I would like to comment on the offensive opinions expressed in your recent Another View editorial by pastor Sandy Williams (“Civil marriage and religious marriage are one and the same,” June 22).

First, to his claim that civil marriage and religious marriage are “one and the same” because ministers have historically recorded marriages as agents of the state. The fact that ministers have often chosen to fulfill two functions does not make these two functions one. Just because I am a teacher and love dogs does not mean that all teachers must love dogs.

Second, and most offensive to me personally, is his uncalled for maligning of other religious institutions. I am a lifelong Unitarian Universalist, and my church — which was the church of Paul Revere, John Adams and Louisa May Alcott, hardly “aberrant” figures — believes in civil rights for all, as do various other denominations. Name-calling is unnecessary and unbecoming.

Fair societies do not allow one group’s religious views to determine the course of another person’s life. It is always amazing to me that so-called followers of Jesus — who spent his life urging us to love and accept all for who they are, and who made close disciples out of the social outcasts of his time — manage to justify their prejudices by their faith.

Often these people will quote the Bible (never Jesus) in their defense, yet they decline to mention that in other places the Bible tells us to do all sorts of shocking things we would never allow today. Their call to defend “traditional” marriage, similarly, makes little sense, since throughout history marriage was traditionally arranged, and often polygamous.

I would like us all to remember the Golden Rule, which is at the heart of all the great world religions, and extend compassion and fairness to all.

Mary Wheeler is a resident of Scarborough.