• Freedom to offend
    November 24,2012
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    Freedom to offend

    A reader was offended by a comment in the Rutland Herald and complained in Friday’s (Nov. 23) edition. She was offended by what she deemed the improper use of the name God in a comment. I acknowledge her offense but I must clarify a part of her comment.

    She claims that the First Amendment protects her faith. I do not believe that this is correct. I have an obligation, as do all Americans, to respect her right to her beliefs and/or faith. We are, however, under no obligation to respect that belief and/or faith. That is why we have so many beliefs and/or faiths.

    Left and Right has nothing to do with this. Throughout history, we have seen governments from both spectrums use religion or the banning of such as a part of their control of their populations. Communist countries have banned or discouraged all religion in many cases, while Fascist regimes have dictated which religions may or may not be practiced. Sharia law is no more valid in this country than is Christian law or any other. Our First Amendment protects we, the people, from such actions.

    As for your offense, I empathize, but being occasionally offended is a price we pay for living in a country such as ours that has a First Amendment, that understands our self-evident right to express ourselves freely. Anything less is the Dark Ages.

    One more thing. Printing an “offensive” word by replacing certain letters with an asterisk is hilarious. We know what the word is. Are we as a society so silly that replacing a “u” with a “*” is going to make a difference?

    GEORGE SIMPSON

    Pittsfield
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