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Sparking 'progressive encouragement and dialogue'

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Dear Gazette and readers,
Thank you for your publications regarding current events, issues, policies, politics and conversations affecting Oklahoma. Thank you for publishing a diversity of opinions, from right to middle to left. You help provide a fair, just and intelligent opportunity to self-educate and intrinsically generate positive thought, positive movement to change and actual positive change in our community.

Three recent Gazette publication topics and their subsequent discussions from readers have promoted such positivity: homosexuality, Oklahoma progressivism and Islamophobia (Commentary, Saad Mohammed, "Point: A guide for all mankind," Nov. 17). (I should note that I am zero percent homophobic, mostly progressive and zero percent Islamophobic.) These discussions will send me into the new year, and onward, with hope and gratitude for Oklahoma.

Though we've unfortunately witnessed the authoring/passing of State Question 755 and SQ 751, as well as homophobic reactivity to Malena Lott's Nov. 17 "Modern Oklahoma family" cover story, these published topics have been a catalyst for public discussions which could have forever remained sadly and fearfully locked behind closed doors or individual hearts or neighborhood gates. They catalyzed Lauren Zuniga's "Poem to progressives plotting mass exodus" (Letters, Nov. 17, Gazette), which has since sparked progressive encouragement and dialogue and connectivity. All of this is wonderfully beautiful for Oklahoma " and/or any community " to experience.

With hopes to keep growing wonderfully beautiful experiences in year 2011 and onward, we may suggest to ourselves a wise and humble commitment to the separation of church and state. Too often, our problems can be propelled by the muddling of political issues within religious groups, and the muddling of religious opinions within political parties. A commitment to separation of church and state may not only grow our political discussions as more intelligent, wise, all-concerning and significant, but most importantly, could redirect our religious (regardless of faith or denomination) influences and work to be focused on loving kindness.

Counting the Gazette, Oklahoma and fellow Oklahomans in a long list of blessings this holiday season.

"Emily Brewer
Norman

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