Responding to Pete Lepo’s letter, “‘Liberal’ bias” (Commentary, Letters, Nov. 26, Oklahoma Gazette), I have only a few counterpoints to offer and one clarification to request. 

Points and counterpoints

Responding to Pete Lepo’s letter, “‘Liberal’ bias” (Commentary, Letters, Nov. 26, Oklahoma Gazette), I have only a few counterpoints to offer and one clarification to request.

First, the clarification: Lepo refers to the Gazette as “a liberal-oriented weekly,” which I can agree with.

But he goes on to remark “in spite of the high cost per copy.” I’m unsure what he means by this, as the Gazette is offered free of charge wherever it is stocked.

Does he mean high cost of its publication?

Or high cost to his personal worldview?

Confusing.

Anyway, he goes on to make the dubious claim that Obamacare’s “burden on business is now a proven fact.”

He offers no evidence to back up the claim.

He doesn’t even specify if he’s referring to large business or small business, because a little bit of research would pull countless articles (resourced everywhere from marketwatch.com to Forbes.com) that state small businesses — those with 50 or less employees — not only are exempt from providing insurance to their workers but are offered generous tax breaks and incentives.

He goes on to describe the federal funds offered Oklahoma for the purpose of expanding Medicaid and sustaining the minimum wage as the “Obamabribe.”

To look at services as necessary as Medicaid and minimum wage (woefully low already) as a bribe reeks of neoconservative cynicism. We shouldn’t be proud to refuse the means to keep our residents healthy or provide a reasonable wage.

For such a state that pounds the drum of morality in the ears of the rest of the country, the “Screw them; I got mine” philosophy is really immoral.

He ends with, “Just as no baker, florist, photographer, etc. will be forced to support a gay wedding,” responding to the insistence that churches would not be forced to perform gay weddings.

Newsflash: Churches are not running a business (despite how some may act). They still operate under the freedom of religious expression and speech. That doesn’t mean people can’t protest the more hateful congregations, or even boycott them, but the U.S. government cannot legally force them to perform any ceremony that they feel infringes on their personal beliefs.

A business, on the other hand, is bound by the laws of the state and country in which it resides. In refusing certain customers service based on the state’s definition of what constitutes discrimination, that business is breaking the law. Plain and simple.

In the case of the baker in Colorado who was ordered by a judge to make a wedding cake for a gay couple, it wasn’t because anyone was trying to make him complicit in the ceremony or to even agree with it. Colorado’s discrimination laws just happen to include gay Coloradans.

Like I said, just a few counterpoints. Besides inaccurately describing Obamacare, the “Obamabribe,” gay marriage, the minimum wage and defending James Lankford, I have to say it was a smashing good read! — Josh Rauch-Willis Yukon

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Josh Rauch-Willis

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