To the very obviously wronged Mr. Sturm:

I write in regards to your article, (“Lose God Using Six-day Challenge,” Daily Nexus, Nov. 20). On behalf of anyone and everyone who claims to follow God, I offer you my most sincere and heartfelt apology. It’s quite clear that at some point some person or institution not only gave you a very cruel and false impression of God, but also shoved that God down your throat and proceeded to condemn you as you gagged.

I serve a God of love, justice and forgiveness. I serve a God that would not and has not made my life a “living hell” as you put it, simply because I’ve doubted his existence, chosen to believe in scientific realities or dishonored Him.

The Bible pours hope into my life. I pray because I am honored to be able to speak directly to the Almighty God. I love Him because He first loved me, not because I am ignorant, and definitely not for fear of being struck by lightning.

My God loves people of varying sexualities. While some of my conservative colleagues took issue with a certain polemical proposition, I challenge anyone to find a true follower of Jesus who would say that God does not deeply love people who are in same-sex relationships. I voted “No” on Prop 8 because I felt it was unconstitutional. This does NOT mean that everyone who disagreed with me is a bigot. I would challenge you to drop the insults and practice the same respect and inclusiveness you would have me offer to others.

Mr. Sturm, I am sorry for the pain religion has caused you. I wish such travesties were not so frequent. Personally, I offer you my hand in peace and assure you that the angry, vindictive God you were erroneously shown actually loves you in spite of your resentment. He’s chill that way.