Writer’s rhetoric draws criticism
Since I truly believe in every citizen’s right to freedom of conscious, I found the op-ed piece by Mr. Richard Deaton in last Fridays Guardian appalling in the extreme.
The writer’s blistering atrocious rhetoric was simply an extreme example of bigotry despite the truly atrocious deeds committed by my fellow believers in times past and-sadly-even today.
There is no room for insincere religious belief and practice, nor any justification for ahistorical bias, since freedom of conscious is a basic human right.
Such is the true foundation of a truly accepting and pluralistic society.
(By the by, Torquemada and Elmer Gantry would likely wince at being labeled as a co-conspirators; but I digress).
I also speak as a former member of the military (as I suppose the writer was also, but I may be in error), and-sadly-took part in training young men as artillerymen during the unjust Vietnam War, one not fought on religious grounds but on, so it seemed on enlightened secular values.
And I subscribe also- as Mr. Deaton does- to J.S. Mill’s championship of “the greatest good for the greatest number,” however, I choose to leave the means where by each human being attempts to reach such a worthy goal to his or her own conscience and practice, even if doing so is not my choice.
Such, I submit lies at the heart of all true searches after charity, justice and freedom of expression, rather than diatribe of whatever sort.
And I speak as one some of whose ancestor’s children were massacred by Oliver Cromwell’s soldiers so very long ago, ostensibly to save them from “poverty” but as an integral part of a genocidal campaign in my native Ireland. Colman O’Hare Charlottetown