Cumberland Times-News

September 3, 2013

Historical role models lived in different times

Cumberland Times-News

— First of all, I would like to start out by saying that I am neither a vegetarian nor a vegan. I do understand that it is healthier lifestyle, but I just like meat too much.

I appreciate the work that is put into getting better conditions on raising animals for slaughter, but I do not necessarily believe that meat should not be consumed. This however, is not the reason that I am writing this letter.

I am writing to argue the idea of assuming what a past historical figure would do in today’s society. Sure, I can sit here today and say that Abraham Lincoln fought for this, so he must also fight for this concept that was not in his time.

I could say that Mother Theresa might also think that this is right and this is wrong, just because this is what she fought for. But this a very ignorant way of debating.

The first example that I can think of this is the argument of bearing automatic weapons. An argument that I hear a lot of is: When the Founding Fathers put the Second Amendment into the Constitution, they did not know the type of weapons we would have now, and they certainly would not allow the weapons we see nowadays.

This argument is, and excuse my language, just plain stupid. We do not know what our founding fathers would have fought for in today’s time. They wrote the Bill of Rights almost two and a half centuries ago.

Also, with the topic of the founding fathers, people talk as if the Founding Fathers agreed on every single law they put into the Constitution and this is most likely incorrect.

In this letter to the editor, the writer assumed that Martin Luther King Jr. would fight for animal rights because the said writer believed that “animals raised for food, experiments, and entertainment” are “the most oppressed living beings in America.”

Any good writer could use King’s rhetoric to argue against abortion, for gay marriage, or in this case animal rights. It is, however; wrong to assume that King would make such an argument himself if he were alive today.

One can say Martin Luther King Jr. was against war, and one can assume that he would be against a war in Syria, and this might be a safe assumption to make, but instead we should use his ideals as to why we should not go to war. Though we cannot know with absolute certainty that he would be on our side about it.

In this letter, I do not write to harass Mr. (Calvin) Cowan on his beliefs or tell them that he is wrong, this is just the article that I happened to read that urged me to write the letter that I just wrote. The point I would like to make is one of persuasion to all Americans.

Past historical figures can be good role models or good topics of study, but these nearly all of these figures that we rely on for answers did not live through the circumstances that we live in today.

Today’s world requires its own leaders who have their own ideals and are able show why their ideals are right and fight for their beliefs, and even though we may not realize it at the time, today’s influential leaders may become historical figures that future generations count on in their times of trouble.

Tysen Ott