Weatherford Democrat


July 9, 2012

EDITORIAL: A return to civility

— A sure sign of democracy at work is an ordinary citizen’s right to participate in public debate.

In small communities all over this country, people exercise this right every day by writing a letter to the editor of their local newspaper.  Thousands of ordinary citizens express their views on subjects both trivial and profound.  Millions of Americans read these letters, either agree or not, reflect on their own views or not, decide to investigate more or not.  Whatever the outcome, Letters to the Editor are your opportunity to share your thoughts with your community, urge action, share thanks, express displeasure or inspire others.

What seems to have been lost in today’s polarized political climate is the notion that rights carry obligations.  At the top of list should be the obligation to be respectful of the right to hold an opposing point of view.

It is unfortunate that our Letters section has devolved to the state that we find today.  To read these letters, one would be led to believe that all conservatives are rich white men out to return us to the days of Medieval servitude or that all liberals are lazy intellectuals bent on turning our country over to the Chinese.  The absurdity of the simplistic generalizations should be obvious.

Unfortunately, some of our contributors use the pages of your paper to wage personal attacks, exaggerate facts and frankly, just be mean.  The demonization of the opposition means that it’s impossible to find those things on which both sides can agree and build from there.  It would do us all good to remember that Ronald Reagan and Tip O’Neal were actually friends.

Joseph Pulitzer once said “A cynical, mercenary, demagogic press will produce in time a people as base as itself.”  I think that is also true for letters to the editor.

So beginning today, we will no longer publish letters that attack the character of another.  Argue policy all you want, just leave out the personal.  If you wish to respond to another letter writer, let us know to what letter you are referring and then state your own position, but again, leave out the attacks.  

Those contributors who want to argue back and forth should do so over a cup of coffee at the Iron Skillet – they’re open 24 hours a day so you will have plenty of time and you may just discover that you have more in common than you thought.

We want our paper to be a reflection of our community.  Surely our community can hold public debate, express our views and respect someone else’s right to hold a different opinion.  Surely we can all agree that name calling never solved anything.  Surely we can agree that people of all political beliefs have a place in public life.

After all, that’s the community we really are.

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  • PASTOR POPHIN: The joy of unity in church

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    July 20, 2014

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  • larry jones cropped:color NOW HEAR THIS: The blessing of memories

    Many years ago, shortly after I retired from the navy, I was sitting around shooting the breeze with my brother David, when he remarked that he regretted never serving in the military and experiencing the things I had seen. Like most of our farmer ancestors, he spent his entire life within five miles of where he grew up. Not unlike our parents, he could also count on the fingers of one hand the number of times he had even been out of the state of Texas and probably have digits to spare.

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  • 0912 one bday wm j kelly 2013 mug.jpg KELLY: What do you think?

    Immigration: Wow! Where are all these illegal boys and girls coming from, and why? The “why” is a big question! I’m sure 5-year-olds are not coming for a better life and income. 

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • tiscione, lou.jpg TISCIONE: Signs and seals

    God gave the church signs and seals. These are called sacraments or holy ordinances. They are both holy and commanded. There are two sacraments instituted by Jesus Christ. They are Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. These sacraments are often referred to as “secondary doctrine.” They are secondary not because they are unimportant. They are secondary because they are not necessary for salvation. 

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Response to 'Blame game'

    Dear Editor: It’s not drug cartels telling Central Americans their children won’t be turned away at the border, it is the actions of this administration with its refusal to secure the border and its unilateral rewriting of immigration law. As has been shown, this president and his administration have for some time lied about the security of the border and immigration enforcement.

    July 17, 2014

  • LETTERS TO THE EDITOR: Sick and tired

    Do you remember hearing Hillary Clinton screaming, “I am sick and tired of people who say if you debate or disagree with this administration somehow you are not patriotic. We should stand up and say, we are Americans and we have a right to disagree with any administration.” Nancy Pelosi said that the swamp needed to be drained and I agree, but I see she and Senator Reid are still splashing around in the slime.

    July 15, 2014

  • larry jones cropped:color NOW HEAR THIS: Paradise Lost

    During this past Fourth of July weekend, I did what I frequently do. I sat in my workshop enjoying a cool breeze, doing absolutely nothing except for trying to stay awake. As I looked to the south toward my shiny aluminum flagpole with Old Glory fluttering in that breeze, I did not feel the great patriotic sense of pride I normally have on this anniversary of the birth of our nation. Instead, I came very close to going out to the pole and lowering our national standard to half-mast to mourn the passing of our once great nation.

    July 13, 2014 1 Photo

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    I take serious exception to Mr. Jay Cloward’s letter, “Big city, no care” (7/8/14) in which he states that it almost looks like the city wants to become a for-profit company and Weatherford has “become a city too big to care.”

    July 13, 2014

  • PASTOR POPHIN: Joy in external conflict

    Do you get the sense that Christians today face increasing opposition from our government concerning our faith and practice? Such issues include: 1) Prayer in school and at other public gatherings are being banned and looked down on; 2) the removal of the 10 Commandments from courthouses throughout our country; and 3) the challenges to the words “one nation under God” appearing in our Pledge of Allegiance. Therefore, we are seeing increased conflict between churches and our government.

    July 13, 2014

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