Yesterday, the Washington Times featured an article on the continuing controversies about the Christmas displays on the Leesburg Courthouse grounds. Supervisor Ken Reid weighed in, blasting Atheists and others who object to this year’s County-sponsored display as the promotion of specific religious beliefs and a violation of the separation of church and state. “They’re hell bent on trying to destroy people’s holidays,” Reid was quoted as saying. “None of the religious organizations in the county have had any problem with what we’re doing. It’s strictly this group of terrorists. They’re fanatics who basically want to stamp out religion in all public life and property.”
Evan Macbeth, Chair of the Loudoun County Democrats, issued the following statement in response to the Washington Times article, and Mr. Reid’s comments therein:
“The Loudoun County Democrats support the right of all people to worship (or not) the religion of their choosing. Furthermore, the LCDC strongly objects to the use of the word “terrorist” when describing any peaceful protestor. In a post-9/11 world, “terrorist” is among the most incendiary terms one can use. To use it in a casual manner, to describe a fellow citizen who disagrees with you on matters of politics or public policy, is irresponsible and offensive.
“Terrorist” is fraught with meaning in Loudoun, where many members of our community forever bear the scars of friends and family lost on 9/11, and of those lost in the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan. I was shocked and saddened to learn of Supervisor Reid using that term to attack members of our community standing up for their personal beliefs. Mr. Reid is appealing to the basest instincts of his constituents, using the politics of division and hate.
We in Loudoun are better than this, and we deserve better from our representatives on the Board. No elected official should ever accuse any American exercising his or her constitutional rights of being a ‘terrorist.’ It is irresponsible, and it is despicable.”
The full Washington Times story can be found here: http://www.washingtontimes.com/news/2012/nov/26/leesburgs-christmas-distinctly-american/?page=2