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'Ad resembles ... crazy missive'

June 11, 2008

Re "Battling for America's Soul," advertisement, June 5

I am extremely offended that The Times would choose to publish a two-page advertisement from the American Society for the Defense of Tradition, Family and Property.

Since when is intolerant hate speech appropriate in a newspaper advertisement? Would The Times consider running an anti-Jewish ad from a neo-Nazi group, or an anti-African American ad from the Ku Klux Klan?

From its condescending use of quotation marks in every mention of the words same-sex marriage to its dubious conclusion of religious persecution against opponents of gay unions, the ad is a slap in the face to every forward-thinking person, gay or straight, who reads it. How interesting that the wedding photo of the heterosexual couple featured in the ad shows them with their eyes shut.

The Op-Ed section is the appropriate place for public discourse regarding same-sex marriage in California. I know the newspaper business is tough nowadays, but please don't sell your soul to bigotry and intolerance.

Richard Waddleton

Long Beach

My first response at seeing the ad opposing gay marriage was to cancel The Times for printing such tripe. Then I realized that by printing it, The Times was demonstrating its advocacy of precisely the personal rights that TFP suggests we abolish.

Like many other Californians, I am not in the habit of allowing other people to tell me what to think or how to vote. The suggestion that California voters should abide by the cited biblical evidence of this religious group is about as convincing as suggesting we have multiple underage spouses. I am sure the Texas FLDS sect had verse and chapter to support its views as well.

We in California are laughing at you, TFP. You don't know our history.

Jeanette Hanisee

Gabriel

San Pedro

As a pastor, I occasionally get crazy tracts sent to me in the mail -- "irrefutable" evidence of this or that being proved by the Bible. This ad resembles those crazy missives. It contains five headings, 25 subheadings, a conclusion, end notes, an ad and a photo of their medieval banner with a lion. I suggest that readers save it to show their children an example of both the bigotry of the age they were born into and of what happens when religion goes bad.

It's funny what happens when you draw a line to keep others out. Jesus is always standing on the other side of the line. A lot of people are standing on the wrong side of this particular line, and their influence is gradually and blessedly waning. It will be a good thing for the church when it finally does.

Rev. Dr. Paul

Tellstrom

Irvine

The writer is a pastor at Irvine's United Congregational Church.

A few months ago, when 15-year-old Lawrence "Larry" King was shot to death in school, The Times did an article trying to decipher how such a tragedy could take place. This ad is exactly how. Such hate speech and bigotry directed toward homosexuals only results in intolerance and violence.

The next time a gay person is harassed, abused or killed, you need only look to this ad to see why. I know newspaper subscriptions are down and ads help pay the rent, but this was blood money.

Ari Solomon

Los Angeles

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