LGBT protections 'anti-religion'

No doubt Gov. Ralph Northam shouldn’t sign Senate Bill 868 on discrimination as it stands, prohibiting public accommodations and employment in the Virginia Human Rights Act, adding “sexual orientation” and “gender identity” as a mandatory requirement under the act.

Churches, private schools and other religious organizations could be charged for not hiring a person who would qualify in skills but would violate biblical beliefs of the employer’s faith. The supporters are moving quickly to get our governor to sign “without amendments.”

Christians will love with their heart for those who have fallen but not place them in a place of employment if that person will not follow biblical teachings. Yes, everyone has fallen short, as it is impossible to be perfect, but we know when to ask for forgiveness, and church attendance is a step in the right direction.

I understand those who fight Christian belief will fight to get this bill signed quickly. Why do they work so hard to push this agenda? In my opinion, their hearts are hardened, only leading to pain and joyless life, then death. One’s life, thought hard at times, has continuing opportunity to follow and be guided with biblical teachings, but it’s a choice to travel down the road of faith or down the road of bad choices.

It is my opinion, signing this bill without amendments, is the government’s way to show hostility toward religion, a road he shouldn’t go down.

THOMAS NELSON Jr.

Roseland

Virus conspiracy mongering

In response to George Caylor’s March 3 letter to the editor, “It’s all a plot against Trump,” I find it difficult to believe that the Centers for Disease Control in the United States is propagating a conspiracy against the president. If that is true, then we have absolutely no part of government that anyone can trust, even the part of the government that is charged with, to a great degree, protecting our health.

Caylor uses as evidence of conspiracy the number of flu deaths in the United States in 2019 versus the number of COVID-19 (the coronavirus deaths) and his implication that the CDC via its director of immunization and respiratory diseases, despite the disparity of the flu and COVID-19 deaths, are hyping COVID-19 to hurt the president.

Let’s take a look at the numbers. The CDC reported in the 2018-19 flu season approximately 35.5 million sicknesses with flu and 34,200 deaths. The rate of flu deaths was just under 0.1 percent. In the current flu season as of Feb. 22, the CDC reports between 32 million and 45 million flu sicknesses with between 18,000 and 42,000 related deaths. This is a worst case 0.13 percent and a best case .05 percent death rate. The COVID-19 reported death rate publicized thus far is 2 percent or anywhere from 15 to 40 times higher than the flu. Of course, these numbers may change as more data is received and this is what we know for now.

My point here is not to induce fear or panic. Most probably, in the United States and countries with better preparedness and good heath care systems, the rate will be lower. Still, in any event and with current information, I personally want the CDC to publicly state the best information in order to motivate government responses and protect the citizens of the United States. This is necessary and more than appropriate.

Given the above information, to label the work of the CDC regarding COVID-19 as conspiracy against the White House doesn’t serve anyone; it only hurts those who seek information to serve their own, their family’s and their community’s health.

JEFF SMITH

Lynchburg

Mustering the militias

With regard to the mustering of militias in Bedford, Campbell and other Virginia counties, I must point out that a major difference between here in the United States and the chaos and strife of places like, say, Afghanistan, South Sudan and Somalia is the presence of loosely organized groups of armed men roaming the countryside seeking to “protect” ordinary folks from their own government.

If you like the bombing, random shootings and beheadings, but are too lazy to move to one of these utopias, it appears there are among us folks seeking to take us all there.

MICHAEL CORBIN

Lynchburg

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