EDITOR: Given legislation in Arizona and elsewhere seeking to legitimize discrimination against homosexuals based on religious views, I recall a letter by Dave Geoffrion ("Uneven praise," Feb. 19). He felt stigmatized by sports columnist Lowell Cohn for following his particular religious faith. Yet Geoffrion has no problem stigmatizing homosexuals such as football player Michael Sam as "immoral."
There is no war on religion. Fundamentalist Christians aren't denied civil rights in this country simply for being themselves. No politician proposes legislation legalizing discrimination and quasi-segregation of Christians. They rightfully live, work, worship, love and marry in this country without legal or moral sanction. Gays? Not so much.
Geoffrion is free to publicly express his views concerning homosexuality, but selectively choosing which Old Testament verse to follow is hypocritical. Can we sell our daughters into slavery? Kill those who work on Sunday? Which "unchanging truths of the Bible" apply in the 21st century?
Christ requested we not judge others. Unfortunately, social conservatives not only pass judgment but seek to force others, via law, to suffer their particular beliefs. Why such fear and un-Christlike intolerance? In America, religious faith doesn't supersede the constitutional and human rights guaranteed all citizens. Homosexuals deserve liberty and equal protection under the law. Live and let live.
EDITOR: For the second time in a month, Charles Krauthammer cherry-picked and misrepresented scientific evidence, this time to support the idea that "science is rarely settled" ("The myth of settled climate science," Feb. 22).
This time, he cited a study that he claimed shows that mammograms don't help in reducing deaths from breast cancer, contrary to "settled science." What he didn't say was that this was one study out of many and that the authors readily admitted that their findings are contradicted by another study in Sweden. One outlier study out of many does not unsettle the science. What such a study does is prompt us to look closely at the methodology to see whether it's sound. And this one study cited by Krauthammer has indeed been criticized for its use of invalid methodology.
When 97 percent of climate scientists agree that average global temperatures are rising, and that human activity is causing it, they are doing so based on overwhelming factual evidence. Theories and opinions may change as new facts come to light. But the facts never change.
Learning from Holden
EDITOR: I can only speak for myself, but I read "Catcher in the Rye" when I was 17 or 18 and continued to read afterward ("Give teens better books than &‘Catcher in the Rye,' " Close to Home, Feb. 23). It led me to "Siddhartha" by Herman Hess and "The Metamorphosis" by Franz Kafka and more.
I realized that my feelings were close to those of Holden Caulfield in that I, too, wanted to be rich, famous, a hero — a "catcher in the rye" to the damsel in distress when she got thrown from the train. Like Holden, I had no idea on how to go about accomplishing such a thing. However, it led me to the realization that there probably were others my age with the same dreams.
So now we have such people as Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian, whom I suspect retain minimal talent, yet they're "famous." If teenagers were made aware that they held this desire in common with other people, maybe they wouldn't be so ready to emulate outrageous acts of these "famous" people.