We Can't Shelter the World; Traditions are Meant to Change | Letters | Salt Lake City | Salt Lake City Weekly

We Can't Shelter the World; Traditions are Meant to Change 

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We Can't Shelter the World

I support Chaffetz and Goodlatte's immigration reform. Allowing illegal children is a precedent for many more to come and add to our national debt.

I served in the Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) as a captain in an elite unit, and I am traveling now to assist my fellows in fighting the war and show my support. Now, imagine that all these children on both sides (Palestinians and Israelis) were coming to the United States because it is not safe there. The United States cannot be a refugee camp and a shelter for the entire world. We have to resolve first our troubling economy and unemployment—find jobs and train and qualify our own people to perform them.

Nevertheless, my heart goes to the mourning families. I would like to see peace in the Middle East. I have witnessed too much death and killing.

Mar Nagel

Salt Lake City

Traditions Are Meant to Change

Douglas Cotant states marriage has been a tradition since the colonies started ["It's a Tradition," Letters, July 10, City Weekly]. And that matters why?

I assume Cotant chose our country's founding as the starting point, because any other starting point could easily lead to different answers if tradition is time-based. For a long period of time, when man became man, marriage probably did not exist.

So what really is tradition? Tradition is what people do until people change and do something else. Our country was founded on principles of libertyand equality, but even our Constitution, as great a document as it is, failed to live up to its own highest principles and sanctioned slavery. Slave owners probably used the "tradition" argument to justify their point of view. Slavery, child labor, 80-hour workweeks—all were traditions, yet we changed them, for good reason.

Traditions instruct and guide, but they should not be an impediment to doing what is right.The Constitution was a document overthrowing the tradition of the divine right of kings, which had existed for hundreds of years—much longer than Cotant's tradition of marriage in the United States.Shouldwe anoint a king of the United States because it is tradition?

Ken Thomas then added to the conversation by trying to bring some twisted constitutional logic into it ["Marriage Doesn't Have to be Equal," Letters, July 10, City Weekly]. If someone argues that freedom of religion can be warped to include gay marriage as a right in the Constitution, as Thomas seems to say, then that argument is wrong. Free exercise of religion has nothing to do with the gay-marriage issue, except that it limits the government and keeps the government from forcing religions to perform gay marriages against their will. People do not have a natural right to marriage; they do have a natural right of association. Marriage is a set of rules that confer rights and privileges to people for the benefit of the society, so the rules can be changed to meet the current needs of the society.

I don't believe any religion should be forced to recognize gay marriage. That's guaranteed in the Constitution—but in the Constitution there's also an equal protection clause. If anyone has known a gay person who's been kept from the bedside of a dying partner because of the antiquated cruel rules currently in our laws, you know the depth of pain that these stupid rules cause people. These people are hurt by an unfeeling majority that finds ways, like Cotant did, to make themselves feel OK while real people are hurt.

I am not gay. I served in the military and take the Constitution seriously. Very few issues in human life are black & white. However, if we look at problems through hope and love, and walk in the other person's shoes for a while, we will come to better conclusions. So much of the turmoil in the gay-marriage debate comes down to "I don't like it." Think instead: "If I had a dying partner, would I want someone to tell me I cannot be at their side?"

Edward Cheadle


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