This letter is in response to a comment Ryan Swain, a writer for The Feather, made on the author’s Nov. 7 letter to the editor, Rethink Prop 8. This letter was also posted on the original letter to the editor and on Swain’s article, Yes on Prop 8: Reinstate Sanctity of Marriage, both available from the links and in the Opinions Section.

I am glad to hear a response from you.

First of all I was not presuming to know what you understand or do not, which would have been clear if you had quoted my entire sentence instead of taking it out of context. I said: “You greatly misunderstand the checks and balances of our government system if you think that a majority opinion should carry any weight in the judicial branch.” Please note the “if”–this is a conditional sentence. Therefore I am not saying what you do or do not understand; I am saying that you misunderstand checks and balances if you think that majority opinion should carry any weight in the courts.

This, I think, was a fair enough statement since you emphasized the fact that the court overturned a 61% majority. The popular opinion has no influence on the courts–they are to determine the constitutionality of a particular law, not whether it is what the public wants.

“Obviously I believe it did, and from reading your response you believe the opposite.” It seems to me that you are the one presuming to know now. Apparently this is not clear, but I have endeavored to make it so and will attempt to do so again: I wrote these comments only to critique what I found to be a poor argument on your part (I was criticizing your logic, not your stance) and to encourage people to think more about the issue for themselves. I did not express my own opinion about this particular proposition or try to convince people to think a certain way; I merely raised valid questions.

As such it is not by any means clear what I “believe” about either the courts or the proposition from this short article. I argued from an objective viewpoint and if you think that you are somehow able to determine precisely what I think about the issues being discussed, more power to you–but you are wrong. Pointing out the flaws in an argument and raising questions does not necessarily mean I hold the opposite stance. Nor does it necessarily mean that I don?t. The point is that my opinions are not relevant in any way to what I am trying to do here. Ever heard of playing the devil’s advocate? Consider me Fresno Christian?s humble gadfly.

You think that the court was legislating from the bench, that is fine. Other people do think otherwise, though, and there is not a clear-cut explanation.

Regarding your claim that it this is not an issue of discrimination, did I ever imply that it was? No. I would have to do more research to determine whether or not domestic partnerships provide the same legal benefits. I can, however, think of one that might not be the same: taxes. Since domestic partnerships are not recognized by the federal government, filing federal tax returns would be different than when a married couple does.

?Please explain why there are countless Biblical references in the capitol of our great nation, Washington D.C.? Perhaps I have not made myself clear. I am not denying that early America was predominately Christian culturally, what I am saying is that it was never, from a legal standpoint, a Christian nation. There are Christian references because the American culture was influenced much by Christianity. Note, however, that they are not exclusively Christian–there are many pagan references as well.

I do maintain that the law of this country was not based on Christianity. It was predominately influenced by Enlightenment thinking, and there is no appeal to the Bible in either the Declaration or the Constitution. I would like to ask you a question now: If the founders indeed based their law on the Bible, why is it that they do not appeal to it directly? Why not justify what they were doing by quoting it?

The fact is this: If the founders had wanted to create a Christian nation, it would have been easy for them to. They chose not to.

You say, regarding Doug?s comments: ?I never saw the statement that everyone at Berkeley is Godless or unchristian, which both Kristina and Danielle refer too.? This is what Doug says: ?Berkley hates this because they (do not believe in) God.? And later: ?Berkley won’t acknowledge this because they (are against) God, Christians and people with traditional American values.? Doug did clarify what he meant in his second comment, but based solely on his first I find it difficult to come to any other conclusion than the one that Danielle and Kristina did.