At this time when we celebrate the birth of Christ, I am deeply saddened by the Republican, right-wing churches that have advocated punishing the poor and the sick.

Taking away food stamps, cutting children’s lunch programs, reducing unemployment compensation and fighting every attempt at universal health care somehow doesn’t seem to honor the One who suffered and died for them.

Claiming, as in 2 Thessalonians 3:10, that if a man does not work he should not eat completely leaves out his wife and children. Taking verses out of context does nothing to stop the suffering.

Allowing the super-rich not to be taxed on their wealth as a trade-off for Republicans not passing laws against women’s rights and gay marriage lacks compassion for those who have lost everything.

Winning at all costs doesn’t reflect the words of Jesus on how we treat others who disagree with us. Wouldn’t it be better to lead by an example worth following?

Many years ago I left the church I was raised in because that church felt that passing laws against those they disagreed with was more important than preventing the suffering of others who were also created by a loving God.

I pray that at this Christmastime, my friends of the intolerant religious right will take time to pause and reconsider their political stance before our blessed democracy is destroyed forever.

Curt Fordyce

South Portland