Parade should unite

Letter to the editor

Posted: Thursday, July 22, 2004

I am sure the 4th of July parade committee is trying to make this parade a thing that brings all people together and doesn't offend and divide based on distasteful politics. This parade, after all, is a celebration of our country; it is a time to put all of our differences aside and be thankful for the freedoms we do have.

I was offended by some of the participants in the parade and felt like giving them a piece of my mind, but held back out of respect for the event itself and the other people and their families watching. Had Bill Clinton still been president I would have been just as offended if someone was disrespecting his position as president in this parade. This is called class and respect for others' beliefs, which these entrants obviously do not have.

It is laughable when activists cry out freedom of speech for everything they agree with, and want to ban everything they don't agree with, such as saying God in school, which by the way is also a public place. Mr. Loomis, I don't hear you crying foul about this. If a real controversial group was to apply for entry into the parade, such as the skinheads or the neo-Nazis, I bet all the same people who are against screening entrants would want them banned from the parade.

Everyone has a right to believe what they want, and these controversial groups have rights to express their beliefs as well, if you follow the same arguments the activists are using. If anyone can enter, you are going to end up with entries such as the National Organization of Pedophiles (North American Man/Boy Love Association), or some offbeat bestiality group in the future as an extreme example, and who knows what else?

If these political activists want to march in a parade, have them organize their own parade, and leave the 4th of July parade alone so it can be enjoyed by all and bring the community together and not divide it because of bad taste and biased political agendas.

Matt Keopple

Juneau



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