Portman’s leadership is worth following

As neither a liberal nor a conservative, I’d like to applaud Sen. Rob Portman as the first Republican senator to support gay marriage. I hope that many local conservatives will follow his lead in defending individual freedom and a more tolerant society. In his column for the Columbus Dispatch, Portman wrote, “We conservatives believe in personal liberty and minimal government interference in people’s lives.” Portman describes a humble conservatism hearkening back to Robert Taft and Barry Goldwater, not an aggressive conservatism that desires to control the personal, moral decisions of Americans.

Contrary to conservatives upset by Senator Portman, I don’t believe the government should enforce the religious beliefs of some onto the rest of America, regardless of whether I agree with those beliefs. Muslim or Hindu beliefs enforced by law would be passionately opposed by those conservatives desiring a Christian regime. If only they could understand that Christian love and compassion begins with the family and the church, not Congress. Instead of working against equality for sexual minorities, Christians should preoccupy ourselves with correcting our faults and glorifying God. Were that to occur, we might be a Christian nation in action and protective of individual freedom for all citizens, regardless of religious belief, race, gender, or sexual orientation.

Anthony Hennen

Little Hocking