Published in Suburban Trends, Feb. 10, 2016

Dear Editor:

In a recent letter (Suburban Trends Jan. 31), it was suggested that the idea of self-ownership or individual sovereignty over one’s person is somehow a "flawed" belief. The writer was arguing from a theological standpoint based on her faith.

My question to her would be, how do you intend to implement your beliefs without using the power of the state to impose your faith and values on people who don’t necessarily agree with your beliefs?

I have long argued that religious "social conservatives" have a hostility to the ideals of individual liberty that is just as authoritarian as the anti-liberty beliefs of the "liberal progressive secular humanist" types who want to micromanage your life for you. Despite the seeming hostility between these two groups, they have much in common.

For example, both groups think the "greater collective good" is more important than the will of the individual. That premise is what every dictatorship in history has been based on. America was supposed to be a country in which government was limited to a few basic functions as outlined in the Constitution and its Bill of Rights. The writer would no doubt argue that there is a "war on religion" in America; in reality the "war" is against individualism of any kind, which is why we see the Republican contenders for president (except Rand Paul) trying to outdo each other in who can trample the Constitution the quickest in the name of "making America great again." On the Democratic side, the Clinton versus Sanders contest is one of who can be more socialistic than the other one. Some choice! It’s either quasi-fascism from the Republicans or more socialism for the Democrats. Either way, liberty loses!

The Libertarians of course once again will be ignored by the mass media. For those of you who can think on your own and resent being told how to live your life by either the Right or the Left, go to any of the Libertarian websites and get involved.

Mark Richards,

West Milford