Letters: Foster parents can be Christians and still support LGBTQ children

The mission to foster children should be secular and about security

Re: “Christian foster parents shouldn’t be met with hostility by the state,” April 28 commentary

The commentary by Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, offends me. While his comments may reflect those who are followers of Focus on the Family and its religious perspective, they do not reflect the viewpoint of many Christians who support the legislation passed and signed by Gov. Jared Polis.

To lump all Christians into one viewpoint is patently wrong. There are many Christians who view the narrow perspective of the far-right religious community as antithetical to the teachings of Christ and who support the LGBTQ+ community as well as reproductive rights and myriad other perspectives that Daly and his followers do not. I call on Daly to stop using the word “Christian” as a generic term that ignores all the perspectives of Christianity.

Sue Bodis, Westcliffe

I want to assure Jim Daly that foster parents who are Christian are not discriminated against, and in fact, I believe that the majority of certified foster parents are Christian. There are also Hispanic, Jewish, deaf, Muslim, Sikh, Hindu, those in wheelchairs, Black, multi-ethnic, LBGT?, agnostic, blind, Asian, Danish, paraplegic, senior, 21-year-old and Buddhist foster parents.

The primary determination for a certification worker is: Are these parents able to provide a safe living environment for traumatized children? If the parents seeking certification are rigid in their belief systems, it is likely that they will also feel called to parent these children in the “right” way. Experience has shown that they do not follow the advice of therapists, case workers, and other professionals who understand the needs of traumatized children.

I believe the “Christians” who feel they are victims of discrimination actually discriminate against anyone whom they view as “different”.  This includes other Christians.

Linda Trantow, Highlands Ranch

The bill Jim Daly complains about is not religiously discriminatory but is drafted to protect children as they grow older and learn more about themselves.  Daly appears to believe Christian foster parents have the final say over how they raise and what beliefs they can impose on the children they foster.  He also apparently believes Christianity is the only way to go.

That is far from the truth, as children in foster care remain in the custody and guardianship of the county in which they reside.  Moreover, foster children come from a variety of religious and ethnic backgrounds.  It is not the foster parents’ job to choose Christianity (or any other religion or other personal determination, for that matter) for the child.  An adult volunteers to foster a child only for the benefit of the child. It is the foster parents’ job to give the child unconditional love, a safe place to live, clean clothes to wear, food when they are hungry, a warm bed to sleep in, something to drink when they are thirsty, a warm hug when they are sad or frightened, and a helping hand when the child has a question about school work, how to plant a flower or take care of a pet.

No Christian, or anyone else for that matter, can mold a child into something they are not — especially an abused child.  Please, Daly, keep your religion to yourself. Don’t push your religion on children who already have enough to deal with and whom you have no authority over.

Michèle Stark Hailpern, Denver

“Jesus said, ‘Let the little children come to me, and do not hinder them,’ unless they are trans…” (Matt. 19:14 revised).  As a fellow Christian, the column by Jim Daly, president of Focus on the Family, broke my heart.  Children in foster care have been through enough trauma already and need nothing but unconditional love and acceptance.

To deny them gender-affirming terminology and care are sufficient grounds to disqualify potential foster parents. Similarly, the state is well within its rights to deny foster parenting opportunities to Christian Scientists who would deny almost all medical care based on their strongly held religious convictions. These are not cases of religious persecution but rather looking after the best interests of the foster child. When my fellow Christians ask why America is turning away from our faith, I will reference this column as a strong explanation.

Joe Lothringer, Centennial

Coloradans debate the right of gun ownership vs. the right to regulate

Re: “The assault weapons ban will save lives in Colorado,” April 28 editorial

As a subscriber to your paper, I find it odd that no author was attached to your editorial supporting the pending assault weapons ban. As a psychiatric nurse practitioner, we need to spend our time and resources on addressing the root cause of violence and not pushing through legislation that criminalizes citizens like myself. I have used for years what would be classified as an “assault weapon” for hunting and lawful recreational uses. When news outlets cherry-pick data, as this article does, it hurts efforts to address violence and serves to divide the community further.

Joe Drew, Eagle

I was disappointed to see The Denver Post’s support for House Bill 1292. Some thoughts about the law and editorial:

• Most glaringly, the bill explicitly exempts police officers. If these are truly “weapons of war” with no place in the community, why should “peace officers” be exempted at all?

• The Supreme Court case Castle Rock vs. Gonzalez established that the police have no duty to protect individuals by enforcing a restraining order. This bill restricts the ability of Coloradans to protect themselves and their property, even when the police will not. Ida B Wells, a legendary journalist and a founder of the NAACP, recognized this fact long ago: “A Winchester rifle should have a place of honor in every black home, and it should be used for that protection which the law refuses to give.”

• The bill is likely to be found unconstitutional, a view shared by Gov. Jared Polis. We need to pursue effective gun control, such as universal background checks and safe storage laws, not blanket attempts to ban specific guns.

• The editorial rightly states that no rights are absolute but fails to mention relevant Supreme Court cases establishing these limits or legislative limits, such as the National Firearms Act. Many “reasonable” limitations to civilian gun ownership, as outlined in the NFA, already exist, such as establishing a permitting system for short-barreled rifles, shotguns, suppressors, and machine guns.

I believe this bill infringes on the rights of all Coloradans and should not be enacted.

Ethan Myers, Arvada

The Editorial Board missed an opportunity to elevate the conversation about firearm-related deaths above fear-driven tribalism. While shockingly eager to constrain enumerated rights, particularly the right to bear arms, the Editorial Board doesn’t give much consideration to where firearms fall among instruments of death.

Take alcohol, for example. This newspaper recently ran a four-part series: “Colorado’s Quiet Killer” which notes that “alcohol killed 1,547 people statewide in 2022.” Yet in 2022, the Editorial Board was a cheerleader for Propositions 124, 125, and 126, which greatly expanded Coloradans’ access to alcohol. For that same year, Colorado Ceasefire, a gun-violence prevention organization, recorded 1,033 firearm-related deaths in Colorado, 414 of which were homicides.

On such charged topics, readers could benefit from more incisive analysis, including honest data accounting and discussions about tradeoffs.

Travis Reed, Denver

Re: “What is the rationale for owning an assault weapon?” April 28 letter to the editor

I, too, am a gun owner and a defender of the Second Amendment, but, unlike one of last Sunday’s letter writers, I don’t cut up the amendment. The first clause, “A well regulated Militia, being necessary to the security of a free state,” justifies the second clause, “the right of the people to keep and bear Arms, shall not be infringed.”

All of us are militia; otherwise, only the National Guard would be allowed to possess weapons. The key words in the amendment are “well regulated.” Without regulation, gun ownership is just lawlessness.

Congress recognized the constitutional duty for regulation in 1934 and 1986 by banning machine guns. We can debate which guns should be legal, but the question of whether the government can regulate guns was settled in 1791. The constitutional right to bear arms is dependent on the constitutional requirement for reasonable regulation.

Ray Harlan, Denver

Sunday’s Perspective section had two ironically contrasting pieces that were just too juicy to pass up.  In the Open Forum section, a reader writes in support of gun ownership, “Yes, even modern semi-automatic weapons,” citing only the last part of the Second Amendment (the part that gun supporters always seem to selectively gravitate to) as support for his position.

Then, immediately to the left of that letter is The Denver Post Editorial, which cites the complete wording of the Second Amendment. The whole premise of the Second Amendment, as envisioned by the Founders, was to allow American citizens access to arms for local militia groups to repel any foreign invasion or attempted overthrow of the government (January 6, anyone?).  Also, at the time the amendment was written, the most lethal armaments available to citizens were single-shot, smooth-bore muskets and pistols firing round lead balls.  While often lethal, they did not explode a human body like a high-powered AR-15 or other similar weapon of today.  So, where exactly do those automatic and semi-automatic weapons fall within the militia premise of the Second Amendment?  I think the Founders would be truly shocked at the current perversion of their original intent.

Lynn Lasswell, Morrison

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