This undated photo provided by Kuma's Corner Restaurant shows the restaurant's October burger of the month Ghost, named after the Swedish heavy metal band who's members dress in religious robes and wear skeleton face makeup Thursday, Oct. 3, 2013, in Chicago. The Chicago restaurant has cooked up this controversial burger garnishing it with an unconsecrated communion wafer and a red wine reduction sauce. Luke Tobias, Kuma's Corner director of operations, said the restaurant never wanted to offend anyone. He said reaction has been a "mixed bag," but more positive than negative. (AP Photo/Kuma's Corner)
Updated: November 16, 2013 6:11AM
A few days ago I read with interest the letter to the editor from Timmy Guest, a young man of 13 who has more thought and courage than people many times older. He was “offended and disgusted” that Kuma’s Corner restaurant was putting a communion wafer on its hamburger. I agree with him that it is a mockery of the Christian faith — consecrated or not. It is not limited to only Catholics. This tiny wafer (some faiths use torn bread) symbolizes the body of Christ to millions of people around the world. It insults people who have faith and love for each other and a higher power. Timmy wondered if he could be the only one mad at this. Timmy, you are not alone. I am mad, too. I also read some of the comments on the Sun-Times website from vicious, ignorant people attacking Timmy’s letter and even him. No respect for someone else’s religion and beliefs. There is a name for these kind of people in the internet world: trolls. How appropriate.
Maria Zajczenko-Varela, Palmer Square
Regarding the Sun-Times Monday editorial, you ignore the fact that there is a legal case working its way to the Illinois Supreme Court, where it will most likely result in same-sex marriage for the state, thus allowing state legislators to get away with not supporting the bill at all. I think it’s important to have every legislator on record on their views on same-sex marriage so that they can be held accountable.
Carlos T. Mock, Sheridan Park
SB 10 does not preserve religious freedom
I take issue with the recent op-ed written by Cristina L.H. Traina, in which she claims that religious freedom is preserved in Senate Bill 10, which would allow same-sex couples to marry by changing the state’s current definition of marriage from “between a man and a woman” to “between two persons.”
Under SB 10, no church or clergy would be forced to solemnize any same-sex marriage or rent their parish or fellowship halls for any type of same-sex wedding recognition. You might think that takes care of the religious freedom issue, right?
You would be wrong.
The legislation offers no specific protection regarding employment practices. If a current church employee chooses to “marry” a same-sex partner, SB 10 in its current form offers no specific protection regarding the church being forced to pay — from funds collected every Sunday from faithful Catholics in the pews — for benefits for the “spouse.”
Additionally, SB 10 does not offer conscience protections to health-care facilities, educational facilities, social service agencies or businesses.
That means Catholic and other faith-based hospitals that offer community rooms for rent are not protected. That means Catholic and other faith-based colleges and universities that own and operate venues for rent are not protected.
And that also means independent business owners whose religious beliefs do not condone same-sex marriage are not protected.
As profiled by a recent Wall Street Journal article (“Some Businesses Balk at Gay Weddings,” Oct. 1, 2013), wedding photographers, florists and bakers across the country are being forced to go against their individual conscience by serving same-sex weddings.
If SB 10 wants to live up to the first two words of its ironic title — Religious Freedom and Marriage Equality Act — then the legislation should include religious freedom protections for at least the above-stated practices and entities, as well as individual businesses.
Catholic Conference of Illinois