To the editor:
In response to "Red Wing should protect the Pledge of Allegiance." Simply put, the pledge is not under attack. It is not being replaced or hidden. The city's statement of intent is just that, a statement.
Our ultimate oath as elected officials and board and commission members is to support the Constitution of the United States, the Constitution of the State of Minnesota and to discharge faithfully the duties of the office we hold.
It is my belief those duties are to work for the best interests of Red Wing residents. I try to do that every day. I believe the council members around me do that, as well as those who serve tirelessly on our boards and commissions. We work with and for residents, listening and working to solve the problems confronting all of us as a city.
There will be places of disagreement to be sure, but I know that upholding the intent and values of our constitutions is how I approach this job.
I encourage everyone who feels the calling to help our community to run for elected office. But I hope you will see that running for elected office to "protect our flag, national anthem, and our pledge" is not the issue, but that we should all strive to protect our Constitution, our people and we should work to really create liberty and justice for all.
Real liberty and justice for all means allowing for differences in opinion. It means working for consensus and not demanding obedience. In a democracy, it means we can honor the different points of view and allow the space for those points of view. It means helping those who have been held down.
The definition of liberty is "the state of being free within society from oppressive restrictions imposed by authority on one's way of life, behavior, or political views." I think that is a value we all should embrace and all should work on.
I don't think the council is imposing oppressive restrictions on anyone regarding the Pledge of Allegiance. No one is demanding one thing over another. We are celebrating that we can all work together for our community. I encourage everyone to watch how we open these meetings and decide if we are attacking anyone.
Evan Brown represents Red Wing City Council District Ward 3-4.