LETTER TO THE EDITOR: Where are the ‘tyranny’ or ‘Marxist agendas’ in Stanly County?

Published 4:10 pm Wednesday, May 4, 2022

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Thanks to all of the candidates who took the time to provide information to voters about their personal experiences and for sharing their views on how they would approach their duties if elected.

While I found most of the candidates’ responses to be knowledgeable and thoughtful, a number of views were expressed which I found frightening.

For example, several candidates identified as “Christian Constitutional Conservatives” while at the same time expressing strong support for “second amendment rights” and promising to protect citizens’ freedoms from the “tyranny” of “Marxist agendas.”

This language brought to my mind the horrifying images of Jan. 6, 2021, when a mob of citizens wearing MAGA hats and carrying crosses and pictures of Jesus stormed the Capitol intent on disrupting Congress’ certification of Joe Biden as the legitimately elected president in 2020. Such language strikes me as a proverbial dog whistle to those attempting to weaponize Christianity to justify violence to achieve one’s political goals.

Where do these candidates see “tyranny” and “Marxist agendas” operating in Stanly County?

If these references were to health mandates which were put into place during the pandemic, we must remember that those mandates were not intended to curtail anyone’s freedom, but to protect vulnerable people, including school children, from a deadly virus.

Doesn’t a Christian perspective recognize that under such conditions, protecting others is a way of caring?

Since personal freedom is an important right, whose freedoms are you intending to protect?

Only the freedoms of those with whom you agree theologically or politically?

What about the freedom of LGBTQ youth in our community to participate in athletic teams of their choice or to receive gender-appropriate health care?

What about the freedoms of parents and children of color to have American history taught in a way that recognizes the cruelty of slavery and Jim Crow laws, and the effects that these experiences still have on our Black citizens?

Teaching history from the perspective of marginalized peoples is not about teaching children to hate America.

I was heartened to see several candidates promise to listen to the citizens of the county in making policy decisions.

Will you truly listen to and respect citizens who hold theological and political views which may radically differ from yours?

We do not deserve to be threatened, demonized or accused of promoting tyranny or wanting to destroy democracy.

I am always inspired by stories in the SNAP of citizens who find creative ways to reach out and help others, whether it’s raising funds for refugees fleeing Ukraine, supporting a family with a seriously ill child or working together to fight hunger and addiction.

There are lots of good folks in this county, so let’s try a radical experiment.

Let’s enter this election season resolving to curb incendiary language, to really listen to each other and to have honest and respectful discussions about how to promote the well-being of all residents in Stanly County.

Anne Lipe