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LETTERS / Make It Black And White By Claiming The ‘Moral’ High Ground

Dear Editor,

So lets bring up Arizona for a moment, specifically SB 1062 (the “religious freedom” bill) and a quote from state senator Steve Yarbrough.

“This bill is not about discrimination, It’s about preventing discrimination against people who are clearly living out their faith.”

Now why do I bring this up? Let’s bring it back to Boone. And a quote from one Chastity Lesesne.

“This is not an issue of censorship, This is not an issue of book burning, book banning. This is an issue of required reading in our school system.”

Anyone see the pattern here yet?

But this is how the game is played. Pick a controversial issue. Make it black and white by claiming the “moral” high ground. Claim the opposition is “Glamorizing Rape” or “Encouraging a deviant lifestyle” Make it even more toxic by adding religion to politics. And dog whistling (if not outright accusing) those “Godless Liberals” of not supporting your “Christian Values” As you claim to be defending “traditional culture” 

Granted at one point traditional culture was blacks were 3/5 a person, women couldn’t vote, and Thomas Jefferson said we weren’t a Christian nation but moving on…

And when you lose? OUTRAGE! Cue quite possibly one of the most insane things ever written! Send in the purity police! 

Personally I just don’t get it, so to help me try and understand this mentality your local oracle has made a new friend. Bob the angry Conservative.
So Bob you and others want Mr. Henries gone now?

Bob: “Yeah!”

But why?

Bob: “Because he doesn’t think exactly the way I do!”

So…you’re mad that your kid is still required to read a book that goes against your values. Or be forced into an alternate choice where they have to sit and read in the library for class credit?

Bob: “Yeah!”

And instead you want someone who will remove any book your side doesn’t like based on your values? Will create a required reading list based on those values, and those who disagree will be forced to read what they wanted to learn about in the library minus the class credit?

Bob: “Yeah!”

Me: So you’re for the very thing you claim to be against. And want students to have even less of a choice?

Bob: “Wait, what?”

While Bob tries to sort that one out I’ll just say that’s the big lie being pushed from AZ to Boone. It’s never been about freedom of choice. It’s always been about telling  the rest of us what the choices should be. 

After of course the rating committee approves them…

And that raises a question or two I invite the real citizens of Watauga to try and answer. What’s more important to you? What’s best for the students, or what’s best for your partisan personal agendas? And if you do get your little morality council in place, which book is next to be bann . . oh excuse me “partially retained” within the library?

True Orwellian doublespeak aside…(Unlike the tea party mentality where tolerance is slavery) Another question, how does keeping this book in the school somehow hurt you or lessen your freedom?

Bob: I know!

Yes Bob?

Bob: Because it singles our kids out! Like Mrs. Lesesne said in her opening statement! 

“. . .  For them to be separated from the teacher and class for any reason, much less for choosing an alternate book, is discriminatory treatment.”

True enough Bob, but  let me tweak a few of those words.

“For them to be separated from the benefits that even a civil union or marriage would provide for any reason, much less for choosing an alternate lifestyle, is discriminatory treatment.”

See our own little bit of bigotry known as Amendment One.

Any thoughts now Bob? Or are we fine with leaving the gay kids out in the metaphorical hallway because it’s your version of “morality” being used?

Bob: Stop being a hypocrite Jesse! You claim you’re for tolerance, but when I say gays shouldn’t be allowed to get married I’m the bigot? Why should my religious belief be oppressed by having to allow them the same rights as me! Where’s your tolerance for my freedom of speech! Tolerate this! I think marriage should be only one man one woman like the bible says!

And there’s my other favorite conservative lie, the myth of the intolerant liberal. To which I say you’re entitled to your opinion Bob, and I’m entitled to my opinion. What we don’t get to do is use our personal opinions or religious belief to tell others what to read or how to live their lives.  The problem isn’t your belief, the problem is telling me that mine has to be the same as yours. Again it’s the hypocrisy of claiming to respect freedom but when I tell you that you can’t define freedom for everyone it’s you who is being oppressed?

That’s not intolerance of your view, or forcing you to violate your religion by tolerating a gay marriage. If you’re being forced to “tolerate” anything? It’s someone having equal rights to yours. So how does that hurt you? The only thing constitutionally promised equality (please go re-read the 14th amendment) does is make it illegal for you to put into law your personal prejudice and hate. 

It’s that simple, it doesn’t instantly invalidate every non gay marriage, and it’s not This

Unlike what is happening every time the far right tries to force people into believing only what they believe. We have to uphold traditional Biblical (Ha) marriage, and can’t let kids have the choice to read “porn” because the poor little lambs (in an honors class) just can’t handle it! And all too often that choice you want to enforce seems to get things backwards. It’s hand on bible, promise to uphold the constitution, not the other way around.

Bob: But if we don’t it’ll be the end of morality and decency! We have to save people from themselves!

Been There, done That Bob. Still waiting for my strip joint on every corner and river of blood down King street. Just like a bunch of local religious leaders who tried to pack a meeting with their supporters to preach the end of decency promised me. 

Hmm now who does THAT sound like?

And while to this day I’m still laughing about the whole “Wine was just grape juice” routine of twisting scripture for ones agenda? It’s also a “I can’t believe this is where we still are!” Cause it’s getting old having to deal with the same narrow minded moralistic hypocrites who seem to think only their side has a monopoly on morality, religion, and freedom. (as determined by voter registration or local church attended) Yet by their continued repressive actions are the very antithesis of all three.

After all how DARE! us porn loving, Marxist, children warping, society destroying liberals ever call out others on their bigotry and hate. Cue the self righteous indignation! Cause as we all know only true moral individuals get to throw out labels. 
Ah I left out godless, that must be why we don’t understand that whole “Love thy neighbor*” concept. Not to mention missing that part where the bible tells me to hurt hate and judge others. Along with where the second commandment has a little asterisk that says.

*Unless they are gay, poor, think they deserve health care, think they should have control of their own bodies, or vote Democrat.

But either way I should bring this letter to a close, I need to make time in my busy day to plan a trip around driving from Boone to one of my new “Geographically centered” early voting locations. After all it’s not like I have to vote in town. If only all those silly students taking the applecart to campus instead of driving,  teachers with maybe a 1-2 period break in the day, or bosses keeping people past a 4PM closing time could see that! They’d probably bounce from town in every direction to one one of the four locations serving not even half the residents of Watauga. Truly they just don’t understand how early voting works… So thank goodness we have people out there willing to make sure everyone has the freedom to choose a fair and equal voting location! 

Provided of course you’re the right type of voter.

And of course this is nothing at all like the complaints from those poor oppressed rural folks claiming that coming to Boone to vote is the most impossible thing ever. And horror of horrors it might take an entire day to do ones civic duty!

Once again, do as I say, just not as I do?

Let’s call all of this exactly what it still is from the very first letter I wrote.The continued rank hypocrisy from people who are long on passing judgements on others but short on the ability to justify why.

But such is the attitude of the far right around here. And people who really need to stop thinking freedom is “All for me, none for thee.”

That’s not a choice you get to make either.

Jesse Steele

Boone NC