Wow, those are some petty grievances

We must live in a very safe, secure little enclave if we can find the time to write about such petty grievances.

I read the letters to the editor in the May 21 edition of The NEWS. I thought we must live in a very safe, secure little enclave if we can find the time to write about such petty grievances.

One writer supports MP James Lunney because he believes in the literal truth of creationism. That’s fine. People can believe what they want to believe. If one wants to believe in Bible stories of creationism, talking snakes and virgin birth, that’s fine. I don’t believe in any of that.

Lunney’s mistake was his desire to use those beliefs as a foundation for laws that apply to the rest of us, and that is not fine.

Another writer complains that the neighbours don’t share his idea of a “nice lawn.” Personally, I don’t like golf or golf courses and don’t want to live on a property that resembles one. I find the use of chemicals, the waste of water, the noise and pollution of lawn mowers offensive.

I prefer cedars, firs, salal, Oregon grape and beach grass. But my neighbours can do what they want with their lawns, and so should I be able to do what I like with mine.

A third writer pities Alberta’s newly elected premier Rachel Notley for not having business people to chose from in her cabinet. He lists a great diversity of talents from which she has to choose. What an opportunity.

Surely the writer is intelligent enough to know that the Alberta government has a policy staff and a civil service who are competent and capable of transitioning the new government. There is a right-wing media mantra of “business equals good; government equals bad,” therefore government can only function when it is run like a business. This is but one opinion.

The people of Alberta told Conservative leader Jim Prentice that this opinion is not wanted in Alberta any more. Sure, business needs business people. Government is not business, and does not require only business people to run effectively.

In all these letters, the writers ask “why can’t everyone think and behave like me?” What a boring world that would be.

We need to choose bigger issues of concern. We need to keep out cultures that do not cherish freedom of speech, the rights of individuals, whatever their beliefs, and retain the separation between organized religions and the state. If not for these fundamental rights, we wouldn’t be free to air our petty grievances.

David MitchellQualicum Beach

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