Illustration by Tyler Boydstun

Letter to the editor in response to “40-day anti-abortion protest begins in Eureka”

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Dear Editor,

Regarding the Lumberjack article about the 40-Day Anti-Abortion Protest – HSU students need to know that not all religions or religious leaders believe that human sexuality is evil and something to be ashamed of. They need to know that some ways of faith regard sexuality as a blessing to be carefully and thoughtfully enjoyed between people as a way of communicating and sharing love – even if they aren’t married and even if they aren’t heterosexual.

Like fire, human sexuality can, of course, hurt people both emotionally and physically. As people learn how to express their sexuality and share it with others, they learn by trial and error. Some religions shame people about this reality. Other religions offer factually accurate information and encourage people to make thoughtful and caring choices in keeping with their own deep values.

The United States is a secular nation that works to guarantee freedom of religion for all its citizens. People whose faith calls them to abstain from all sexual activity before marriage or to abstain from birth control and abortion are free to follow the dictates of their hearts. And people whose faith or whose approach to life allows them more freedom around their sexual expression are also free to do as they see fit.

Some religious people would like to do away with respect for religious freedom when it comes to human sexuality. But they do not speak for all religious people. Clergy for Choice is a group of interfaith religious leaders who support men and women in carefully finding their own way regarding their own sexuality. Clergy for Choice supports the compassionate and highly professional work of Planned Parenthood.

So while some religious people practice 40 days of protest to end abortion and to end religious freedom around human sexual expression, other religious people practice a lifetime of supporting Planned Parenthood and thorough and effective reproductive health care for people as they make their own choices in this vulnerable and tender aspect of their lives.

Sincerely,

Rev. Bryan Jessup
The Humboldt Unitarian Universalist Fellowship
PO Box 506
Bayside, CA 95524 – Phone: 707 822-3793

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