Why is it that so many people seem to have lost the ability to engage in a civil and polite discussion about a difficult topic?
In its weekend edition (May 19-20) the BDN published an excellent front page article titled, “Got Faith?” Judy Harrison, the author of the piece, called the BDN readers’ attention to the decline in the number of religious adherents in Maine.
The article clearly invited reflection and comment on the reasons for the apparent waning religious self-identification. By way of response to Harrison’s work, I would have expected readers to suggest their own reasons for the change. Perhaps someone could have expanded (or critiqued) the remarks of Reverend Lyford “Terry” Phillips, president of Grace Evangelical College and Seminary in Bangor. Possibly, someone could have even connected the change to global shifts in our cultural paradigms or maybe emerging rifts in our overall social fabric. But there was no such reasoned thinking to be seen on the electronic comments relating to Harrison’s article.
Instead there were well over 400 sharp verbal exchanges between devout Christians and nonbelievers that, in my opinion, were completely unsuitable on a public discussion forum.
The adage that “people should be able to disagree without being disagreeable” (uttered by Sen. Barry Goldwater, among others) seems to have become irrelevant in our current social climate. Now that I think about it, maybe that’s the reason for all the religious disassociation — maybe there is no civility in religious groups, either. Maybe that’s why folks leave.
70 years young
You have to be at least over 70 to pull off writing this line that Mr. Richard Dudman posted in his May 21st editorial, “One big thing about older people is that they keep dying.”
His piece highlights the various consideration one must address as one enters the so-called golden years. He wrote the essay with grace and humor. We will know when Mr. Dudman is “failing” once he goes to clip-on bow ties.
George Burns was once asked (when he in his late 90s): “George, why do you go out with younger women?”
“All the women my age are dead,” was his reply.
William Gallagher MD
State Sen. Cynthia Dill, a candidate for the United States Senate, recently characterized Maine gun owners as “vigilantes” in a very unfair attack.
Charging that Maine legislators were “spending our time making it easier for people to become vigilantes,” Dill criticized her legislative colleagues who voted for LD 1859, a bill that prohibits the wholesale seizure of firearms and ammunition in a civil emergency.
Not long ago she attacked one of her U.S. Senate Democratic primary opponents, Matt Dunlap. Dunlap served briefly as the interim executive director of the Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine in 2011. He is currently a member of SAM’s board of directors.
In a Democratic candidate debate, Dill challenged Dunlap about his membership in the National Rifle Association. She followed up with a press release, quoting Dunlap’s response to her challenge, in which he said, “I would accept the financial support of the National Rifle Association.”
Maine sportsmen and gun owners are encouraged to take notice of the positions of Sen. Dill. She is currently raising money and advocating for a national park and has decided to pick a fight with gun owners and their advocates. Two candidates, Attorney General William Schneider and former Gov. Angus King, are both SAM members. If they appear on the ballot with Sen. Dill should they expect similar attacks?
We are not endorsing a candidate in this important Senate primary race, but we believe Maine voters should be well informed for the June 12 primary.
Sportsman’s Alliance of Maine