Letters to the Editor (11/28/2012)

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Wheelock wonders about response
Dear Editor:
Considering the role opinion columns play in stimulating public discussion and debate, I ordinarily do not respond to criticism of my opinion column, “The Pencil Warrior.” However, in his letter to the editor of Nov. 21, Chris Sichler makes suggestions I find antithetical to an enlightened and democratic society.
Addressing his remarks directly to the editor, Mr. Sichler suggests that “apparently through the commentary you have been publishing, it has been a goal of your paper to alienate as many people in the community as possible. With your Nov. 14 publication of Mr. Wheelock’s column ‘Were 2012 elections irrelevant’ you have succeeded.”
Had Mr. Sichler addressed his criticism to my opinions, that would constitute healthy disagreement of the type democracy embraces. But in suggesting your newspaper should not air views that offend his personal sensibilities Mr. Sichler goes over the line in favor of censorship.
While he doesn’t specify what part of my column offends him, I can only guess, based on his continued scolding of the editor: “Maybe you assumed that Mr. Wheelock’s intellect would speak so far above most of our heads that we just wouldn’t notice, or perhaps maybe (sic) people like myself who worship God just wouldn’t take our nose out of the Bible long enough to read Mr. Wheelock’s article.”
Was it my mention of “the intrusion of religion into government” among my list of issues glossed over during the recent election campaigns that so arouses his ire? If so, I would advise readers to bone up on the consequences of a state religion such as Sharia Law.
Or perhaps by ridiculing my alleged “intellect” Mr. Sichler is echoing the rejection of empirical thought that sadly seems on the upswing across our land. I don’t know that this is the case but I would certainly find this attitude alarming coming from a public official.
Whatever faults or limitations the Defensor Chieftain may have, we would all do well to remember its crucial role as a public institution of democracy, open and responsible to all of Socorro’s citizens.
Dave Wheelock
Socorro