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August 30, 2005

My Letter to the Editor: Part III

After receiving praise at church for my letter to the editor of our local paper regarding a "peace protest" in my town, the other shoe just dropped. In fact, I'm surprised it took this long.

A friend of mine, whose political leanings (and those of her significant other) are diametrically opposed to mine, sent me this e-mail today:

[The significant other] saw this today, after reading your letter in [the paper] the other day, and asked me to forward it to you.

She then attached an e-mail containing an article about a recent poll that said 90% of Americans support the right of those who wish to protest the war.

My reply:

I saw this article the other day. Of course it's their right if they wish to protest, and I would never say that should be taken away. However, it's also my right to say I disagree and why. That is what political discourse is all about...different viewpoints coming to the table.

You see, I never, EVER said that no one has the right to protest. Snarky little jabs like this serve to avoid actual dialogue, using the ever-present smokescreen of First Amendment rights. Why is it more important for people to be able to protest the war than for me to disagree with their views? This had more to do with trying to shut me up than having an active and productive discussion.

This e-mail, by the way, comes from a woman who is a leftover from the 1960s anti-war movement who loves to send me petitions. In fact, earlier today she sent me one entitled "Save the Arctic."


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