Daily Hampshire Gazette - Established 1786
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Paul Redstone: ‘Silence is an enemy of change’

To the editor:

I saw the PVPA production of “The Most Fabulous Story Ever Told” and I observed the protests. One particular sign caught my interest and made me think further about the event. The sign read: “You wouldn’t do a parody of Muslims.”

My answer is that if I were a Muslim and heard some Muslim religious leaders or groups not respecting all human beings equally, I would support similar efforts to criticize and promote change. Criticism ideally comes from within a culture and is most potent if that is the source.

However, I am part of the Judeo-Christian tradition, and strongly object to behavior and expressions by Jews and Christians that violate the sanctity of the individual, and promote actions that interfere with the equal treatment of all peoples regardless of their differences. These objections do not negate the core value of a particular faith. They seek to alter some ideas that are harmful toward others and at times may even violate the law of the land.

Often the finest critiques of these apparent “flaws” in religious expression are to be found in the theater, poetry, music and literature, in general. All social and religious groups at times need this kind of prodding.

Silence is an enemy of change. Hopefully this will nudge us all toward basic values of love, tolerance and respect of all peoples.

Paul Redstone

Northampton

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