2017-02-24 / Letters

Who’s the bully?

To the editor:

I’m writing in response to John Howard’s letter to the editor published in last week’s paper, labeling me a “bully” and a “coward,” and suggesting that, as a self-professed atheist, I don’t have call to quote scripture.

Wow. Where to begin?

Mr. Howard, by your simplistic illogic, only those who purport to subscribe to any particular faith would be allowed to repeat any of its passages and/or scripture. Just because I don’t espouse to the Christian faith, doesn’t mean that I don’t adhere to certain of its tenets, such as “Do unto others, as you would have done unto you.” By your argument, Christ himself shouldn’t have made that statement, as it was apparently ascribed to Confucius, who stated it 500 years earlier: “Do not impose on others what you do not wish for yourself.”

My point in quoting both the Bible and a respected theologian – which I’m sure was fairly obvious to the less myopic – was to illustrate the need for people to do more than pay lip service to their faith, and to truly look after our precious natural resources, and protect them against those who would prefer to rape the earth for financial gain.

As for Mr. Howard’s defense of Portland Montreal Pipeline, and his subsequent disparagement of my character, how can one be labeled a bully for standing up to a bully?

Mr. Howard says that I railed against Portland Montreal Pipeline for having the “temerity” for standing up for what it believes to be its rights under the law.

First off, let’s look at that word “temerity.” Merriam- Webster tells us that the Latin root of this word is “temere,” which means “recklessly” or “blindly.” A synonym of temerity is “audacity,” which Merriam-Webster tells us “implies a disregard of the restraints commonly imposed by convention or prudence.”

This company lied to all of us by stating it had no intention of importing tar sands to South Portland; that it had no plans to build huge smokestacks at Bug Light, where toxins and poisons would then be belched into our air, so the tar sands it had no idea of pumping here would then be loaded onto tankers for export overseas.

So South Portland stood up for what it believes to be its right under the law, to protect its air, by implementing the Clear Skies Ordinance.

Then Portland Montreal Pipeline sued us, for halting its “non-existent” plans.

Who’s the real bully here, Mr. Howard?

I repeat my battle cry:

Why don’t we just boot them outta South Portland once and for all, and good riddance.

William Duffy-Dufris South Portland

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