Friday letters: Thomas needs civics lesson

July 12, 2013 

Thomas

I am amazed at Cal Thomas’ lack of understanding of basic civics (“Where there is no standard,” July 1). I’m sorry, but judges in this country put their hand on the Bible and swear to uphold the Constitution, not vice versa.

Mr. Thomas disagrees with the recent U.S. Supreme Court ruling on the Defense of Marriage Act. Citing several Old Testament verses, he suggests that the court has “raise(d) itself to a level higher than the Creator.” He continues: “Modern courts might have trouble with Thomas Jefferson’s declaration, ‘We hold these truths to be self-evident.’ Is there anything that is self-evident today and not subject to challenge given the right circumstances?”

Yes, as Americans, we do hold some truths to be self-evident and immutable. The entirety of what Jefferson said was “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that ALL men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable rights; that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.”

Mr. Thomas conveniently omitted that last part. It means that gay men, just like straight men, have the right to pursue happiness. The Supreme Court correctly interpreted the Constitution to say that legally married same-sex couples must be treated the same as legally married heterosexual couples.

You don’t have to like what others do; you just have to respect their right to do it. This is American Civics 101.

Miriam Johnson

Columbia

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