Bluefield Daily Telegraph, Bluefield, WV

Letters to the Editor

May 27, 2014

Agree to disagree but be kind

— — I’ve been considering a lot of controversial issues in the news lately, and it has occurred to me that most as of the majority of disputes could be settled with mutual consideration and respect.

For instance, citizenship — I truly believe our nation’s founders wanted every person to have a full, blessed life, and the opportunities — as long as not at the expense of others — to reach their dreams and potentials, and that any and everyone who wants to be a U.S. citizen should have the opportunity do so. However, I also think that in order to protect and preserve these precious rights and freedoms they had fought so hard to attain for themselves, their posterity and all future citizens — they wanted to do their best to ensure all our nation’s people truly treasured and appreciated this nation and its ideas. And that’s probably why they wrote the requirements for citizenship they did.

How can we truly appreciate something unless we can understand it and what its about? Considering this — what would be wrong with requiring us to learn of our nation’s history and ideals?

Also, for the ease of communication and unity, would it help to have one official language all residents can speak and understand and have the opportunity to learn — even if gradually? On the other hand — and for the sake of mutual respect, cultural understanding and to honor origins and traditions — to also encourage the learning and use of mutual respect, cultural understanding, and to honor origins and traditions and to also encourage the learning and use of second languages — especially while others are learning the official one? Let’s try to look from both sides.

Also, for national security we are required to show some sort of identification to board a plane, travel the roads, cross borders, show ownership, purchase certain items, etc. What would be wrong with being asked to show some sort of proof for any reason why we’re in this country — whether worker, student, resident, citizens, visitor — which I think we already do. From another point of view, if someone is unable to produce proof, and it is not a potential threat to our country and its people, why not give them the opportunity work out — even if slowly in some way — the same basic requirements as everyone else, and not be unjustly treated. All residents should have the same protections from harm.

Our nation’s founders were so wise in the writing of our Constitution— to ensure our fundamental right of freedom, equality, respect and protection from unfair discrimination and cruel persecution. One such wise measure was the separation of church and state — where both could be protected, and neither could infringe on the other. Let’s consider the controversy over same sex relationships. Couldn’t this be settled by mutual respect and understanding, especially respect for the division of church and state? On one hand, in the area of state, couldn’t all couples be guaranteed the same legal rights — medical, financial, survivor and for the sake of religious rights. Couldn’t we term these same sex relationships “legal partnerships” or “civil unions.”

For those that have a different understanding of a marriage,” a lot of basically the same things can have different terms. This should uphold the rights of both.

Considering  discrimination, we emphasize the areas of race, gender, religion, sexual orientation, national origin — let’s continue to emphasize age, disability/handicap, heath and income!  All human beings deserve kindness and respect, even if not so “productive.” They are still precious in some way.

Our coal industry crisis — why not correlate  steps to protect our environment while developing clean, safer production and use of coal and transitioning to cheaper forms of energy — while retraining employees thus preserving employment to a degree and preserving a way of life while we all adjust to this transition.

In short, a lot can be accomplished through mutual respect and consideration.  Can’t we agree to disagree and still show kindness? This is my opinion.

Mary McKinney



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