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Letters to the editor Thursday (12-18-14)

What about officer’s right of free speech and his career?

Last Friday Ken Hardin and his fellow “activists” got their way and a 22-year veteran of the Salisbury Police Department had his career destroyed. Why? Because Officer Torrence had posted a personal opinion on his personal Facebook page. Only a few have seen the actual post so its nature is open to question.

What is also open to question is when the First Amendment stopped applying to police officers in their private lives, and is destruction of someone’s professional career the appropriate punishment for voicing a possibly controversial opinion?

Since so few of us have seen the actual post we are left to rely on others. Mr. Hardin and his fellow activists felt it was racist. That’s their opinion. Chief Collins did not agree but felt it violated other department policies and regulations. Either way, the result is the same. Torrence’s law enforcement career is probably over. It will take a police chief or sheriff with a lot of courage to hire Torrence with this on his professional record. That seems awfully extreme to me.

Is this the new face of the 21st century? Back in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, “activists” — mostly in the South — held court on black men who had offended them, tried, convicted and executed the victims. It was called lynching and remains a black spot on our national heritage. What’s going on now seems eerily similar, although far from as extreme. Today a small, unelected group of “activists” can destroy a police officer’s career because they are offended by his/her opinions or even actions.

I have to wonder when Mr. Hardin and his fellow “activists” protested an attack on police officers. Or when they publicly condemned “No Snitch” t-shirts. Or led the community in support of the police in combating crime in their own neighborhoods. I read the Post daily and I don’t remember those “activist” campaigns.

— Jack Burke

Salisbury

Response from a non-believer

This is in response to Ellie Mae Lambert’s recent letter, “Theory about non-Christians.”

I am a “non-Christian.” I have no intention of selling everything I have and giving all the money I get to the poor any more than any Christian does. I can’t understand why anyone wants to believe all that hooey — believe in a God that has a burning lake of fire to burn alive most of the world’s billions, some of them their own family members, for all eternity, just because they honestly don’t believe in a god or believe in a hundred gods? You are going to fry forever because you don’t believe sticks turned into snakes, millions of animal species rode on one boat; Jesus Christ performed miracles, the sun stood still and on another occasion went backwards. What kind of monster is that to worship? How anybody can believe all that is just insane.

In my opinion, after many years of experience, a dirty little kitten, abandoned by its mother in front of the hardware store on Trade Street in Charlotte, is worth more than 10 drunks, 10 drug dealers, 10 sneak thieves, 10 liars, 10 bigmouths, 10 insurance companies, 10 lawyers, 10 politicians, 10 used car salesmen, 10 insurance cheats, and 50 preachers.

Parting shot: “Can the believing husband in heaven be happy with his unbelieving wife in hell? Can the believing father in heaven be happy with his unbelieving children in hell? Can the loving wife in heaven be happy with her unbelieving husband in hell? I tell you, yea! Such will be their sense of justice that it will increase rather than diminish their bliss.” — Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758), colonial theologian, president of Harvard University

— R. Howard Andrews

Spencer

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