Invalid arguments help no one

To the Editor,

We need to learn how to disagree–and how to communicate when we disagree. Otherwise we are doomed to suffer always the inviolable partisan divides that currently plague us.

Without questioning the legality of a Lexington, Virginia restaurant owner to ask Sarah Sanders to leave, I would observe that such boorish action reveals how much of a loss of civility our culture has endured, a point to which Tuesday’s “Their View” editorial seeks to agree (“We should be able to debate the issues by day, and sit down with friends for a meal by night.”).

Yet that same editorial betrays the danger of utilizing an invalid moral equivalence which only exacerbates the very “chasm of poisonous, divisive politics” it decries. Specifically, moral equivalence is made between the right of Mrs. Sanders (and her family) to order dinner in a restaurant and the right of a same-sex couple in Colorado to require a baker to produce a special-order “masterpiece” wedding cake.

In the latter case, the baker did not refuse his service in toto, but could not, in conscience, assume an active part of the wedding celebration. He would have otherwise served this couple.

The Supreme Court decision, in his favor, noted that his religious convictions had been treated with “hostility.” Mrs. Sanders simply ordered dinner. They are not equivalent. The same fallacy is used by those opposing the incarceration of illegal alien parents of young children by comparing the care provided for those children to Nazi concentration camps. Whatever your view of our President, such inappropriate moral equivalences do nothing to promote civility or understanding of one another.

Rev. Scott Willet

Galax, Virginia