Reader: 'Tearing at the very fabric of our society'

Question: Steve Smith answered Laurie Johnson's suggestion to consider eliminating a "gay" column from the new 7. His answer has left me pondering whether I wish to continue to subscribe to the S/R. He presents the question as simply one of varying religious beliefs which causes me to wonder how an editor can become so narrow in his thinking.

Of course, it is true that various religious teachings condemn homosexual behavior, however, that is only one part of the social situation. There is a rather long historical definition of marriage in most societies around the world that limits the word to that institutional recognition of the union of one man and one woman and, of course, any observant person can easily see that those unions, with the resulting children, are the basis of continuing society through the family unit.

To fail to see such a basic common human condition as the norm seems quite amazing to me. To pretend that people have a "right" to extend the historical definition of marriage to same sex unions is to deny the most precious and basic truth about the very foundation of society. Therefore I find Steve Smith's answer to be poorly thought out and shallow. Homosexual behavior is detrimental to the continuation of humans and to pretend otherwise is ludicrous.

Steve Smith's description of the "mantra" of the S/R editorial staff makes you sound like purveyors of information without any need for intelligent selection. If that is indeed the case I suggest you can delegate the editorial process to a computer program and the staff could then look for other work.

I'm looking forward to seeing a follow up article in the S/R that more completely addresses this issue and makes the S/R staff look more informed about this very important issue that is currently tearing at the very fabric of our society. Please do not continue to reduce it to a controversy between various religions as it is far more extensive than! that. -- Jack Hall, Post Falls

Answer: It's interesting to me that your response to my remarks deals with gay marriage, an issue I never raised and which, to my knowledge, has not been referenced at all in the 7 column.

In any event, my position is well thought out, is consistent with journalistic practice and the ethical foundations of our profession. It represents an exercise of editorial judgment and, I believe, requires no additional explanation. I thought I was pretty clear, certainly direct.

But my position is not your position. That's probably the only area of agreement between us.

We're going to continue to reflect the lives of all citizens of our community, even those you find unacceptable. I would no more pull the gay/lesbian column from 7 than I would pull the Rev. Steve Massey's Saturday column that consistently reflects conservative religious views toward homosexuality and gay marriage. Both have a place in our paper.

I respect the right of all readers to choose what they read. It appears you have some choices to make. Please know that I respect and value your right to make those decisions. -- Steve Smith, editor

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