Goshen News, Goshen, IN

Opinion

December 26, 2012

First Amendment frees writers to have their say

Each year as we look back at the events in our community we see a commonality that links this year with years gone by — a vigorous and sincere community dialogue on issues.

Whether it be politics, crime, social issues, fish fry fundraisers or the environment, our readers have had something to say about local developments this past year. We know this because on this page we publish as many letters to the editor as we can each week.

As of today, we have published 356 letters on about as many topics. Of course, the presidential and congressional elections drew a lot of written comments from our readers this year, but a host of other issues were in play on the editorial page as the year passed.

The United States has a unique tolerance for public opinion as expressed through free speech by its citizens. The Founding Fathers made a wise decision when they drafted, and then approved, the 1st Amendment, which states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

Unfortunately, many people around the world do not have these basic, God-given protections for their thoughts and words. Instead, governments around the globe often come down hard on anyone who questions why things are the way they are. This obstruction of liberty is very noticeable when it comes to journalists.

The Committee to Protect Journalists reported earlier this month that 232 journalists have been jailed this year for practicing their craft. Simply attending a pro-Kurdistan rally in Turkey and asking people why they are there and what they believe in can lead to imprisonment for journalists. Turkey has the horrible distinction of imprisoning the most journalist (49) this year. It seems Turkish authorities don’t appreciate people asking questions about the treatment of Kurds in Turkey.

There is a close link between the freedoms given journalists in a country and the freedoms given to citizens of that country. In the United States we are very fortunate that the Founding Fathers embraced the liberty of personal and collective thought and wrote it into the Bill of Rights. Without their foresight, the United States would be a very different and darker place to live.

1
Text Only
Opinion
  • OUR VIEW: Always take depression seriously Few celebrity deaths have had the emotional global impact than that of actor/comedian Robin Williams, who committed suicide on Aug. 11 at his home in Tiburon, California. He was 63 years old. Anybody who happened to be on social media that day knows

    August 20, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: ‘Spirits’ return to state fair Brad Hawkins felt right at home hawking his beer at the Indiana State Fairgrounds last week. When Hawkins opened his Salt Creek Brewery in a converted filling station in tiny Needmore three years ago, some tee-totaling neighbors protested he was putt

    August 18, 2014

  • GN140807 ox bow tower groundbreaking 01 OUR VIEW: Ox Bow tower brings our community together There’s something to be said for a new beginning. There’s a freshness, an excitement about leaving certain failures and traumas behind as we take clear and confident steps toward better and stronger tomorrows. That’s our take on what happened this pa

    August 11, 2014 2 Photos

  • Public safety workers close ranks around gay, lesbian colleagues INDIANAPOLIS – Jason Miller has spent 15 years in a job he loves. He’s an emergency medical technician working two jobs as a first responder, and he’s training to become a firefighter in Kokomo. Miller loves the reward of helping others, he said, and

    August 11, 2014

  • Funds, public likely to decide personnel issue Goshen city government department heads made good arguments last week why they need more funding for services. But it’s unlikely the City Council can meet all the requests, or perhaps none of them.Department superintendents and police and fire chiefs

    August 3, 2014

  • Public notices help government transparency Government units inform Americans about important actions taken or contemplated by placing public notice advertisements, or “legals,” in newspapers. This practice, as old as the United States, is no less valuable in an electronic age than it was when

    August 2, 2014

  • MORTON MARCUS: The nation’s higher education funding mess cannot continue Public higher education financing is unsustainable as currently configured. This conclusion was reached by two important groups over the past two years. The National Association of State Budget Officers and the State Higher Education Executive Office

    July 30, 2014

  • MAUREEN HAYDEN: 9/11 Commission chair scolds Congress Retired Congressman Lee Hamilton has warned of the perils of political ideology, calling the body where he spent 34 years “noxiously partisan.” Now, he worries the divide is downright dangerous. A co-chairman of the 9/11 Commission, Hamilton and fell

    July 28, 2014

  • GN140725 fair faces flowers 2 OUR VIEW: Another great fair is in the books Here at The Goshen News there are always mixed feelings when the Elkhart County 4-H Fair concludes for the year. On one hand, we’re as exhausted as anybody. This year’s nine-day event kicked off on July 18 and ran seemingly non-stop until the Mad Bom

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Full STEAM ahead for Fairfield Fairfield Community School students and parents are enjoying their summer holiday and the Elkhart County 4-H Fair this week, but looking ahead to the coming school year, there are big decisions to be made that will impact their lives.The school board

    July 26, 2014

Parade
Magazine

Click HERE to read all your Parade favorites including Hollywood Wire, Celebrity interviews and photo galleries, Food recipes and cooking tips, Games and lots more.
AP Video
Okla. Policeman Accused of Sex Assaults on Duty Raw: Egypt Bus Crash Kills at Least 33 Two Bodies Found in Adjacent Yards Dominican Republic Bans Miley Cyrus Concert Raw: Israeli Air Strike in Gaza Raw: Rescue Efforts Suspended at Japan Landslide Raw: Bodies of MH17 Victims Arrive in Malaysia Raw: Smaller Marches in Ferguson Marathon Suspect's Friend Pleads Guilty Attorney: Utah Eatery Had Other Chemical Burn Farm Resurgence Grows With Younger Crowd Microbrewery Chooses Special Can for Its Beer Ky. Firefighters Hurt in Ice Bucket Challenge Federal Investigation Will Look at Use of Force Community Deals With Michael Brown Aftermath US: We Do Not Pay Ransom to Terrorists Ferguson Teachers Training to Deal With Trauma Jon Hamm on the Unrest in Ferguson Tit for Tat? McDonald's Shuttered in Moscow Life on the Professional Video Game Circuit
Poll

Three Goshen elementary schools — Chandler, Chamberlain and West Goshen — are providing free meals to all students during the school year as part of the U.S. Department of Agriculture’s Community Eligibility Provision of the Healthy Hunger-Free Kids Act of 2010. Nearly 80 percent of students at Chandler, 89 percent of students at Chamberlain and 78 percent of students at West Goshen already qualify for free or reduced-price lunches based on their family income. How do you feel about the new lunch program?

I think it’s a good idea to feed all the students free of charge
I think those who can afford it should pay for their school meals
I think all students should be required to pay for their school meals
     View Results