Diversity statement affirms everyone’s equality

| July 16, 2020 1:00 AM

You know, I don’t claim to speak for everyone here in Bonners Ferry. However, my predecessors settled in what now is Montpelier, Idaho, circa 1855. Knowing this heritage, I can imagine our Native American hosts find it rather ironic that a bunch of European-American immigrants are arguing over who arrived here first or has lived here the longest.

Last week, approximately five guests (claiming religious values) spoke in opposition to the city of Bonners Ferry’s diversity statement. These speakers were not residents of the city. Two speakers, myself included, spoke in favor of the statement. I’m making the point that city policy should not be formulated by those who do not reside within it.

The Boundary County Human Rights Task Force was founded with the full support of the Boundary County commissioners years ago when it became apparent that seeds of intolerance were being sown. Their foresight is duly noted.

The city’s diversity statement does not endorse any behaviors associated with any citizen’s identity. It merely affirms their equality and access enumerated within the Declaration of Independence.

I encourage all individuals within the local faith community to ask their church leaders whether they are in the business of saving souls or passing judgment. It is my understanding that the latter is reserved for the Almighty, himself.

Where were all the good people of faith, in Germany, when the Nazis were slaughtering God’s chosen people by the millions? Unfortunately, too many of them were Nazi sympathizers or wearing the uniform of the swastika.

GERALD B. HIGGS

Bonners Ferry