Robin Smith's editorial last Monday (April 8) was deeply wrong from a moral perspective, and deceitfully wrong on the facts.
Rep. Alcee Hastings never said that pedophilia should be protected under the law, nor any of the other things Mrs. Smith claims that he did. In fact, the very right-wing website that made the whole thing up (Rethink Society) has published a retraction and an apology.
Later in the piece she nonsensically framed a quote from Dr. Martin Luther King as a comparison between idolatry and God's law. In fact the quote related specifically to segregation statutes. Mrs. Smith conveniently omits King's explication: "Any law that uplifts human personality is just. Any law that degrades human personality is unjust. All segregation statutes are unjust because segregation distorts the soul and damages the personality."
There is no more eloquent defense of the proud gay men and women who no longer accept second-class citizenry.
Finally, Mrs. Smith said gay marriage supporters are "cherry-picking" scripture. But the Bible also condones slavery, polygamy, torture, murder of women and children and human sacrifice. Surely it's not cherry picking to ignore those moral imperatives?
Indifference to the truth is a defining feature of Mrs. Smith's output, but I am beyond disappointed to see that indifference mirrored in our paper.
I agree with and applaud Bradley County Sheriff Jim Ruth concerning his stance against meth, his assessment of the enormous public costs due to meth production, and his "strange bedfellows" quote. I also agree with the sheriff that the attempt to stifle the meth bill "all shakes out to money."
None of Sheriff Ruth's comments said, or implied, that any state legislator was accepting money for their votes. To paraphrase the words of William Shakespeare: I think the legislators protest too much.
A "bedfellow" is defined as a companion or close associate. The money issue deals directly with the bonuses, profits, pay or sales revenue that goes to a successful lobby effort, pharmaceutical companies, smurfs or meth manufacturers and dealers, respectively.
Sheriff Ruth is simply an advocate of no underlying efforts to curtail the Tennessee meth problems. And he is astonished, as am I, at those that would curtail legislation that would help.
RICHARD HUGHES, Cleveland, Tenn.