Vision statement is tyranny of the minority

| September 10, 2020 1:00 AM

The vision statement recently adopted by the Bonners Ferry City Council, rather than allowing for freedom of conscience, instead effectively binds the conscience of every resident of the city (and by extension, the county) to publicly approve of certain lifestyle choices that most residents do not practice or condone.

It gives way to a “tyranny of the minority” which endeavors to use its social, political, and moral agenda to commit all residents to inclusivity as defined by that minority.

The statement purports to be non-discriminatory. But specific choices were made concerning what to include and exclude, and so it is implicitly discriminatory. For example, the statement lists “sex” as a factor, but then lists “gender identity” specifically as an issue. At best, that is redundant; at worst, it is an effort to restrict what people are publicly committed to support if they use the statement. The statement is only of value to those who share that viewpoint, not to everyone who lives here, and therefore it is useless.

If Bonners Ferry feels compelled to have a vision statement, let the word “all” stand on its own merits. I urge the council to strike the last sentence of the statement and amend as follows: “Bonners Ferry, ‘The Friendliest City’, welcomes the participation of all residents toward the goal of achieving balanced growth, building on community strengths, respecting natural resources, promoting excellence in government, and valuing our quality of life.”

LEONARD PINE

Bonners Ferry