I knew when I took over as editor of the Beacon that I wouldn't be able to please everybody, nor would I even try. On August 2, we published a letter written by Del and Charla Kusilek that portrayed gays and lesbians as "sexual perverts." I didn't like the letter, but because I believe in the First Amendment and the right of free speech, I published it.
However, I included my own feelings in a column that same week. In that column I referred to the Kusileks as "homophobic," a charge I'll stand by today. You can't read that letter and not come to that same conclusion.
Evidently that didn't sit well with the Kusileks, who deemed it necessary to drop off a letter on my desk last week. After reading it, I've come to the conclusion that Del and Charla don't like me much!
They told me the letter was not for publication, but that I could share it. I've decided to share some of it with you.
They told me I had no right to degrade them, which I evidently did, using their name three times while calling them homophobic. I guess calling fellow human beings "sexual perverts" must be OK, at least in their book.
I'm also evidently "closed-minded" because of what I wrote in my column. "One would naturally now think there are many Beacon editorials that never reach the public," the letter says. If that's the case, why in the world would I have published their letter? Anyone who was around during the time Babe O'Gorman ripped me, my offspring and my anscestors weekly, knows that we don't restrict letters, unless there's a chance of getting sued for libel or slander.
As for closed-minded, the letter also includes this gem: "...your paper, which is certainly in dire need of intelligent, factual and thought-provoking editorial material." Now, you readers don't agree with everything we print in our editorial section, but I'll say this: we have some of the most intelligent writers around, be them conservative or liberal, Democrat or Republican. That comment alone is a slap in the face to the loyal writers who grace our pages every week.
And what really chaps my hide is that the week after the letter was published, I got into an hour-long debate on Facebook regarding the letter's merits, and I actually defended the Kusilek's right to have that letter published! And they do have that right, which is why we'll continue publishing letters, minus any name-calling, of course.
The Kusileks have been writing letters to our paper for as far back as I can remember, and they've always portrayed themselves as Christians. Yet, in their closing, they write "In all due disrespect." Very Christian-like, indeed.