Errors of religious leaders not bestowed on followers

OlympiaNovember 14, 2013 

I hope we move forward, as a tolerant community, with the failure of a deplorable attack by defeated Auditor/Rep. Gary Alexander upon those associated with J.Z. Knight. Knight herself is a public figure who can defend herself, but Republicans now wish to deny civic participation even to those finding value in Knight’s Yelm school.

Ironically, given Alexander’s opposition to the most basic civil rights laws, Republicans accused those associating with Knight of condoning bigotry. I’m the lineal descendant of a leader with eight wives in a major American religion, so I’m probably ill-equipped to pass public judgment on beliefs of others (even if I wanted to).

I’m sure aspects of my Methodism baffle those of other faiths, even fellow Christian denominations. All major religious texts can be read as having bizarre passages to those lacking faith in them. Must we attribute every eccentricity of faith, or mistakes by those to whom they are faithful, to campaign donors?

I don’t know Knight. But many of those who subscribe to her beliefs run businesses and are engaged, productive citizens who add value to Thurston County. I encourage, and welcome, their participation in our democracy, whatever my personal feelings about their beliefs.

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