LETTER: Ending conversation bigger threat than banner

I don’t agree with anti-abortionists, but I especially don’t agree with silencing them.

Re: “Banner is discriminatory and offensive”

I subscribe to the libertarian view that a person who is of sound mind has the inalienable right to have any procedure done to their own bodies; tattooing, scarring, piercings, abortions, etc. Another facet of that philosophy is the right to air their views on such procedures in a public forum. How does it relate to this letter?

I find it curious that an organization that purports to represent people’s right to do what they want to their own bodies would at the same time attempt to restrict the right of free speech of people who take the opposite view on abortion, in effect to tell them to shut up and have their banner taken down, a banner that says “from conception to natural death, respect human life,” a statement that doesn’t meet the standard of demeaning, insulting, inflammatory language by a longshot. The best weapon against speech or ideas you don’t agree with is more speech, not less.

Free speech is uncomfortable and having people make you defend your views is good for our society. I find the trend of using the language of the victim, the tactic of accusing your opponent of shaming, of bullying, calling them deniers, haters,extremists, bigots, to declare their speech discriminatory, judgmental, or dangerous, to end the conversation far more of a threat than any anti-abortion banner. I don’t agree with anti-abortionists, but I especially don’t agree with silencing them.

Conor Jarratt, Castlegar

The banner which flew over Baker St. carried the words “Respect All Human Life.” In the body of the letter, the writer stated at one point that the collective goal of the coalition they wrote on behalf of was “ultimately to respect all human life.” The connotation of the banner was exactly that.

Carolyn Moore, Nelson