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Letter: Shouting Insults in a Public Forum

To the Editor:

On March 18, two Norwich residents wrote a letter that the Valley News titled “No Place for Public Prayer.” It referred to a March 2 commentary by Margaret Drye, with the headline “Town Meeting and Public Prayer.” The two Norwich correspondents supported the thesis that public governmental meetings should not be venues for religious worship.

On March 22, the paper published a letter from a White River Junction correspondent, “A Place for Public Prayer.” This letter had no content, except to cast shame on one of the two Norwich residents in a single drawn-out sentence.

I am disappointed that the paper published this letter because of the lack of substantive comment, which the first two letters contained, and because crying “shame” without explaining oneself is just one step short of shouting personal insults at others — neither of which has a place in a public forum.

Stephen Flanders

Vice-Chair, Norwich Selectboard