July 3, 2013

Editorial: Support for free speech


---- — It is affirming to see, as the Fourth of July approaches, that freedom of speech is a coveted right in this area.

The Press-Republican ran a Speakout recently that drew more than 70 comments.

The person wrote: “I’m sorry, but if you park your car in my apartment complex with an atheist bumper sticker, it will be removed. It’s disrespectful to other people.”

That didn’t sit well with, well, almost everyone, judging from the responses online and on our Facebook site. And that is good news in an area that some people think of as intolerant of opposing views.

Here’s a sampling of Facebook opinion:

Carrie Lee Young: “I’m a Christian, and those bumper stickers don’t bother me. I care about people, just like God does. I don’t think God is offended. From what I understand about him, he’s a gentleman and doesn’t force others to believe in him. Some Christians get that wrong and make God look cruel, when He’s not. God lets people choose.”

Bonnie Clinebell: “I am a born-again Christian. The person with the bumper sticker does have the right to his/her belief/unbelief, even though it contradicts my beliefs. No one has the right to destroy another’s personal property! The ‘believer’ should use the opportunity to attempt to win another soul to Christ. If the ‘nonbeliever’ still chooses to not accept Christ, then that is between he/she and God and will be dealt with at the judgment.”

Vince O’Driscoll: “What’s disrespectful is people who tell others how to live their lives. I’m offended when certain religions come to my door to push their beliefs on me, but I would never tell them they can’t do that or have their car towed. The person who wrote this is an ignorant fool.”

Carolyn BaCombe: “More and more we are losing our freedom of speech and religion....My opinion is ..let the person have his/her bumper sticker...and let Christians and Patriots express their support of what that means to them.”

Leeann Lustenader: “Then I’ll remove your Jesus fish.”

Sue Boulerice Thompson: “This country was built on freedom of speech and religion. Lack of religion is also our freedom. Removing sticker or car is infringing on the owner’s rights!”

Wayne Seeley: “I hope that person gets caught in the act and the police are called. It is wrong to lay your hands on another person’s property.”

Suzanne Andrews: “It is also disrespectful to not acknowledge someone’s right to free speech and to vandalize someone’s property because of your narrow mindedness.”

It looks like people in the North Country do firmly respect the envied American rights that we will celebrate on Thursday.