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Let’s all try to get along

EDITOR:

As I read Mike Cousineau’s letter to the editor of Sept. 22, I wasn’t sure whether I was angry, offended, or just plain sad. (Oddly enough, these are the same emotions I experienced when I read an earlier version of this same rhetoric which appeared in someone’s Facebook post several days ago.) What in the world has happened to us as a society?

Why is it that many individuals who seem to espouse the idea of personal freedom aren’t willing to extend that same personal freedom to others. Who are we to judge the way another person lives his or her life? At what point did anyone of us become the only arbiter of right and wrong, moral and immoral. I don’t claim to have all of the answers, but I don’t think anyone else can make that claim either.

One of the specific things mentioned (and one that has been brought up many times in the past) is the fact that we aren’t allowed to display the 10 Commandments. Besides the fact that this violates the idea of separation of church and state, I question why we would want to display them so prominently, as it would only call attention to how little those Commandments are being adhered to by so many of our current leaders. Furthermore, the 10 Commandments are a Christian convention — not every American is a Christian. And that is not a bad thing. I think it’s very possible to be a good and moral person apart from one’s religion. One of the most considerate and thoughtful people I ever met was a colleague of mine who referred to himself as a secular humanist. And for those who do claim Christianity, Jesus taught love, kindness, and compassion — not hatred, judgement, and condemnation.

Remember the Declaration of Independence which says… “that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Everyone has the right to live his or her life free of the restraints imposed by others of conflicting viewpoint, provided they are not infringing on or causing harm to their fellow man.

Please, please as simplistic as it sounds: Let’s all try to get along. Let’s show respect for others, regardless of whether we agree with their point of view. Let’s stop the judgement and criticism and instead try to show empathy and understanding. Let’s be willing to listen with an open mind and respond without blame or vitriol.

Ok. I’ve decided. My overwhelming emotion is sadness. It breaks my heart that we have come to this.

Shirley Gollach

Escanaba

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