Rev. Scott's Letter May 2
Delivered By
Rev. Tom Scott
Delivered On
May 2, 2020
Attached Document



So, I can say that bringing AR 15s to the Michigan Capitol bldg is outrageous and dangerous (and I have), I do question the inadequate official response to that armed assembly gathering (change the race and/or the issue and see what happens—it won’t be fine for armed Flint residents to do it, you can bet). I certainly wonder at the motives and thought processes of the group. Moreover, I have to wonder if they have done any kind of risk/reward analysis. Finally, I have a hard time believing they have much comprehension of what suffering and hardship is made more likely by their position--not just for them, but their families, the people they come in contact with, and the blessed health care workers who struggle heroically to keep up with the patient load. But I have no problem saying that while the facts say those people are wrong and wrong-headed, selfish and uninformed, they have a right to raise their voices loud and proud within the bounds of public safety---although not to do anything they can think of. There is a line between resistance or objections and what is called among psychologists "Oppositional Defiance Disorder" (or, in lighter terms, as Groucho Marx as Quincy Adams Wagstaff, president of Huxley College, sings in "Horsefeathers"..."I don't care what they have to say, it doesn't matter anyway, whatever it is: I'm against it!' --check it out on Youtube)

Now there’s a lot more to say about the how’s and the whys of these protests and the outcomes attached to following through on what’s demanded; but within bounds, raising cain on this matter is just good old first amendment stuff. Close to the 50th anniversaries or Kent State and Jackson State, I don't want to forget where labeling protesters as enemies leads. I think they’re nuts, and don’t want to do anything that endangers even them, but I will defend to the death, as was said long ago, their right to say it. They may be pig-headed, self-destructive fools that the rest of us have to avoid at all costs, but it is not un-American or illegal to hold their view (immoral is another category, at least for me).

Part of what makes me tired these days are the endless claims, direct or indirect, that viewpoints other than one’s own are not merely mistaken or perhaps wrong but are obviously the fruit of mental deficiency or madness (my remark above implying the contrary in this case not withstanding). Disagreements are fast becoming difficult to deal with in politics and public policy precisely because these differences are more and more frequently laden with political party views and power relations.

I also am convinced that those protesters have a warped and insufficient sense of civic duty and community spirit, and not much appreciation of what medical professionals and others have to endure because of what seems to me to be more than selfishness. The consequences of ideas and positions matter, so there is a moral dimension here because of the risks for others, the demands on our public resources, and the wear and tear on our health care people. So, precisely because I think their views are so wrong-headed and dangerous, I want to be careful not to deny them the right to express them.


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