Opinion: We do it daily, protect the First
The advertising supplement in last week’s paper, the one placed by Tri-Grace Ministries, created something of a minor firestorm in our community and in our offices. Callers and writers found it to be alternately insulting, offensive, questionable, in poor taste and even of descriptions not suited for inclusion in a family newspaper. We understand how polarizing religion can be, but we never anticipated the reaction to one ministry’s interpretation of another’s. To be sure, the advertising supplement, which Current accepted under the auspices of freedom of speech, is in no way, shape or form Current’s point of view; that belongs strictly to Tri-Grace Ministries. The First Amendment, which Current supports at every opportunity where others might not, solidly protects Tri-Grace Ministries’ right to free speech and its exercising of that right. The advertising supplement is Tri-Grace’s interpretation of another religion’s doctrine. Current has no agenda with respect to Tri-Grace’s writings, nor will it have any agenda with respect to any religion. We have had several discussions with worshippers and officials the last few days. There is incredible, laudable passion out there, and some of that is reflected in today’s paper and on our web sites and Facebook pages. Those published missives, too, are representative of our quest to promote and protect the First Amendment, something that never will wane on our watch. To those who called or wrote on the topic, we appreciate that you did so, and we value your candor.
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We’re certain you read or heard the recent report about the Obama administration’s madcap plan to increase the eligibility for overtime compensation to approximately five million additional Americans. The notion struck us more severely than an exposed tooth nerve. Businesses and industry groups felt much the same, admonishing the administration with regard to the potential for shortened work hours and receding job growth; employers will look for ways to cap costs, as it is simply smart business to do so.