To the editor:
The response to recent events at Grace Community Church has been disappointing (apart from Beth Wheeler’s letter). When a community such as LGBTQ+ individuals have suffered discrimination and hatred over the years, it is natural enough to see hatred behind events. We must all support the rights of LGBTQ+ people to be respected and live unthreatened in our town. On the other hand, the removal of the unauthorized pride flags was surely within the church’s rights as the property owner. Given their statement that as a rule they allow no displays, we ought not to simply assume that hatred must be the reason. I hope all of us can try to think the best, rather than the worst, about others, although I certainly don’t claim that I consistently live up to this standard.
As a selectman years ago, I occasionally heard citizens ascribe motives to me incorrectly. As a homeowner, I have removed small American flags that someone placed in my lawn without asking permission, but I certainly don’t think I’m anti-American.
When vandalism followed the publicity given to the flag removal, that should have become the focus of our concern. So at this juncture, people of good will should stand with Grace Community Church in their right to live and worship freely and peaceably according to the dictates of their consciences and beliefs without fear of hatred, prejudice or attacks.
I am writing on my own behalf, not as a representative of any of the organizations of which I am a member.
John E. Whipple