LETTER: Perry’s ‘Red Hen’ diatribe a red herring for news

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EDITOR: I have a few items to respond to Editor Dave Perry’s Red Hen column —  PERRY: How far does the Trump regime have to go before it’s cool to push back like the French Resistance, the Von Trapps and Minnie? — from June 26.
It is clear from his verbiage choices that he is not a Trump nor a Republican supporter.
That is fine, it’s OK by me, I have no issue with open, civil and honest dialogue with him nonetheless.
He claims not to understand the difference in the deeply held convictions of, as he puts it, a homophobic cake baker, and the deeply held political convictions of the Red Hen owners.  Allow me to help him with that.
The cake baker in Colorado did not fully refuse all services to the gay couple. He offered any of the plain uncustomized by him cakes in his store.  They refused this offer. He simply refused to make them a customized cake.   This cake baker had a known history of refusing to groups that did not agree with his religious beliefs, not just his “deeply held convictions”.
The gay couple then appealed to the Colorado state business ethics commission to force the baker to their will, regardless of his religious beliefs. This was unconstitutional at the federal and state levels.
As I am sure you will recall from civics classes/government law classes, the government can not dictate what an individual or groups of individuals do or not do, due to held religious beliefs.
This is also colloquially referred to as “separation of church and state”.
Political opinions do not rank equally with religious beliefs and are not protected by the Constitution.  Conversely, as states can make laws more stringent than federal law, some states, which it looks like Virginia, have laws against discrimination based on political positions/opinions.
So there is actually a world of difference, legally speaking, between the cake baker in Colorado (protected) on his actions, and the owner of the Red Hen, (not only not protected, but quite possibly prohibited).
It is also troubling, that he, as an editor, comes out publicly in support of Maxine Waters rhetoric that urges people at a minimum to continue to treat Republicans of all likes, the way the owner of the Red Hen did to Sarah Sanders.
Participating in this kind of public rhetoric is dangerous and toxic, and can lead to “unanticipated violence”.
As to Perry’s other sweeping accusations, that it’s a “Trump Regime”, yet you say things like “possible treason”, without articulating what acts are treasonous, or even other “outright crimes”.
Making these vague accusations is wonderful business for headlines and selling copies, but last I checked, journalism ethics require two confirmed, separate sources for claims such as this. Yes, you wrote an op-ed, but too many people confuse op-eds for actual stories.
Yes, I voted for Trump.  I do not own a MAGA hat, nor am I a “sycophanted fan/supporter” of Trump.
What I fail to see is why it is so urgent to call for violence, (Michael Moore), or even you to support Waters’ rhetoric, versus calling for calm, reasoned, rational behavior and communication and research.
I get it that you and many others are not Trump fans…. I’m not a fan of everything he tweets/says.  But tweeting/saying is also a world of difference legally between passing “laws” like the “Enabling Act” Hitler passed in Germany in 1933.
That hasn’t happened here, nor will it, God willing.  I politely request that in the future, Perry move away from the hyperbole in his editorials, and stay closer to supporting his “opinions” with actual verifiable facts.
— Jason Clarke via [email protected]