Insults do not help discussion

To the Editor,

I appreciate spirited debate on matters of public interest, especially when a position is based on incontrovertible fact and argued with reason and logic. I agree with Tom Snow (Writer has had enough with city leaders, Mount Airy News, July 25, 3018) that from all appearances, our local governance here in Mount Airy is in crisis, with crucial decisions being made out of the public view and/or in unseemly haste rather than based on a consensus of the citizenry’s best interests and in support of the city’s infrastructure and growth.

However, my mild nods of agreement stopped short at this line, referencing the decision-making process of “three of the commissioners,” “And for those using spiritual guidance, they must be praying to Buddha or Mohammad.” Apparently the author intended this comment as a highly personalized slur as to the religious orientation of the commissioners with whom he disagrees.

It is, of course, problematic in any context to mischaracterize an individual’s spiritual beliefs; and profoundly offensive to do so by confounding and then impugning two of the world’s most prominent faiths with hundreds of millions of followers, including almost certainly, some in Surry County.

Insult undermines even a well-reasoned argument. I hope that Tom Snow regretted this comment once it appeared in print and will apologize for it, if not to the commissioners, then, to the faith communities of Mt. Airy.

Holly Lu Conant Rees

Mount Airy