June 19, 2018
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Nov. 11 Letters to the Editor

American Taliban

Fundamentalists who think they speak for God are committing acts of oppression and cruelty around the world. In Maine, the Yes on 1 campaign says God has given them a victory. Sound familiar? God has nothing to do with it. It’s time to stop blaming bigotry and self-righteousness on God.

The repeal of gay marriage is a victory for no one. The Yes on 1 voters haven’t just betrayed their fellow residents, but the Constitution, God, their own dignity and the dignity of Maine. Those of us who voted No on 1 will have to live with the election results. Those who voted Yes on 1 will have to live with the results too — with the reality that they have voted against their own potential for experiencing the loving nature of God.

They have voted for their own limitations and enslavement to bigotry and judgment, and put barbed wire around their own souls. They’ve taken another step away from God and toward America’s version of the Taliban. For the moment what we have is a great failure of spirit, conscience, and morality. What if all the energy spent minding other people’s business and spreading lies and fear were used instead for truly helping people, respecting equality and building a safer, gentler world? That would be victory.

Had it been left up to referendum, slavery might still be legal and women might not yet have the right to vote — probably all in the name of God.

Barbara Maria



Photos capture irony

Bangor Daily News photojournalist Bridget Brown did a masterful job of capturing the irony of Tuesday’s triumph of bigotry over equality. Her page 1 photo depicts Yes on 1 supporters enthusiastically cheering denial of equal rights to same-sex couples, while her page two photo of the same election eve gathering shows these same people with heads bowed in prayer.

Together, these two images bring to mind both a biblical admonition and a bumper sticker: “Judge not, lest ye be judged” and “Dear God, Save Me From Your Followers.”

Tom Walsh



Thank a vet

Veterans Day will soon be here. If you know a veteran, please be sure to thank him for his service. If you see someone in a military uniform, thank them also. These men and women have given up so much for all of us.

Thanking them for their sacrifices is just one small thing that you can do, but it means the world to them. They all deserve our respect and gratitude.

Debbie Bickford



Wind power problems

The dedicated members of the Dixmont Planning Board have struggled with their personal convictions and public responsibility for many months now. They have written an extensively researched wind power ordinance for the town to vote on. I commend them for the time and effort taken to find a balance between their mission of providing for development and safeguarding the residents of Dixmont. The proposed ordinance will protect the town from abuse.

Responsible individuals recognize that industrial wind power and people don’t mix well. Mount Harris Wind, however, has demonstrated pure greed in a letter to the residents of Dixmont. This carefully crafted letter is filled with half-truths designed to hide and deny the many problems of wind power.

A major contention is that wind power will save money. Research on communities with wind farms show this to be totally untrue. Taxes actually go up in those towns and energy costs do not go down.

Industrial wind turbines have a number of known health effects on people and more are suspected. Environmental costs are enormous. They range from the obvious visual pollution of beautiful mountains to a long list of disasters caused by building dirt roads on steep slopes. The potential for destroying wildlife, especially birds, is enormous.

The major feature of wind power for many years has been its lack of efficiency. It still cannot compete economically with other methods of power generation, especially when sited on small mountains.

Gerry Sawyer



Rural Maine culture

Most of the gay marriage discussions missed the point which Tuesday’s referendum results confirm. Many of the urbanites who voted in favor of gay marriage have very little understanding of rural Maine and its centuries-old culture and traditions.

Marriage in rural Maine has been, since the state was established, the very foundation of hardworking family life: life down on the farm, life in the woods and at sea. Continual urban and legislative pressure to change traditional marriage throughout Maine will only hasten the demise of the rural Maine culture that many of us treasure.

Rural Maine people have always believed you shouldn’t legislate morality or cultural traditions. Unfortunately, too many legislators, the governor and attorney general included, are lawyers and lawyers by nature are continually looking for things to legislate even if it means the end of certain aspects of traditional Maine culture.

Most rural Mainers go through life without consulting a lawyer except to buy the farm or make out a will. When our legislators take the time away from their fundamental governmental responsibilities and begin looking hard enough, I’m certain they will find other elements of our culture to legislate.

Let’s not continue to pick away at rural Maine until it’s no longer recognizable from urban life. Many of us love Maine as it is. In rural Maine the gay marriage issue has nothing to do with “equality”; good neighbors are always valued regardless of their sexual orientation.

Richard de Grasse



Fort Hood stereotypes

I feel bad for the soldiers and their families who were killed or wounded at Fort Hood. I am also concerned for what the effect will be that he was Muslim.

How many U.S. citizens or soldiers who have nothing to do with extremists, but look Middle Eastern or have Arabic sounding names will be made to suffer for his actions? The media are not helping at all by repeating over and over that he was a “devout Muslim.” Would they make as big a deal of it if he were Irish or Italian and Catholic? Does anyone know or care what religion or ethnic background the Unabomber or other notorious figures in our history were?

Jeffrey Harmon


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