Seeley Swan Pathfinder -

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By Roxie Sterling
Seeley Lake, Mont. 

Response to Marshall's Letter - Find a Flag and Country to Honor and Move There

 


I am writing in response to Mr. Mike Marshall’s letter to the editor in the Pathfinder Thursday, June 21, 2018.

We who are citizens of the United States of America do have wonderful freedoms, thanks to our founding fathers, and the men and women who fought for, and the many who gave their lives for our freedoms. Some left their limbs on the battlefields and some came home with broken hearts and troubled minds so you and I can enjoy our freedom.

People do have the right to burn the flag and kneel for the anthem.

I have rights too. I have the right to find that behavior disgusting, heartbr...



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Reader Comments
(4)

MontanaMike writes:

For Tim Wilcox, one more comment. The Seeley Swan Pathfinder is a first rate newspaper that holds itself to the highest standards of objectivity. For you to impugn their integrity by implying the possibility of them having questionable ethics is unnecessary and certainly degrades the effectiveness of your comments. That was just nasty and suggests you have some specific axe to grind.

MontanaMike writes:

Thank you Tim. I agree with you, as I have previously stated. Anyone has the right to hold any opinion they choose. Here's where I disagree with you: 1. The fact that I consider someone wrong doesn't mean I am misrepresenting their opinion. And I have as much right to disagree as you do. 2. You stated, -Anyone who recognizes that the flag is a symbol of freedom and sacrifice, rather than an icon of oppression, is likely to share her sentiment.- I disagree with that statement. But feel free to supply supporting documentation to make your case. I would suggest that anyone who actually understands what our flag represents, i.e. freedoms such as freedom of speech, would be loathe to restrict those freedoms and thus would not share such an antithetical sentiment. As former Supreme Court Justice William J. Brennan stated on the subject of flag burning: -We do not consecrate the flag by punishing its desecration, for in doing so, we dilute the freedom this cherished emblem represents.- He also stated: -If there is a bedrock principle underlying the First Amendment, it is that the government may not prohibit the expression of an idea simply because society finds the idea itself offensive or disagreeable.- Mary Ruart also nailed it when she stated: -You believe that flag burning shows disrespect towards those who have fought to preserve our freedoms. Punishing protestors shows an even more profound disrespect for the ideals that these people died for. An intact flag is worthless if it no longer stands for freedom. A flag burned to ashes challenges us to remember just exactly what freedom is.- So as I stated, lets not worship the flag. Let's worship the values it embodies. Tim, if you're indeed interested in 'honest debate,' then drop the petty insults implying moral bankruptcy and come to the table with facts and respect.

TimWilcox writes:

Thank you for providing insight into your moral character, Mike. Your comment conspicuously includes a blatant straw-man mischaracterization of Ms. Sterling's viewpoint. On close examination, accidental gross oversimplification is not improbable — it is impossible. While Ms. Sterling's letter acknowledges that people have the right to burn the flag and kneel during the anthem, she also correctly maintains that she has the right to view these specific behaviors — not freedom of speech — as un-American. Anyone who recognizes that the flag is a symbol of freedom and sacrifice, rather than an icon of oppression, is likely to share her sentiment. You may not agree, but by misrepresenting Ms. Sterling's true position, in an effort to imply there is something wrong with her views and avoid honest refutation, you are treating her with disrespect. This type of deliberate, intellectually dishonest, passive-aggressive practice also indicates a complete lack of respect for the cognitive integrity of readers. Should your behavior become viewed as a reflection of the ethical values held by the Seeley Swan Pathfinder, it undoubtedly will adversely affect audience and advertising. If the pursuit of truth and right ideas through honest debate and argument is a noble undertaking, then there is no place for duplicity or psychological subterfuge.

MontanaMike writes:

Thank you for sharing, Roxie. I was disappointed to see that you think expressing our freedom of speech is un-American. Please see my next letter.

 
 
 

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