To The Editor:
I am writing in response to two letters from LCN 12/25, both referring to the LCN 12/11 commentary of Rev. Douglas Wright. To begin, I would like to address Albert R. Boynton of Whitefield, and Carl Wolff of Waldoboro. It is obvious to me that both of these men are very passionate about their faith in God, as they each believe him to be.
It is clear to me, from reading their letters, that their beliefs are deeply rooted in the dogma of their religions, which, it seems, has led them to their conclusions and opinions regarding gay marriage. I, personally, feel that they both are wrong.
I vehemently disagree with them on the issue of same-sex marriage. It is my sincere opinion that all consenting adults, regardless of sexual orientation, should have the right to legally marry and build a future with the person that they love. Additionally, I have a difference in opinion as to their interpretations of their references from the Bible, but I digress. The arguments I could pose against their judgments are not the primary purpose of my correspondence.
I would like to thank Mr. Boynton, Mr. Wolff, and Reverend Wright for taking the time, expending the energy, and displaying the courage to share their opinions and beliefs in such a public forum. Daring to stand up and speak openly for what you believe in, or denounce what you are against, is one of the freedoms available to us as Americans. I believe the right to free speech should be valued and utilized.
I am not in any way expressing the need to further the discussion with any of these men regarding same-sex marriage at this time. I am, however, recognizing that utilizing the vehicle of the local paper is a way in which to engage in discussion, or in this case, arguments, with fellow community members. The fact that I, too, am employing this right is a perfect example of where I share a belief with Mr. Wolff, Mr.Boynton, and Rev. Wright, which is the primary purpose of this letter.
For me, issues such gay marriage, a woman’s right to choose, and racism, to name a few, all stimulate a visceral nerve that shoots directly to the core of who I am. I believe this to be true for most people. Listening to opinions or reading letters that directly oppose my most sacred beliefs are as enraging as a sucker punch to my gut. I would imagine that hearing my views may elicit a similar response within those who disagree with me.
When confronted with the individuals whose views contradict my own, I struggle with my conscience. It takes a concerted effort not to label them as crazy or evil. I must find the strength to combat rage and refuse to engage with hatred, knowing that peace must begin within me. Although important to have my say on such controversial issues, my views on these subjects represents only a small portion of who I am and what matters to me. I know in my heart that this stands true for Albert Boynton, Carl Wolff, and Rev. Douglas Wright and it stands true for all of humanity.
I believe the greater challenge that faces us; that which is imperative to a thriving community, is to take control over our egos, quiet those visceral, emotional responses, and look to find those issues on which we agree.
I challenge Mr. Boynton, Mr. Wolff, and Reverend Wright to join me in this undertaking and explore the possibility of mutual interests. Do we all believe we should support local farms? We might all share an idea that the children in our community watch too much television. Maybe we all own dogs. Do we all think alternative energy should be a primary concern of our incoming administration? Could we all believe that other intelligent life forms exist somewhere in the Universe? Do we all subscribe to “Time” magazine?
Maybe we believe it is important to support local food banks or animal shelters. We will never know unless we dare to look beyond the differences. Even if the only thing we agree upon is that we all like the smell of fresh cut grass, well, it is at least a place for the conversation to start. So, I challenge the three of you to join me. Let us attempt to embrace the discomfort, and meet in person, knowing that the only thing we have in common going into it is the audacity to speak our mind publicly and in print.
I can meet for coffee, tea, or the beverage of your choice most any day but Thursdays. Feel free to call me at 882-7490. Other community members who are up to the challenge, feel free to call, too. I look forward to meeting you.
Cyndy Dalton, Alna