Resolution of Commitment to Promoting an Open, Respectful, Healthy Community. What’s not to like about this Resolution? Who would want to weaken anything it supports? Why would anyone even object to any of its assertions?

I can think of only three explanations.

The worst explanation — a horrifying reason, I think we would all agree — is blind prejudice. Every point in this Resolution supports values underlying our Declaration of Independence, our Constitution, and especially, our Bill of Rights. These values abide. In the richness of our diversity, they continue to reinforce our collective resilience and power. Our founding values affirm their original strength through their constant relevance to a world that keeps changing. They help us as a nation and as a people to reinforce our strength as we maintain their fundamental importance for defining who we are.

Who are we? Honest, I hope. Visions of justice can restore integrity, and cure blind prejudice. Our principles impose on us these visions of justice. This Resolution reasserts them, much needed reminders in these trying times, regardless of one’s political views.

The only other reasons that I can imagine might cause any thoughtful, responsible, and just person to disagree with any of the points asserted in this Resolution are either willful malice, or political theatrics.

Today, we are assailed by many instances of willful malice and political theatrics — no need for me to list them. But these assaults by others cannot justify promoting small-minded insult and injury, bullying others for qualities that they cannot control, and should not try to deny. An obvious example: we are all immigrants. The only difference among us is when we or our forebears first arrived. My father was an immigrant, so I am at least half newcomer. If you think worse of me because I was not born into the newcomers that displaced the natives who inhabited Rockland originally, or the later immigrants that worked its lime kilns, than I urge you to look into the mirror. Examining yourself, list the qualities that the Resolution before us promote. And without prejudice, without malice, and without political ambition, honestly consider what might otherwise cause you to oppose any of the principles being asserted by this Resolution.

Would you not feel ashamed if the latest issue of Down East had instead printed the statement that “Rockland would have been our choice for a great place to live, except that its Council refused to promote an open, respectful, and healthy community?”

If any member of Rockland’s Council opposes this Resolution, or wants to delete or weaken any part of it, I urge that person to admit publicly to us, your electors, whether it is blind prejudice, or willful malice, or political theatrics that prompts your denial of humanity. And if you think that noble reason supports rejecting any part of this Resolution, please contribute to the progress of humanity by showing us explicitly how common good can be served by not adopting the Resolution in its present form.

Specious and diversionary reasons, especially those I have heard expressed among the Council, is no excuse, or even a place to hide. No excuse!

Otherwise, admit moral cowardice if you think that you cannot stand up for what is right. We count on you to do right by us all.

George B. Terrien, Rockland