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Transcript released in fatal YouTube stunt in northwestern Minn.

Letter: No exception to liberty

For centuries many church leaders and members of the hierarchy have used the Bible and church law to deny human rights to all citizens. The history of the Christian conquest of native populations in Central, South and North America is too disgraceful to even contemplate, and now these same like-minded clergy are in the business of keeping gays, lesbians, bisexuals and the transgendered second-class citizens in this land of the free and the home of the brave, as a Christian virtue. Separation of church and state they berate and deplore.

Freedom of conscience as well as freedom from religion are ignored or condemned loudly with money gathered from church offering plates though the agape love and compassion of Christ was never discriminatory. Still many Christian clergy have too often used the Bible to keep women, blacks and other minorities outside the provisions of our Bill of Rights, that guarantees every U.S. citizen equality before the law and the right to their own pursuit of happiness.

Our Pledge of Allegiance says it best as we place our hands over our hearts and solemnly swear -- "with liberty and justice for all." If this amendment to our Constitution is passed forbidding gay marriage we will need to scrap this Pledge and add: "with liberty and justice for all, except, of course, gays, lesbians, bisexuals and the transgendered."

Lee Paulson