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Letter to the Editor: Aug. 19, 2015

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Oklahoma Gazette provides an open forum for the discussion of all points of view in its Letters to the Editor section. The Gazette reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity. Letters can be mailed, faxed, emailed to jchancellor@okgazette.com or sent online at okgazette.com. Include a city of residence and contact number for verification.

True faith

In his letter, Michael Moberly turns the Ten Commandment debate into a condemnation of homosexuals and implies that God will no longer bless America because of actions like removing the monument from the capital grounds (Commentary, Letters to the Editor, “Heathen rage,” July 22, Oklahoma Gazette).

Moberly spews the nonsensical “homosexuals … get special treatment for their unnatural sexual practices and call it marriage …” as an example why the monument’s placement on state grounds should not be considered an “affront to equality.”

This is a classic example in debate where the two cases are unrelated. Whatever your stance on marriage equality, the recent decision by the Supreme Court has absolutely nothing to do with the debate on the Ten Commandments monument in Oklahoma.

To you, it seems obvious these “reasonable and orderly commands” should remain as we can all agree to them. I wonder if you have actually read them or the story form, which show up in the Bible for context.

There are actually 613 commandments dictated by the Lord through Moses. Among them are rules against eating pork or shellfish, wearing clothing made of artificial materials and all the regulations one needs when sacrificing a ram.

This argument that these commandments — all 613 or the first 10 — are the basis for American principles and even laws is ridiculous. Only two of the 10 are actually laws. I can want my neighbor’s car and house (and slaves because it’s okay to have slaves but not to covet your neighbor’s) all I want; only stealing them is against the actual law.

As a society, our laws are guidelines to which we collectively agree. We have no need for a monument to the first time those in our lineage decided to write them down.

However, I want to respond more to the assertion that doing so does not benefit a particular religion. This is the very core of why it has been decided to take down the monument. On that so holy list, we have honor your parents, don’t use the lord’s name in vain, don’t steal, don’t murder, remember the holy day and the aforementioned don’t covet commands, but at the very top of the list are the ones that disturb me as an atheist and should bother any believer in a non-Christian religion even more.

Those state that the God who dictated these commandments is the one and only true god and nobody can make an object of worship (graven image) of any other god. This is the purpose of Moses bringing down the tablets from the mountain, and this is the purpose of displaying them anywhere: to declare the Judeo-Christian god as the only god and make it against the law to worship another. The capitol is public ground, meaning all Oklahomans own the area. Memorializing these commands is not only offensive to those who do not share the beliefs; it is wrong.

In 2015, society no longer has this need. Basics like murder and stealing are obvious, and even the most religious among us cherry-pick the rules they want to follow and throw aside the ones that are no longer necessary.

If your God truly is fair, merciful and gracious, he will understand that placing a higher value on one group’s beliefs than another’s is wrong.

I wish you and people like you could see that. Trust me; you’ll still get to heaven.

— Dustin Waltes Oklahoma City

Corrections

>> In the July 29 cover story “Semi-permanent” (Life, Greg Elwell, Gazette), we misidentified the artist who tattooed an Australian customer as Think Ink owner Joshua Crain. The artist was former employee David Bruehl.

>> In the article “Helpful pioneers” (Life, Mark Beutler, Aug. 5, Gazette), we misidentified the event organizer in an info box. RED Rooftop is an event of AIDS Walk of OKC, not OK AIDS Care Fund. The website is aidswalkokc.org and phone number is 673-3786.

Opinions expressed on the commentary page, in letters to the editor and elsewhere in this newspaper are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the opinions of ownership or management.

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