Freedom of speech
Regarding the story "Classroom fight over book" (Nov. 12, page A3):
The family conducting an escalating legal battle to censor its school's choice of an award-winning novel based on religious beliefs should read the First Amendment 1.1.1, which states: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech.”
This protects not only free speech but separates church and state and allows not only religious freedom but also means freedom from religion. Our public education system is designed to present a wide range of information to broaden students' views as they become independent thinkers.
Part of the benefit this family might consider when this book is discussed is that it would allow children to share beliefs in open discussion so others could benefit from various supporting or dissenting positions. Our children’s generation will engage in a more global society and although there are five major religions, there are more than 4,300 religions worldwide, according to Adherents (an independent, non-religiously affiliated organization).
Religious views are personal beliefs and understanding other points of view often brings tolerance, which makes the world a better place for all.
Time to fold 'em
I have some unsolicited advice for the Donald. That advice is taken from the lyrics of a hit song by Kenny Rogers that goes, "You have to know when to hold them and know when to fold them ... and know when to run. "
Your lease on the White House expires Jan. 20, 2021, and I have heard the New York state attorney general wants a word with you. Something about your income tax returns has piqued her interest. A word to the wise should be sufficient.
COVID death totals in America are getting close to 250,000. At the present rate, COVID deaths in America will surpass U.S. combat deaths from World War II before Christmas 2020.
While we lost more than 400,000 men and women during World War II, more than 100,000 of those deaths resulted from accidents and illness. U.S. combat deaths totaled 290,000.
We will not forget ex-President Trump in a hurry. We can only thank God there was no war during his mismanaged tenure. Farewell and Merry Christmas.
It is ironic that Republican leadership, which fervently avows the sanctity of life, has aborted the simplest of measures to prevent the deadly spread of COVID-19. In the days preceding the election, Trump campaign rallies had in essence become “right to infect” demonstrations, as they ignored the protective benefits of mask wearing and social distancing.
The president’s leadership at the outset of the pandemic could have united the nation, promoted public trust in our health institutions, reduced the rate of infection and the death toll; and yes, would have likely assured his reelection.
Instead, the president’s obsession with perpetuating divisiveness and chaos imperiled our ability to combat and defeat the pandemic. Trump and his followers have not just surrendered to COVID-19, they have given aid and comfort to this viral invader.
This past election was not about our political and policy differences, but rather a referendum on the leadership required to preserve the sanctity of our democracy and our collective right to life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness. Fortunately, the still-to-be accepted outcome of this election has chosen leadership that will protect and defend our Constitution against all enemies foreign, domestic and yes, viral.
Want to help?
I would propose that one of the best ways Lt. Gov.-Elect Robinson could "get in service mode ... to make the lives of the people in North Carolina better" is to join Gov. Cooper in wholeheartedly calling for all North Carolinians, no matter their political party, to wear a mask anytime they are near someone who is not in their "bubble."
Back at you
To Trump supporters everywhere: Remember when Hillary Clinton lost to Trump back in 2016? Republicans taunted Democrats for four years with "Trump won, Hillary lost! Get over it!"
Well, "Biden won, Trump lost! Get over it!" Case closed.
I fear the virus
The first reported death in the United States from COVID-19 was on Feb. 6. Since then, 281 unimaginably tragic days have passed and the baleful microbe has claimed more than 241,000 American lives. Dare to average that out and the calculator will cite that 858 people have died each day.
To put that number in perspective, a filled-to-capacity Boeing 737 carries 189 passengers. If four crashed daily with no survivors, there would still be 101 fewer casualties than those attributed to the coronavirus. Even so, nobody would want to board a Boeing 737 because of the rational fear that they would be one of the unlucky ones.
As a husband and a father, I am terrified of the coronavirus. That fear keeps a mask on my face and hand sanitizer in my pocket. And that fear has kept me away from my parents, isolated from friends, and drives me to support politicians who view the unpleasant emotion as a necessary motivator, not a character flaw.
Please find courage
Dear Sen. Tillis,
Congratulations on your reelection to the Senate. You won the majority of the votes, and that is how democracy works. While the margin was slim, no one is questioning your legitimacy. Does that only apply if a Republican wins?
I admittedly did not vote for you but I am one of your constituents — you represent me. Many from your party are playing a very dangerous game in questioning the legitimacy of the election of Joe Biden. This myth of voter fraud is a gross violation of political norms and puts our national security at great risk.
The peaceful transition of power has always been one of the hallmarks of American democracy. I beg you to find the courage to publicly recognize the election of our new president-elect, Joe Biden.
I'm hoping you will find a a way to cooperate with the incoming administration to do what is best for our country.
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