In a March 25 letter (“Speaking out for Christian faithful”), the writer assumes that all “ordinary, everyday Christians” oppose gay marriage. Nothing could be further from the truth.

There are many Christians, myself included, who believe that all of us, including gays and lesbians, are children of God.

And as children of God, gays and lesbians are entitled to the same decency and respect, the same love and compassion, and the same rights and entitlements, as straight persons.

That includes the right to make a public commitment of their love for each other through the sacrament of marriage.

The writer seems to think that homophobia is sanctioned by the Bible. The Bible says a lot of things. Some of them are very good, some of them are not. In the later category, one can find war, slavery, murder, torture, hate and antifeminism, all sanctioned in the name of the “loving God.”

If, as a Christian, one focuses on the New Testament, you can certainly find statements by Paul which could fall into those categories, but the fact remains that in the Gospels, when one examines what Jesus said about homosexuality, one finds nothing. Yes, that’s right. Jesus said nothing about homosexuality.

But he did say: “Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” (Mark 12:31)

The writer says, “We’re not going away.” By that, she must have meant, “We so-called Christians who hate other people because of their sexual preferences” are not going away.

But I (and the majority of Christians) prefer to believe in the God of love, not hate; of acceptance, not rejection. And guess what? We’ve not going away, either.

Robert Fabre

Akron

Don’t shorten ?the school year

Kudos to Sylvia Bly for calling attention to House Bill 191, the bill that proposes to shorten the school year in order to promote tourism and recreation in Ohio (“School days count in global economy,” March 23).

While I have nothing against recreation and summer vacations, I do take exception to politicians who are willing to compromise education for summer fun.

Besides, as beautiful as Ohio is, it’s not a state that is considered especially for its resorts or recreation, and shortening the school year is not going to change that fact or bring crowds back to amusements parks.

What will bring back the crowds are good-paying jobs and a strong education system.

Bring industrial jobs back to Ohio so people can work to make money to afford costly amusement parks. Invest in education so families with children want to move and stay here.

If you want to promote tourism, work on a creative marketing strategy — leave the school system alone, it has suffered enough. The ideas in H.B. 191 offer nothing that would improve education.

Tamme Benepe-Nelson

Cleveland

What Obama ?has overcome

I would like to address the claims of Byron Draper in his March 25 letter citing reasons to vote against President Obama (“Trillions of reasons to vote against Obama”).

He stated President Obama will have added $5 trillion to our national debt. In 2000, the national debt Bush inherited was around $5.7 trillion.

When Bush left office in 2009, it was around $11 trillion, an increase of 93 percent. Under President Obama, the debt increased from $11 trillion to about $15 trillion, an increase of 36 percent.

Bush inherited a mild recession, Obama inherited the Great Recession. Obama wanted to raise taxes, albeit only on the top earners, to help bring down the debt; congressional Republicans blocked that effort.

Draper also stated that Obama added more than 200,000 federal employees.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, there were 22,544,000 jobs in the government sector in July, 2009. As of January 2011, the most recent report available, there were 22,235,000 jobs, a net loss of 309,000 jobs.

Apparently, Draper got the 200,000 number from House Speaker John Boehner, who used it during a recent press conference.

As for the Affordable Care Act, Obamacare in 2011 saved almost 4 million seniors about $2.16 billion through discounts for their prescription medications.

Obamacare also made health coverage available for dependents up to 26 years of age as well those with pre-existing conditions.

Draper also stated that this job-suppressing program will evolve into another bureaucratic nightmare. That’s what was said when Social Security and Medicare were implemented. With the health-care system broken, we needed some form of health-care reform.

The Affordable Care Act is a great start. Let’s improve on it, not repeal it with no alternative.

President Obama in 2009 inherited two wars and the worst economy since the Great Depression. He has done a commendable job in spite of the “say no” Republicans.

The Republicans, instead of doing what’s right for America, have only concentrated on trying to make President Obama a one-termer.

We need President Obama. Vote for Obama in 2012.

Dennis Maneval

Akron

What about men ?and contraception?

Women’s right to contraceptives is being attacked again. Women may have to prove their contraceptives are being used for other medical reasons to be able to get them on their health plans.

My question is about men getting a vasectomy.

Isn’t that a contraception procedure? Have they had to watch films, be told of all the side effects, have invasive examinations, listen to doctors and nonprofessionals?

This procedure is paid for through health plans. So is Viagra. Are men ready to make their own decisions? Maybe they need legislation. Is that the next step?

Dorothy Snyder

Akron

Constitution allows ?for many opinions

This ongoing debate over contraception is getting ridiculous. Where in the Constitution does it state that only one point of view will be represented over the other?

If we truly want to claim to have freedom under our Constitution, then we must allow those whose beliefs are contrary to ours to have their rights, as well.

If we take a step back and evaluate our beliefs and we come to the conclusion that using contraception is not for us, then we can exercise our rights and not use it. But don’t take that option away from those who do use it.

Freedom exists not only for those who hold one opinion, but also for those who hold opinions that are different. The Constitution was written to govern the masses, not an individual or a special interest group.

If people can afford to have children and provide for them without any assistance from outside sources, then let them do so, but for many families today, that isn’t the case.

Contraception is an option that can and will relieve the burden not only on families, but also the taxpayers who will have to support families forced to use public assistance.

Ruben De La Rosa

Wooster

Rothrock mystery

This is short and sweet. I live in Akron, and I’m a bit confused.

I’d like to ask Fairlawn’s deputy director of public service, Ernie Staten, why is the city permanently closing Rothrock Road — if developers haven’t even broken ground on the Sam’s Club or Walmart?

Regina Vance

Akron

Unfriendly to ?the consumer

State Sen. Lynn Slaby has sponsored a bill which will allow dishonest businesses to get off the hook when they are caught cheating. The bill has passed the Senate and is on the way to the House.

Slaby introduced this bill at the request of automobile dealers, who have one of the worst records for deceiving consumers. How can we allow this to happen?

As for Slaby, he has been rewarded with an appointment to the Public Utilities Commission, a position which pays more than $100,000 per year. I am confident that is in addition to a large pension he is already receiving.

If House Bill 275 is an example of Slaby’s regard for consumers, I shudder to think of what may happen to utility rates. Slaby has spent too much time on the public payroll and seems to be easily swayed by special interest groups. It is time for the distinguished gentleman to gracefully bow out.

Gov. Kasich would be well-advised to veto H.B. 275 if it reaches his desk. In addition, since there are many other individuals who could serve on the PUCO and truly have the interests of the public foremost in mind, perhaps the governor should rethink his appointment of Slaby.

William Bowers

Copley Township