Straight Talk

Basic freedoms under attack

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Letter to the Editor

Congratulations on your new publication. In my opinion a real asset to the community.

We now live in a free country. We cherish the freedom to worship as we choose; the freedom to pick our leaders, and the right to a free press; the freedom to teach our children as we choose; and the freedom to make choices about our bodies and who we love. But today not everyone believes in these basic freedoms.

The right to vote is under attack especially in North Carolina. By gerrymandering our district lines and passing laws to limit voting, politicians in Raleigh are now able to choose their voters, all in the name of preventing voter fraud. 

A problem that statistically does not exist. Your right to have your vote count now depends on what party you belong to and where you live. This attack on our right to vote is an attack to all our freedoms and the Constitution itself.

The founding fathers regarded a free press essential to the democratic republic they created. Today some candidates promise, if elected, to use the power of the government to silence any media that dares to criticize their rule. These are the same candidates who call the press “the enemy of the people.” The silencing of critical journalism is a fundamental element of every totalitarian state.

As parents, we believe that we should have the right to have a say in what our children learn. But now some parents believe they have the right to determine what is best for all children. As a result, public libraries and public school systems are under attack if they don’t adhere to their religious or political views. The rise of these thought police should scare us all, not just parents. 

In the recent U.S. Supreme Court case that eliminated a woman’s right to make a personal decision about her body, one majority justice also questioned the right to use contraceptives and the right of citizens to marry who they choose. It now seems that our freedom to make very personal decisions in our doctor’s office and our bedrooms maybe at risk. This kind of thinking is fundamental to certain religious beliefs. It now appears that if you don’t hold those beliefs the state may come after you. So, do we truly have the freedom to worship as we choose, or as in ancient Roman times must we pay homage to the gods chosen by the state.

Louis Vitale, Franklin