Writer’s rhetoric draws crit­i­cism

The Guardian (Charlottetown) - - EDITORIAL -

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

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