Censorship and loss of rights should concern us all

In reference to an Oct. 28 letter to editor from Bill Powell concerning theft of a campaign sign, removing/stealing a sign from someone’s property is not only a crime, but violating their free speech right.

As bad as this is, I would ask Mr. Powell to look beyond this, to today’s environment on social media. We used to have news organizations that reported the news, not their ideology. We now have social media, Facebook, Twitter, YouTube. These companies now put a blackout/censorship on any point of view that they do not agree on. And sadly, many take it as the truth.

We should all be of concern of our First Amendment rights being taken away from us, no matter what side of the political fence you may stand on. Wake up people!

Gerald Davis LaVale

People should seek truth no matter where it leads

I recently put up a political sign in front of our house for our current president’s opponent, this being one of the very few I’ve put up in my entire life. Why? What finally drove me to do so was out of fear and for protection. No, not the kind our president espouses (which appear to be mostly disinformation, distraction and exaggeration). Mine is fear of, and protection from, dying, or acquiring a serious chronic condition from COVID-19.

Not just for myself, but out of empathy for my friends, family and others, whose heartbreaking stories are shown regularly on the nightly news. What also motivated me to put it up is the realization of watching our president addressing a rally and wondering: Is this who we really are as Americans? I think not.

No, think of the recurring profiles of heroism and selflessness shown at the end of nightly news shows. You know, the ones where people do great things to help out other people in need. I want to believe THAT’S who we are! I also ache for a return to truth: certainly, we are going off the rails as a society when every other utterance of a leader needs to be fact-checked.

Seems to me we should seek truth no matter where it leads: sometimes it may veer to the “left,” sometimes to the “right.” And I ache for a return to calm, rational, even boring. Can we please just deescalate all this emotion and drama? And fear and hatred? And return to civility, cooperation and compromise?

As you go into the voting booth, ask yourself, which candidate better reflects American values? And Christian values? In these crazy times, what would Jesus do?

Andy Stump

Romney, W.Va.

Response to coronavirus dangerous and reckless

Last night I watched a documentary about the Challenger disaster in 1986 and it struck me as to how there was such a public outcry and almost universal condemnation of those within NASA who had allowed the launch to proceed despite having been warned about the potential catastrophic impact of the cold weather the morning of the launch on the shuttle’s so called o-rings.

Fast forward to 2020 and we have a situation where a leader’s attitude, conduct, messaging and public events are known by everyone to be endangering the public, including the leader himself, his family and members of his own administration. Yet the reaction by a vast number of people is quite different. It is, to most people grounded in facts and the search for truth, no longer a political issue.

Personally, I am becoming more conservative as I get older and find myself drifting further and further away from liberal ideas that I don’t believe encourage enough personal and communal responsibility.

But this is something else. This is dangerous and reckless. Even Republican adviser to the president and former governor of New Jersey, Chris Christie, acknowledged as much after he left the hospital (where he had spent seven days in the ICU) following his exposure to the virus at a “superspreader” event on the White House lawn on Sept. 26. He said it was a mistake that he did not wear a mask at that event and he apparently awakened to the potential devastating effects of COVID-19.

This is no longer about political parties, positions or ideologies. This is about life and death. In Deuteronomy 30:19 it says: “I call heaven and earth to witness against you this day, that I have set before you life and death, the blessing and the curse: therefore choose life.” In this election when so many are sick or dying with thousands more to come, let us choose life!

Mark J. Perman

Cumberland

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