The Star Beacon; Ashtabula, Ohio

August 10, 2012

Aug. 11 Letters to the Editor: Mary Ellen Blake

Freedom for Chick-Fil-A

Letters to the editor

— There was a time when the mantra of liberalism was, “I may not agree with what you say (or think), but I will defend to death your right to say it.”

 People remembered the horror of Nazi and Soviet governments punishing people for what they believed. Now we have a spectacle of governments (Democratic mayors) abusing their powers to punish a business, Chick-Fil-A, for ˙what the owner believes.

Our founders had their memory too, of their parents and grandparents being thrown in prison, even killed, their property seized, because of what they believed. The founders were determined to devise a government that protected, not punished, belief. Any belief.

Imagine the outcry if a Republican mayor decided to use the powers of government to keep Ben & Jerry’s out of his or her city. After all, we can’t allow our people to eat liberal ice cream, can we?

I’m watching Democrats on TV bending themselves out of shape to justify government restricting a business because of the beliefs of the owner, obscuring the issue by mocking and vilifying the man’s beliefs. As if personal belief justified  government interference! This is free speech/thought issue, and every American ought to be springing to this man’s defense, whether you agree with him or not. If his speech is punished today, yours could be tomorrow.

I shouldn’t be surprised, though, because Democrats from the president on down have publicly stated their desire to shut down Fox News. Why? To silence opposing views. This is a frightening misuse of governmental powers. Our founders welcomed free speech and the clash of ideas, the inalienable rights of people to express their beliefs without government interference. For 200 years our military has shed its blood to protect that right. How quickly we are squandering that freedom.

Mary Ellen Blake