Column by Marvin Robertson, Miner Staff Writer
I was gazing out the window this weekend enjoying the extended, gentle rain falling over the parched desert wondering how I got to be such an intolerant zealot.
I had not realized how much of a right wing, conservative radical I am and how much I (and most of the people in this country) am trying to destroy the fabric of a tolerant America.
That is what I surmised from a syndicated column written by Walter Cronkite and published Friday Feb.
When Cronkite says that is what I am, how can I argue with such a trusted American news icon?
I spent many years listening to his excellent presentation of the news regarding him as the great and excellent example of integrity and trustworthiness in news broadcasting.
Now I find from his column that the 66 to 80 percent of the people in this country who oppose gay marriage are intolerant zealots trying to start a religious war that will destroy America.
And we are doing this in a presidential year when there are "really" important issues to be decided.
Now, I am not going to argue the issue of gay marriage.
As intolerant as I am, I shall let each of you come to your own decision.
You can decide your own moral issues, although Cronkite does not seem to want me to have the same right.
Cronkite insists that it is a "religious" question and not a "political" question.
I have dealt with the question already in my own church.
The issue has split the Episcopal Church in America like nothing else my lifetime.
It is a real possibility that the Episcopal Church in the United States will be kicked out of the worldwide Anglican Community because all the rest of the Episcopal/ Anglican groups in the official world of the church maintain a different view.
Cronkite would class those people in his wide-ranging "intolerant" class though they comprise a large segment of the Christians in the world.
But, my real conflict with Cronkite, the mayor of San Francisco and four judges in Massachusetts is their lack of respect for the law, the democratic process where we actually vote on issues and the tendency to classify the rest of us as members of a right wing, conservative, religious right that would "criminalize same sex marriage."
Our laws already do that.
A majority of the people in California affirmed that long held legal view in a statewide vote in 2000.
If San Francisco is in California, the law applies.
San Francisco has also defied federal law on marijuana use going so far as to have the city grow "their own" and supply it to their citizens.
Unless I am too much of an intolerant zealot, I contend San Francisco is still in the U.S.
and subject to federal law.
San Francisco is also home base for the U.S.
Appellate Court that says we cannot say "under God" when reciting the pledge to our flag.
Come on Walter.
There are established ways to change law and attitudes in this democracy.
Civil disobedience has been successful on some issues, but is always a slippery slope that leans toward chaos.
It never changes as many minds as other methods could.
Walter, so-called Christian tolerance may be a figment of your imagination.
Your attitude toward my views and beliefs strikes me as less than tolerant.
Jesus did set a standard and he did take several unpopular stands in his day that would not be considered tolerant.
Kicking over the tables of moneychangers in the Jerusalem Temple was not an act of tolerance.
He gave Christians a rather rigid set of standards to live by and affirmed the Ten Commandments.
Of course, Americans are now intolerant if they believe the commandments are more than "suggestions" and deserve to be publicly displayed any where except in the U.S.
Supreme Court building.
Walter, we have a bit of a problem in Mohave County with polygamy and the way several thousand people on the Utah/Colorado border practice it.
If we were as tolerant as you are, would we sanction plural marriage also?
Where does a country step over your line and "criminalize" behavior.
I challenge you to propose a way to organize and live under the rule of a set of laws that does not provide some kind of behavior standards for that society.
I contend someone is always going to feel they were victims of discrimination.
In the meantime, I shall try to be more tolerant and less of a right wing, conservative religious zealot and respect your description of me.
But, it will be difficult to change a lifetime of moral standards, some of which I learned growing up listening to your news broadcasts.Miner Photo/TERRY ORGAN
Stacey Matthews counts cards Wednesday while performing math magic tricks in her and Holly Vines' algebra classes at Kingman Academy of Learning High School.
It was one of numerous activities on the campus in observance of the 100th day of school, when attendance largely determines a school district's state funds for the following school year.