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LETTERS TO THE TIMES

Disturbing Slide Into Religious Conservatism

August 28, 2004

Re " 'A New Day' for Two Congregations," Aug. 24: As an Episcopalian, I find the slide into conservatism deeply disturbing. The church was once the thinking man's church. What happens now? Do we return to the thinking of the Middle Ages?

It seems to me that conservatism, orthodoxy and literalism leave no room for thought or discussions from a historical perspective. They stifle progress. Consider the very primitive nature of the peoples of the Old Testament, in particular. They were not long out of the caves and the trees. The sages of Leviticus had to speak in a way that primitive people could understand.

As we have developed in knowledge, we should look at life's problems and their solutions differently. For example, we must first recognize that homosexuality is not a choice.

When, in the earliest of times, homosexuals appeared among the tribes they were seen as different. As such, they were feared. Fear turned into hate. That hatred has been passed down through the ages as the justification for discrimination and even murder.

Just in case it bothers anyone, I am a woman married to a man.

Lydia W. MacWhorter

Bakersfield

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