My first reaction to Mr. Smith's recent letter, "The real bully is Satan" was to ignore it. However, I recently made a pledge to stand up for injustice when I see it, so I cannot just drop this letter of self-righteous condemnation without a response.

I agree that "there is no greater love than to share the Gospel of Jesus Christ." But evidently there is some disagreement on what that gospel is. I believe it is the good news of grace and love toward all God's children. This means supporting and advocating for those whom society often sees as outcasts.

I know many members of the LGBTQ community and they are compassionate, loving people-many in committed relationships --who deserve the same rights and respect as heterosexuals. Statistics show that this group of young people have high rates of suicide. Is this partly due to the harassment and proclamations of iniquity that they endure, exacerbating feelings of unworthiness? Where is the gospel of Jesus Christ in that behavior? If we truly believe that we are all created in the image of God, that we are all children of God, how can we deny any segment of humanity the right to live as God created them, with dignity and equal opportunities?

I feel the real bullies are those who harass and invoke wrath on our brothers and sisters in Christ. What better time, now in the midst of a common crisis, to work together for healing and reconciliation, recognizing that we all are in need of God's grace and forgiveness.

Betty Lohr

Hickory, NC

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