Lori Hopkins-Cavanagh’s Oct. 16 CT Viewpoints piece on Columbus Day is a caricature of an argument. Her essay is full of errors — from petty math to fundamental facts about American history. Evidently unfamiliar with the First Amendment’s scope, she describes Christianity as “intrinsic” to “our uniquely American liberties.” She says Columbus — who sailed for the king and queen behind the Spanish Inquisition — “is the reason why we are a nation founded by Christians and blessed with the only Constitution in the world where the individual citizen derives their liberties from God, not the government.”
As countries go, the United States is one of the relative youngsters, nevertheless, our constitution is the longest lasting constitution in human history. So, Happy Birthday to the most important document in the life of every American citizen, a document which represents and embodies the freedoms that we have been enjoying for the last 230 years.
Last January, the YWCA Greenwich hosted Why Words Still Matter, a program that explored the rise in hate speech and hate crimes, as well as how a community can monitor and respond to this behavior. A standing-room only crowd of concerned citizens, including high school students attended and engaged in this critically important discussion. Given the recent tragic events in Charlottesville, we want to share with you again the lessons learned at the YWCA Greenwich January forum.
Before the wedding, my mother’ parents, who were high (albeit lax) Episcopalians, came a calling on my father’s parents, who were staunch Irish Catholics. As a safety precaution, my paternal grandmother hid all the sharp knives.
An alarming paradox has taken shape in legislation before Congress: Our representatives would violate Americans’ First Amendment rights in order to protect the State of Israel. This draconian legislation is H.R. 1697/S. 720, the “Israel Anti-Boycott Act,” is a proposed law that could harshly penalize the free speech of Americans who support the international Boycott, Divestments and Sanctions (BDS) movement against Israel.
Imminent state budget cuts means that the hours of staffing that will be lost, the transportation funding that will disappear, the recreation dollars that will not be available, will remove choice and opportunity from the people we serve. These cuts will set our profession back decades in terms of equality, civil rights and equal access for people with intellectual disabilities.
In the 1990’s, I was part of a group of women who wanted to reconcile reproductive choice with disability rights in the then new era of prenatal screening. Some in our group had disabilities such as spina bifida or muscular dystrophy that arose in utero. Others like me had conditions like cerebral palsy that occurred at or after birth but were concerned about ripple effect. Would we all become a new class of illegitimates?
Last Thursday, the Connecticut House of Representatives debated a bill, HB 5434, which would include Connecticut in the National Popular Vote Interstate Compact. When this bill passes in enough states, the NPV Interstate Compact will change the way the American people elect the President of the United States. During the Connecticut House debate, an argument was made that the NPV Compact is an “end run around the Constitution.” This assertion is not true.
What’s true on it is that I was born at 4:44 a.m. Oct. 27, 1967. It’s also true I was born in Norwalk Hospital. And I’m guessing that Eric G. Norrington, MD, who’s listed as the attending physician, really was there.
What’s not true are the names typed in all caps under “Full Name of the Child’s Mother and Father.”
The organizing efforts of black and white abolitionists in the 1800s can provide us with powerful inspiration as we face the dangers of Trump and the Republican majority. That’s one reason on May 18 I will be joining the upcoming celebration of Frederick Douglass’s first visit to the capital city at the Center Church (First Church of Christ in Hartford).