My Letter Printed in Today’s Times (April 2 2015)

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To the Editor:

David Brooks argues that we should be deeply polite to those who use the excuse of their religious freedoms to refuse service to gays and lesbians. He equates this “deep politeness” to the courtesy extended by a man to an Orthodox Jewish woman who will not shake his hand. But this is a false equivalency.

The Orthodox woman will not shake the hand of a man not her husband because of her own spirituality, her own belief in the need to maintain her modesty. There is no animus directed against the man. The bigoted merchant who denies service to a gay person is expressing hatred of the other and is showing no spiritual humility of his own. The equivalency is false.

(Rabbi) DOUG SAGAL

Westfield, N.J.

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