reject such exemptions when it comes to race, gender, or age, but see the need when it comes to the moral question of sexual behavior.

Setting aside the odd notion of wanting to be identified primarily by one's "sexual preference," serious sociological and psychological issues deserve attention. One example is that the American Psychological Association still considers Gender Identity Disorder a mental illness, and yet those suffering from this malady are about to attain the status of a protected class under the Illinois Civil Rights Act.

Since the nature of the debate has been decided, it's time for the Tribune to get into the substance of the matter - which is the clear disagreement over what constitutes morality and immorality.

While I do not subscribe to any religious faith, I am appalled by what clearly is the practice of religious bigotry by media outlets like the Chicago Tribune. It is not intolerance to refuse to embrace an ever-expanding list of "sexual orientations." It's the exercise of religious liberty.

John F. Biver

Executive Director

Renew Illinois




Copyright 2004 Victor Claveau. All Rights Reserved