It is disappointing to read Sen. Orrin Hatch say that "Gays and lesbians don't pay tithing, their religion is politics" ("Hatch hammers on spending," Tribune, June 2).
For 41 years, I taught religion, history and political science at the Community of Christ's Graceland University in Lamoni, Iowa. For more than a decade, my wife and I have attended retreats by GALA: Gay and Lesbian Acceptance, an organization of church members. I know more than 100 gays and lesbians in the Community of Christ who are out of the closet. Many of them have publicly shared the agony they have experienced as gay, lesbian, bisexual and transgender people, often caused by churches and people whose ignorance of the subject parallels that of Hatch.
I suggest a counter hypothesis to that of the senator's: GLBT people are, on average, more spiritual than heterosexual people. I can't prove that, but I have more evidence for my hypothesis than Hatch has for his (that they're political because they're irreligious).
Religion often becomes very important for marginalized people. Given the persecution the Mormons have suffered in their history, Mormons like the senator should have more sympathy for oppressed minorities.
William D. Russell