More letters condemning “church” ad

Updated as appropriate. I have the feeling that this is just the tip of an iceburg…

Leesburg/Ashburn Today
July 4, 2007
By Joy Cobb, Purcellville

I am surprised that an ad (June 22) created by a group that calls themselves Christians projected such hate towards a group of people. Not only were the facts presented in this ad wrong, but the damage that such hate does to families like mine was clearly not considered…


Leesburg/Ashburn Today
July 3, 2007
By Mil Bickings, Leesburg

I am not gay. I say this not to ease anyone’s fear, but to let Loudoun County know there are many of us “straight folks” who choose to treat people with respect…


Leesburg/Ashburn Today
July 2, 2007
By Joy-Ann Maloney, Broadlands

When I saw the first ad from the Church of the Valley, I googled the church and its pastor, Jay Ahlemann. Why? Because a church that was giving awards to Dick Black and Patricia Phillips, two of the most socially conservative politicians in the United States, let alone Loudoun County, had a lot of guts…


Leesburg/Ashburn Today
July 2, 2007
By Russell Muños, Potomac Falls

Who does one count on when not even our religious organizations can demonstrate integrity, truthfulness, and accountability? What has shocked me the most about the full page “Church of the Valley” ad previously run in this paper related to the upcoming hate crimes bill in congress, is the blatant misrepresentation of the facts of this bill and this church’s, and the AFA’s, willingness to deceive and lie to get their way…


Loudoun Easterner
June 28, 2007
By Patrick Jennings, Potomac Falls

I cannot express my utter disappointment in the Loudoun Easterner at this moment. I never thought that the original “hometown newspaper” that I grew up with here in Sterling, Va., would stoop so low in the name of the almighty dollar…


Leesburg/Ashburn Today
June 28, 2007
By Thaddeus Henry Hale, Jr., Ashburn

It was with great dismay when I opened the June 22 edition of the Ashburn Today and saw the vile and despicable ad that was accepted by your paper from the so-called American Family Association on page 48. Bigotry, intolerance, and hatred is something the press has always fought against, because it threatens the very existence of the media and its ability to operate independently…


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22 Responses to More letters condemning “church” ad

  1. David says:

    It is, and I was gratified at the spontaneous and immediate response – I initially learned of the ad because a complete stranger copied Equality Loudoun on the letter to the editor they had sent. Jay Ahlemann and his backers, whoever they are, must be having a wake-up call.

    What’s shocking is that the editors in question thought this was a good idea.

  2. Russell says:

    But they haven’t published any letters that brought up the lie.

  3. meg hamilton says:

    what a despicable ad..but not surprising as we watch our country and therefore our communities slide downward and backward. it IS a disgrace that it was published and by several papers!!!
    what are those “churches” doing in our schools? i have always resented that.
    all those smiling bigoted faces…

  4. David says:


    Ask and you shall receive 🙂


    I think that the response to this publishing decision means that a lot of people were surprised to see such a thing in their community newspaper. Part of the problem we face, ironically, is that most fair-minded people assume that they already live in a world where such attitudes have been relegated to the embarrassing past, sort of like Massive Resistance. They are actually shocked to find out, for example, that GLBT people have no protection from employment discrimination – how could that be, in 2007?

    It’s good that people feel that way, but not so good that they don’t realize how much work there remains to do in order to get to where they think we already are.

  5. Jack says:

    David, I have been in the work force for many years now, and EVERY employer required me (and every other employee) to sign an “at-will” employment agreement. That agreement says that I can be fired at any time for any reason, or for no reason at all.

  6. Jack says:

    I’m a White Christian Male. I could get fired by a Black Muslim who had written “Allahu Akbar, you infidel pig” on my pink slip, and I’d still lose the discrimination case.

  7. David says:

    I certainly hope that’s not true. Your race, gender, and religious affiliation are likely not related to your ability to perform your job.

  8. Russell says:

    “at-will” employment agreements do not trump federal law. Federal protected classes and circumstances are not bound by “at-will” contracts.

  9. Jack says:

    No, they’re not, but they are related to the courts’ willingness to consider actions against me “discriminatory.”

  10. Katie Neville says:

    I sent an email too, but it has not been published. Essentially I asked whether their “fact checkers” had been on vacation when the ad was accepted. I also suggested that they should publish the full text of the bill so that people would be able to see for themselves the clear misrepresentation of the facts. Not that I expected one, really, but I’ve had no response.

  11. Russell says:

    You mean all waiters are not gay? … especially the ones in uppity restaurants? BOY, is my gaydar rusty!!

  12. Jack says:

    Should employer not be allowed to hire and fire whomever they wish, for whatever reason? That’s called FREEDOM.

  13. David says:


    Suppose that you have been offered an opportunity that will advance your career, perhaps the dream job that you have worked hard and sacrificed for, and it requires that you relocate. Suppose that you and your wife agree that she will give up a job that she loves, and you will uproot your kids from their schools and community, because the job is just that good. Suppose that you have made this move, bought a home, joined a church, you love your new job, and all is well. Now suppose that there is an unanticipated restructuring. The person now responsible for your continued employment happens to find your particular brand of Christianity loathsome, and fires you, for no other reason.

    You may consider this to be an acceptable price to pay for the freedom of this person to play with your life. I don’t.

  14. Jack says:

    A good question, David, but how would I know if he did not tell me? One could just as easily be fired because the guy wants to give his nephew a job. So why should it be illegal to fire someone because he is gay, but legal to fire someone because he is not your nephew?

    I have been fired myself. A couple of times, the reason given me was not the true reason, as I found out later. That is a risk in taking ANY job as an at-will employee.

    I also know that I have been denied a job because of my religion. So what? If that is the case, I would not want to work there anyway.

  15. David says:


    The points you make here are not without merit – in fact, I think every story about being fired that people have shared include something like “it turned out to be the best thing that could have happened in the long run.” I wouldn’t want to work for someone who found me loathsome either if I could help it.

    I would counter what you are saying about why it should be illegal to fire someone for one reason but not another by saying that we, as a pluralistic society, have a common interest in discouraging prejudice and discrimination on the basis of religious affiliation or immutable characteristics. It’s really the same argument we are having about hate crimes law. At the micro, individual level it seems unfair. If you are beaten up in a robbery or some random outburst of violence, you are just as injured as I would be if I am beaten up for being perceived as gay. Likewise, if you are fired because you are not the boss’ nephew…etc.

    The objective of these laws go beyond the universe of the individual and address broader issues that affect communities, and ultimately all of those communities together. With freedom comes responsibility.

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