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Our readers write — letters to the editor

Our readers write — letters to the editor

Posted: Wednesday, December 10, 2008 9:06 pm

 ‘Censorship’ draws criticism To The Editor: It was chilling to read the sentiments of those who advocate punishment for artistic expression. Without exception, the hallmark of totalitarian regimes has been censorship of free speech by special interests who want exclusive control of the political, religious, economic, and artisitic lives of its citizens. The founding fathers understood this concept all too well. A representative democracy with our constitutionally mandated system of checks and balances, though at times unwieldly, is the best defense we have against the tyranny of imposed agenda. The framers recognized through their experiences with the virtually limitless power of the English monarchy, the institutional theocracy of the Church of England, and the infallibility dogma of the Vatican that dictatorial power held unchecked by the few (oligarchy) must be curbed. The first amendment not only guarantees freedom of religion, but also freedom from religion. Furthermore, freedom of expression in the strict sense is guaranteed against governmental interference. It is in the spirit of the amendment as practiced within society, especially at a state-funded university where the free exchange of ideas and the ability for artistic freedom is essential for education, that true freedom is realized. Art is not merely an interpretation, subject to minority or even majority validation, but rather a universal portrayal of the human condition in all its complexities. Art may not always be perceived as beautiful, but without artistic freedom, truth in art will be suppressed, ultimately to everyone’s detriment. The fact remains the consumer may choose to visit or not visit an art exhibit, website, movie theater, bookstore or television channel. It is anathema in a democracy to stifle creativity. Down that road lies the blandness and blackness of authoritarian rule. The founding fathers recognized the clear and ever present danger of governmental censorship. That is why the judiciary of our nation uphold the essense of the first amendment, protecting us from the encroaching oppression of those who would define our aesthetics for us. Robert Jarvis Union City OC schools draw praise for grade To The Editor: I would like to congratulate the students of the Obion County Schools on the “A” they received from the state. I would also like to commend the teachers and staff for their dedication and hard work. If it were not for hard work from the students and teachers this would not have been possible. I would also like to applaud David Huss for his work on improving education for county students, along with the school board. I have been to school board meetings and seen and heard the work Mr. Huss does to improve education. Now, maybe Mr. Huss would like to retract the statement he made several months ago. I quote, “The students of Obion County are NOT taking advantage of their educational opportunities.” That statement was the reason the graduating seniors from this past May showed you the lack of respect they did during graduation. In my opinion, they had every right to do what they did, so keep graduation on the football field. Barry Sowell Mt. Zion community Published in The Messenger 12.10.08

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