'Suggesting that words can't offend is silly' and more letters to the editor

'Suggesting that words can't offend is silly' and more letters to the editor

July 2nd, 2013 in Opinion Letters

A Free Press editorial asked, "... is there anything sillier than being offended by the sounds that come out of someone's mouth?" I'd suggest you ask any child ever cornered in a schoolyard and bombarded with the shrill sounds of the N-word or any young girl called the B-word so often she gradually comes to see herself as fit only for the streets.

Perhaps they could help you realize that being offended is not silly, that it matters very much what we say and hear and what our culture endorses. You could also try reading Lincoln's speeches -- or Hitler's -- to realize the power of words for good and evil.

A culture is reflected by its language. Language is the mirror image of what a culture cares about, what it needs to describe, what it desires and what it produces.

A culture is revealed by its language. More importantly, a culture is shaped by its language. What it talks about, how it talks and writes becomes the culture itself.

Embracing foul language is not a matter of growing up. It's a matter of giving up.

RONA GARY

Ringgold, Ga.

Free Press support of gay marriage troubling

Two weeks ago Free Press opinion page editor Drew Johnson said that history would judge advocates of an exclusive view of marriage with "contempt and disgust." Thursday's celebration of the Supreme Court decisions concerning the redefinition of marriage was slightly more generous but just as troubling.

Troubling because the Free Press celebrates views of equality and liberty which open the door to a host of questions which can no longer be answered with any clarity.

First of all, he leaves entirely open the basic question, what is marriage? If it's simply loving commitment, then in terms of human relationships, are there any limits as to number or gender? Second, if equality is made absolute, is it any longer possible to make legal distinctions, especially when certain distinctions would appear to benefit only those who qualify? Finally, if liberty is the only and final arbiter, what happens when liberty devolves into license? Are there any social standards or definitions besides murder and theft which a libertarian will endorse?

GARY LINDLEY

Lookout Mountain, Ga.

Splash of color is good for Chattanooga

Five stars to John Wise's North Market project. What is wrong with bringing in a splash of San Francisco, Dallas and Atlanta? The developer has no vision for the future.

There was no problem with color in Jefferson Heights. Why do all these people want to keep Chattanooga in the 19th Century?

JIM WOLFE

Guild, Tenn.

The Bible is what defines marriage

Don't you remember? It was Adam and Eve, not Adam and Adam or Eve and Eve.

And you might also remember -- it was Sodom and Gomorrah!

J.B. COLLINS