Letters to the Editor 03-24-17

I’m writing in regard to the story: “Citing threats, Getz, Beckley step down,” published on March 21.
Threats against elected officials over not saying the Pledge of Allegiance and the Lord’s Prayer at council meetings? Seriously?
Some “good” Christian Americans in Carey are doing this?
I expect it from radical Muslims overseas complaining about cartoons, but not in Carey, Ohio.
The legal question around the 1954 version of the pledge has never really been settled, but the legal questions around a specific prayer before legislative bodies has been.
It was settled by Town of Greece v. Galloway (2014) where the U.S. Supreme Court ruled that if the body has time for a prayer then it needs to open the time to all of those who wish to give a “prayer” and the body may not prescribe the content of the “prayer” or discriminate against the “prayer” giver.
I also know several veterans and they didn’t serve a pledge or a flag, they served a country by orders of their commander-in-chief. Disrespect comes from not taking care of the needs of veterans when they come home — it doesn’t come from not saying the 1954 pledge or waving a flag.
I do commend Mayor Getz and Law Director Beckley for at least trying to get the council to act in a way that represents all the citizens of Carey and not just a subset of people who obsess over symbols.
Requiring the reciting of a pledge or a prayer does nothing to make people better legislators, nor does it cause them to act in the best interests of their constituents.
Based on the reported outrage, it seems the activities are only seen as loyalty checks, which isn’t something you expect in the land of the free.
There is an old adage that actions speak louder than words. Maybe the emotional anger over two symbols could be redirected into something productive like actually helping veterans and spending more time considering the needs of the whole community.
Doug Berger

In our day of mass communication, everyone has an opinion and everyone has a microphone. It is great to see a plethora of views being expressed across the airwaves, in print, or on social media.
Perhaps one question we could keep in mind would be, what is this person’s bias? A bias is an inclination or favor that can be shown to one group or way of thinking.
The truth is that we all have biases. If you identify as Republican or Democrat you have bias.
Another way of speaking about this would be a world view.
In debates about creation and evolution, a bias is also present on both sides. Or consider such topics as vaccinations, the unborn, marriage, and gun ownership; everyone has a bias.
This also includes politicians, clergy, teachers, doctors, journalists, and any other profession.
What if at a personal level we were aware of what our bias was? What impact might that have upon discussions with those we disagree with? How might we listen to each other if we knew what our bias was and knew the other person’s as well?
Hopefully, it would lead to a willingness to stop and listen; to a better understanding between people who disagree. We may still disagree with another person’s point of view, but we have heard them out and maybe learned something in the process.
Tragically, what seems to be happening is that people would rather hate another person because they disagree with them. Opinions become facts and facts then become opinions.
Our country not only needs people who are well-informed on topics. We also need people who can listen and dialog with each other, aware of each other’s bias!
Matt Shive

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