The honor of American citizenship

The other weekend, my family and I were privileged to welcome one of America’s newest citizens to join our nation of 329 million.

Nearly 300 persons from all over the globe were assisted with the final paperwork by court officials, all of whom were naturalized citizens. They raised their hands and swore an oath that this natural-born citizen never had to, to “… support and defend the Constitution and laws of the United States of America against all enemies, foreign and domestic … .” Anyone who questions the “Americaness” of immigrants is a fool. They are Americans, period, full stop, and in some ways more American than I am. By choice, not by happenstance.

For all its faults and stumbles, America still represents hope and freedom and opportunity to millions of people around the globe. The strongest patriots I know are citizens who were not born on American soil. We are a nation of immigrants, and we are stronger for it. The only folks I want to “send back” are members of a political party that has become a white nationalist cult of personality. Send them back to private life, where their racist spewings and enabling of same aren’t part of our daily news diet.

NEAL SUMERLIN

Lynchburg

The divide is ‘right vs. wrong’

Stephen Bartholomew’s July 18 letter to the editor, “Liberal vs. conservative perspectives,” demonstrates a point that I must make repeatedly in religious circles. St. Peter did not say, “A vote against homosexuality covers a multitude of sins.” Further, any time the Bible mentions homosexual sin, heterosexual sin precedes or follows the reference.

The problem we have today in the Christian faith, and by extension America, is not that homosexuality in any form is tolerated, it is that heterosexuality in every form is acceptable. We accept a president who admitted to sexual assault, whore mongering and infidelity. Alabama accepts a U.S. Senate candidate that has admitted to pedophilia. Virginia accepts a lieutenant governor twice accused of rape and sodomy. We accept a 6 percent prosecution rate for rape. We accept a church that ignores the victims of heterosexual assault.

Imagine, if the zero tolerance rule was applied to heterosexual malfeasance in the same manner as it is applied to homosexuality in the Catholic Church. Imagine, if the Southern Baptists considered chivalry as important to ministry as being born with testicles. Imagine, if we attached to rapists the same social stigma that we reserve for homosexuals.

Bartholomew incorrectly asserts the division in America is left vs. right. The division in America is right vs. wrong.

KEITH FRANKLIN

Madison Heights

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