April 3, 2015
Letter to Editor of Indianapolis Star:
I have lived in Indiana all of my life and I am very proud of my state. I have traveled pretty extensively in my adult life but there is no other place I would rather call home than Indiana and especially Indianapolis. As Executive Director of Center for Inquiry-Indiana, I meet many people from out-of-state who have the impression that Indiana is a backward state. I find myself in the position of having to defend my state many times.
I was raised on a farm in Daviess County. I came to Indianapolis as a college freshman in 1958. I worked in public schools in the area for 37 years. Growing up, the diversity I was exposed to consisted of different kinds of Christians—Amish, Catholics, Pilgrim Holiness, Methodists, EUB, Baptist, Christian. So, I knew that not all Christians agree, but in my family, I was taught to respect all people and that attitude stayed with me as I branched out into the world and met people of more diverse backgrounds of religion, race, ethnicity, sexual orientation, etc.
Unfortunately, the Indiana General assembly and the Governor’s office have fallen under the influence of people who want to force their religious views on all of us. This is wrong. Religious freedom is a core principle enshrined in the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and the Indiana Constitution. However, the right to discriminate against others because of one’s personal religious views is patently wrong.
Some individuals and businesses are threatening to move out of Indiana and/or not come here in the first place. I say, please don’t do that. Let’s all work together to make Indiana an even better place and take back our government from the people who would like to tarnish the reputation of our state.
Reba Boyd Wooden
Center for Inquiry-Indiana
350 Canal Walk, Suite A
Indianapolis, IN 46202