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Ban the books, sound the shofar

August 19, 2022

By Mike  Weland

This crowd that now attends each Boundary County library board meeting to assert its holy righteousness and call down the wrath of heaven upon the sinners and infidels who don't quite share the same righteous fervor have every right ... and I think they should be credited for taking part in the process. Their voices deserve to be heard.

But their voices should not and cannot be lifted to the exclusion of those who disagree. They believe fervently in their God. I am just as certain no deity exists.

No matter how far distant the points of view, there is no room in democratic discourse for debate by intimidation, for volume over logic, for veiled threats over rational discussion.

There is no place for rude behavior. Neighbors discuss, often over a potluck or a glass of sweet iced tea. They don't scream, stomp, boo, jeer, whistle or try to drown out opposing argument. I am ashamed at the erosion in our house of civil discourse.

I wonder what happened to honesty, to friendship. Both have to mean something.

I wish I still had legs on which to stand. I can abide being cripple, but being useless is damned near intolerable. Were I at the recent library meeting disrupted by someone so lacking anything to say that they resorted to blowing a shofar, a discordant instrument made of a ram's horn, my first inclination would be to shove it so far up their gazebo it did little but squeak like a sick, out of tune piccolo.

My second would be to laugh; the shofar was used by the Biblical Jews to announce important ceremonies such as the crowning of a new king, and these Redoubt White Christian Nationalists blowing it seem to be concerned, based on their cadence while they marched in Charlotte in August, 2017, that Jews would not replace them.

I appreciate different points of view, but I reject any ideology that insists that only theirs is correct, especially when an ideology demands loyalty to a person. Persons demanding such loyalty; Stalin, Hitler, Mao Zedong, Joe McCarthy, Donald J. Trump, in all cases prove to be self-serving, egomaniacal liars.

What's threatening this community's library isn't sin, iniquity or a desire to corrupt ... that's just the bellow of the shofur blown by the indignant who consider themselves righteous. It is instead an ardent attempt by a minority empowered by Trump to impose their authoritarian mores on others, to build a strict new world in their own image.

I have been accused of fomenting the crisis now threatening the best small library in the United States, a community treasure, because I wrote of a tort claim. I should not have reported, I'm told, I should not be asking for public records.


But perhaps there would never have been a crisis had we only been open and honest with one another, admitted to mistakes and stood together to do what was right so as to correct our errors and make them right.
Mike Weland

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