ballston-journal-opinion

Letter to the Editor: Now What? Here’s What.

The good Pastor represents the best of ideals and with full confidence I believe the words he wrote flowed from his heart (Letter to the Editor: We condemned hate, now what?). The subject to which he wrote resides largely within the arena of his specialty. It should also reside with each individual as well. That is where my agreement ends with Pastor Thompson however.

We have laws on the books to deal with crimes perpetrated. Violence, intimidation and even murder are illegal regardless of the reasons given for it. We also have laws on the books to heighten penalties for crimes based on hate to assist in dissuading crimes under those circumstances. In theory, I personally disagree with these attempts to differentiate these crimes. I believe murder is murder and hate is hate regardless of reasoning, but I digress.

My objection to the Board action to condemn hate is that it was a waste of the village time and resources. No action is derived from it other than what amounts to a political statement. So great, we now know the Village board does not agree with hate. I propose that this ideology is an ethical one that is a given. Should the alternative exist, I assume the officials would be held accountable at the ballot box. After all, thought is not a crime. Even disgusting thought at that.

I put forward a thought that I shared not long ago. If I want to obtain a proper permit and shout from the street corner “I hate purple skin-colored spaghetti worshippers”, I have that right. Of course, at the same time, I would be violating a societal norm and accepted practice or behavior. As such, I would be ostracized for breaking the social convention which is far and away a much more effective deterrent. Now, if I were to be wielding weapons and effecting violent or dangerous behavior- then, a line is crossed.

Dear pastor, I thank you for continuing your mission of peace. It is expected and appreciated. But the mission you attempt to champion is one for society to practice, not our Village board.

I do not practice “white guilt” or shame for my background and heritage. Pastor Thompson, you referenced Dr. King in your letter. If I may, I too celebrate his ideals. To paraphrase one of the more pronounced of those, we should judge others by their actions and not by how they look (or think). I suggest this is a far more powerful and universal axiom than his call for streams of justice

Bottom line, I support your call for an end to hate and racism. I support your right to feel guilt. I support your rights, period! What I do not support is duplicative, redundant, powerless, and in the end, useless action by our government representatives taken for the purpose of political correctness.

John Lombardo
Ballston Spa

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