Thursday, March 11, 2010

Letter to the Editor: Sentinel & Enterprise

To the Editor:

Ward 4 Councilor Kevin Starr, speaking at a recent City Council meeting about pro-lifers who oppose a Planned Parenthood proposal to open an office in the city, said that he “will not tolerate those morals being pushed on me and these members of the Council” and added that people should “keep their personal beliefs to themselves.” Apparently Mr. Starr doesn’t believe that he should keep his personal beliefs to himself.

Mr. Starr has a distorted notion of tolerance. Tolerance is the willingness to accept actions which we believe are inappropriate or even wrong because it would be worse to take action against them. In other words, tolerance is community oriented. But to tolerate crimes such as rape and murder (and abortion is murder) would be wrong since tolerating them would do greater harm to the community, to the common good, than correcting them would.

I submit that Mr. Starr is not really advocating “tolerance” but relativism, which is profoundly anti-community. Why is relativism anti-community? Because if there are no standards of morality to which we should adhere, tolerance is no better than intolerance. It was C.S. Lewis who reminded us that, “…if truth is objective, if we live in a world we did not create and cannot change merely by thinking, if the world is not really a dream of our own, then the most destructive belief we could possibly believe would be the denial of this primary fact. It would be like closing your eyes while driving, or blissfully ignoring the doctor’s warnings.” (“The Poison of Subjectivism,” in Christian Reflections).

Not long after the City Council meeting, Mr. Starr maintained that some of the pro-life advocates are “narrow-minded.” This was obviously intended as an insult. But Mr. Starr may have inadvertently paid the highest tribute to these pro-lifers. After all, reality is terribly narrow. It was the Christ who warned us to, “Enter through the narrow gate; for the gate is wide and the road broad that leads to destruction, and those who enter through it are many. How narrow the gate and constricted the road that leads to life. And those who find it are few.” (Matthew 7: 13, 14).

Perhaps Mr. Starr is too “broad-minded”?

Related reading here.


Marie Tremblay said...

Mr. Starr is every bit as intolerant as those in the Massachusetts Legislature who would criminalize moral opposition toward homosexuality.

Ted Loiseau said...

Kevin Starr is an embarassment to Fitchburg City government. I second the call for his resignation.

Paul Anthony Melanson said...

In his book Catholicism and Modernity, Professor James Hitchcock explained the role of the media in the process of manipulating people to accept secularism: "The media's alleged commitment to 'pluralism' is at base a kind of hoax. The banner of pluralism is raised in order to win toleration for new ideas as yet unacceptable to the majority. Once toleration has been achieved, public opinion is systematically manipulated first to enforce a status of equality between the old and the new, then to assert the superiority of the new over the old. A final stage is often the total discrediting, even sometimes the banning, of what had previously been orthodox."

I don't know if my letter will ever see the light of day at the Sentinel & Enterprise. The Worcester Telegram & Gazette has censored my letters in the past.

So much for the marketplace of ideas.

Michael Cole said...

I find it morally offensive that Councilor Starr believes he has the right to exclude pro-lifers while arrogantly asserting that the pro-life viewpoint has no place being discussed. What exactly is his message? That Fitchburg is now a dictatorship where a ruling oligarchy decides who will be permitted to speak and who won't.

Fitchburg needs to get rid of Councilor Starr immediately. He has very strange ideas about political life and the local community.

Eric Levan said...

Join the effort to promote life in Greater Fitchburg:

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