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Reader's View: Civil rights must outweigh religious rights

Religious rights versus civil rights is a question the Supreme Court recently struggled with ("Supreme Court rules in favor of baker who would not make wedding cake for gay couple," June 4).

I was baptized into a Christian religion and practiced it most of my life. I left organized religion about 10 years ago. I'm 69 now. I often questioned the manmade rules in religion that seemed to outweigh the basic faith message. In my 20s I read the Bible cover to cover and discovered a lot of discrepancies between the written words and the preacher's words. I discovered the first creation story in Genesis, with God creating humankind at once. I finally realized I was nobody's "helpmate" or a piece of rib. The Bible's book of Genesis reads, "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them."

If our legal system allows businesses to discriminate against anyone based on personal religious beliefs, it will set the U.S. back to our darkest age, when blatant discrimination against dark-skinned people and women was sanctioned by religion and supported by government. Examples include "no blacks allowed," "no women allowed," "whites only," and "men only." I have never met a truly Christian person who said he or she believed those actions come from the word of God.

Our government founders only guaranteed tolerance of all religions and beliefs in America. The First Amendment reads that, "Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion." In order for our secular democracy to represent all American citizens, civil rights must outweigh religious rights.

Nancy Lanthier Carroll