I want to thank Alline for her January 14th Letter to the Editor pointing out some of the shortcomings in my January 7th editorial. Sometimes in attempting to make one point, several others get obscured in the process.

Perhaps this is a common pitfall. In arguing against the editorial, the letter states that people are born homosexual, and that we do not choose our own sexual orientation.

I am not a biologist, nor do I claim to know much about chromosomes (and I did not even stay at a Holiday Express last night). So, I’m sure I can’t offer a very persuasive argument either way.

I will say that Americans seem to be split on the debate of whether people are born homosexual, or they choose to be gay. The most recent Pew Poll I found on the topic, dated 2013 (but still being cited in today’s discussion of the topic) reveal that 42% of Americans say being gay is a life choice, while 41% say people are born homosexual.

There has been some media buzz over the years that scientists have identified “the gay gene” but these various studies have not been accepted as scientific fact. These same type of studies have identified similar genes, such as the “warrior gene” which has been attributed to those with violent tendencies, or the “alcoholism gene” which makes you more prone to substance abuse, raising the question are wife-beaters and alcoholics born? There are also several studies that show that people can change their sexual orientation, which would also seem to be in conflict with the theory you are “born” one way or the other.

But I digress from the original message of the editorial, which I apparently did a poor job of expressing. I was not trying to advocate discrimination. I was trying to question if refusing to bake a cake for a gay wedding, is in fact, discrimination.  Merriam Webster defines discrimination as the practice of unfairly treating a person or group of people differently from other people or groups of people. Apparently our government has decided that it is unfair to refuse to bake a cake for a ceremony that goes against your religious beliefs.

As I stated in my article, I think it is wrong to discriminate. While I would not refuse service to someone because of their sexual preference, I do so for my own reasons, not because the government tells me I can’t.

I sin every day. I have a laundry list of vices that in God’s eyes are all equally bad. I gossip and I fib. I am prideful and I often pout when my sporadic good deeds go without notice or unrewarded. I write editorials which are meant to generate thought and discussion, but sometimes cause hurt and anguish. I enjoy playing Texas Hold’em (gambling), I’ll drink a beer from time to time, and I don’t always avert my eyes from the football game when the camera pans in for a close up of the cheerleaders. I don’t have enough space in this newspaper to list all my faults, nor was it the point of original editorial to cast stones at people who may be considered fellow sinners.

What I was trying to do was point out the hypocrisy of protecting the ideological beliefs of a customer over ideological beliefs of a store owner.

The letter asserts that you open a business for the public. I was trying to argue that you own the business, the customers do not, nor does the government.

I firmly believe that if you took every Democrat in America and turned them into a business owner, within five years, at least half of them would be Republicans.

I say this from personal experience. I was born a liberal, but I have chosen to become a conservative. Part of this has been due to a relationship with my Savior, which has impacted some of my social values, but I am a fiscal conservative because I own my own business.

Possibly the point of my analogy was hard to receive if offended by the perceived comparison between the rights of homosexuals and those of Klan members and Nazis as well as those nasty Cardinals fans.

I had hoped the analogy would generate the question – do Supreme Court protected classes of people have the right to discriminate? They are protected from discrimination, but the example I used was if the bakers were black, could they refuse to bake a cake for the KKK. Or if they were Jewish, could they refuse a Nazis order. What if the bakers were a gay couple? Could they refuse to bake a cake for the Westboro Baptist Church that said “God hates fags!”?

I think therein lies the true debate between these two viewpoints. The letter to the editor seems to say that no business owner has the right to discriminate.

Alline, if the “Climate Change is a Hoax Committee” wanted to host regular weekly dinner meetings at your pizzeria, are you saying you should not have the right to decline if you did not want to promote such activity through your business?

I was trying to question if a Christian couple refusing to bake a gay wedding cake was truly discrimination. If so, then the message I was trying to offer is – then it is all discrimination. We idiots have feelings too. My other failed to reach point was, why is it the government’s job to choose which choices are protected and which are not. Why is your “choice of partner” protected but my choice not to bake, can cost me $130,000? In the end, I believe the half-baked government should mind its own business.

Chris Feeney

Memphis, MO