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The title of this diary is the same as that of a letter to the editor in today's News Journal, the local paper in Wilmington, DE.  While I don't normally read the newspaper, I happened to see another article that caught my interest while I was buying my breakfast this morning, so I grabbed a copy.

Now, the News Journal is usually a reasonably middle-of-the-road paper, though with a slight rightward tilt more often than not.  So while I wasn't surprised to see this letter published, I was rather surprised at the vehemence and sheer ignorance contained in it.

Follow me over the fleur-de-Kos for the letter and the response I'm sending to the paper.

The full text of the letter can be found here.  They may have it paywalled, but here's the full letter, typed in from my newspaper:

Contraception law a disgrace to the country
It is a shame and a disgrace what the administration is trying to do to us under the disguise of health care.

This great country was founded on religious freedom.  Many of our first congressmen were ministers, and religious sermons were common in the capitol buildings.

You swear yourselves into office with the Holy Bible and then toss it aside like a piece of trash and forbid people to use it.

Myself and many of you served our country and risked our lives to preserve the freedom of this country only to see a few try to destroy it.  I pray that you are not one of these (close to traitorous) people.

Dave Iannone, Jr.

Well, now.  Where to begin?  We have such a full plate of cat fud before us, it's hard to pick a starting point.  Since their editorial policy limits letters to 200 words, I've decided to focus purely on the freedom of religion issue and ignore the glaring ad hominem attacks on the administration and the other politicians who support the administration's decision.

Here's my response:

To the editor:

Dear Sir,

The letter published in Thursday's paper from Mr. Dave Iannone, Jr. of Wilmington shows a severe misunderstanding of religious freedom.

Mr. Iannone roundly decried the recent decision by the Obama administration to mandate all insurance carriers provide contraception to women at no out-of-pocket cost, calling it, “a shame and a disgrace” and, “close to traitorous.”

There is nothing “traitorous” about holding differing views from someone else, whether or not they are a veteran of the armed forces.  To say otherwise cheapens the sacrifice of those who have died protecting our right to speak freely, whether they agreed or disagreed with what was being said.

The First Amendment guarantees freedom to practice for ALL religions, including the freedom to not practice any religion at all.  It does not forbid the practice of any religion.  What it does forbid is government providing favorable treatment to any religion, including in the insurance that religious employers provide their employees.  Secular employers have long been required to provide insurance with contraception coverage in many states, so religious organizations should be as well.

No one–regardless of faith–is above the law.

Nor are the rights of women beneath it.


Newark, DE

While I certainly have a great deal more to say, in particular about the horrendous misuse of the word "traitorous," I think I've raised my blood pressure enough for one day.  I'll be around for a little while to respond to comments, but I have a meeting later this afternoon.  I'll come back once that's done, at least for a bit longer.

And I won't be sending the letter quite yet.  I may edit it a bit if anyone has any helpful suggestions on ways to better word things.  I spent a good deal of my lunch hour on this, so I'm very happy with what it says, but if someone out there in the great orange masses has a better way to put something, I'll listen.

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Comment Preferences

  •  Tip Jar (15+ / 0-)

    Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything. -Harry S. Truman / -8.00, -6.77

    by Shadowmage36 on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 10:08:36 AM PST

  •  Even So You Answered One Ad Hominem Attack; (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:

    you might consider omitting even that.

    It's a fine letter though. The main idea in these LTE's is to be very brief, make one and only one point, and if you cite any fact or source to support your point, if humanly possible make it one that an opposing reader already accepts.

    Short is important so that a resistant reader will get to the point before becoming defensive and closing their mind.

    The fully dedicated opponent of course won't be persuaded no matter what the presentation.

    Good on you for responding.

    We are called to speak for the weak, for the voiceless, for victims of our nation and for those it calls enemy.... --ML King "Beyond Vietnam"

    by Gooserock on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 10:18:28 AM PST

    •  Are you referring to the vet bit or my opening? (0+ / 0-)

      The vet bit was the part I was most unsure about.  I thought that the way I worded it was ok, but wasn't entirely comfortable with putting it in there.

      The opening also might need to be toned down a touch.  Removing the word "severe" might do the trick...

      Carry the battle to them. Don't let them bring it to you. Put them on the defensive and don't ever apologize for anything. -Harry S. Truman / -8.00, -6.77

      by Shadowmage36 on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 10:24:42 AM PST

      [ Parent ]

  •  Your LtE is excellent (4+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    OldDragon, Shadowmage36, IL clb, Jay C

    and this is particularly true:

    There is nothing “traitorous” about holding differing views from someone else
    The RW specializes in hyperbole and we need to correct their false claims every chance we get.

    When someone is impatient and says, "I haven't got all day," I always wonder, How can that be? How can you not have all day? George Carlin

    by msmacgyver on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 10:19:39 AM PST

  •  send it. (1+ / 0-)
    Recommended by:
    IL clb

    they may just print it.

    i'm embarrassed at how stupid this country has become. I blame Fox News and Prosperity Gospel (Aka Ayn Rand Christianity). Even if you don't attend one of those churches, its disgusting influence is all around us. Rick Warren and Joel Osteen are always on the best-seller list.

    [insert pithy sigline here]

    by terrypinder on Thu Feb 23, 2012 at 12:03:37 PM PST

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