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Forum, Aug. 1: Better to focus on the intent of the pledge

Published: 7/31/2020 10:00:15 PM
Modified: 7/31/2020 10:00:11 PM
Better to focus on the intent of the pledge

It feels like the number of divisive issues and decisions are accelerating. Hopefully, the Pledge of Allegiance does not have to be another one. Everyone has an opinion on the pledge: Should it be part of the meeting or not? Should the words be changed or not? Unfortunately, it appears that many people now view their opinion as factual, and that they are right and those with opposing views are wrong. But opinions cannot be right or wrong; they are just opinions and “not necessarily based upon facts or knowledge.”

Rather than making a decision to keep the pledge at the meeting or to do away with it, why can’t we just keep in on the agenda and make it clear to the public that it is optional for those who feel it is important to recite. While the individual words of the pledge can be debated, the focus should be on the intent and not each word or phrase. Make it clear that anyone can decide not to recite certain words, such as “God,” or can substitute their own words as they see appropriate. Don’t tell them what they must or must not say.

Maybe if we can get more people to pledge their allegiance to the United States, rather than our political parties, we will be more successful in getting many needed initiatives completed.

BARRY McCABE

West Hartford

Taking a stand

I stand for the right to pledge to the American flag, for the right and freedom this America has and will give to me, and for the right to believe that all lives do matter.

BARBARA NIELSEN

White River Junction

Allegation was unsupported

The article about Windsor’s debate over renaming Jacob Street and its effort to tell the story of Dinah Mason (“A Complicated Past,” July 26), states, “Additional records unearthed by Windsor resident James Haaf and others indicate that Dinah lived in (Stephen) Jacob’s house, most likely to care for his children, until she was turned out to fend for herself as she was sick and going blind.”

During my interviews for the article, I pointed out that this claim was an allegation made by lawyers arguing in support of the court case against Stephen Jacob, and while it has become popular opinion to rightfully condemn the evils of slavery and the injustices it continues to perpetuate in America, the allegation is not supported by evidence.

Lumping sources misconstrues opinions and knowledge.

JAMES HAAF

Windsor

Don’t change a successful approach to mask-wearing

It strikes me that the impetus to mandate masks in some Upper Valley towns in New Hampshire and all of Vermont is misguided. By most measures, we have managed the pandemic about as well as possible. In fact, with positive test rates at or below 2% (0.6% in Vermont), statistically we can only do worse. Changing the recipe at this point would likely cause more harm than good.

The successful recipe in our region has included widespread voluntary adoption of masks in the community. We have mercifully been spared the politicization of mask-wearing. Requiring them now could spark a backlash, with libertarians and sympathizers removing them on principle. While there might be others who now start to wear them, at best we might end up with the same overall rate of mask use. Let us not allow the perfect to become the enemy of the good.

KEITH LOUD

Norwich

Bringing our culture into better balance

It’s easy to be critical now of women or Black people who are banding together for power by calling it “cancel culture” or overreach, without recognizing that that’s exactly what most white males have done throughout their “his-tory.”

The current push from women and Black people is seldom cancel-culture overreach. The white, male-dominated culture that they’re trying to cancel, or at least bring into balance, has been overreaching for ages, as noted by columnist Steve Nelson in his brilliant and brave column, “The arrogance of unexamined privilege” (July 18).

Nelson’s columns are always thought-provoking and should be reprinted throughout the country.

JULIE TIBBETTS

New London

Our oceans are screaming

The oceans of our planet are rising and screaming. Bring the men o’ war back to their United States bases.

LINN DUVALL HARWELL

Perkinsville




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