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President's Message
Difference of opinion is no crime
 

By Jody A. Cameron, Connecticut State Grange President

  AUGUST 5, 2013 --

Recently I was speaking with a dear friend who was discussing various issues they were experiencing with the “leadership” of their church.  The discussion was around the challenges the church was experiencing with some leadership issues.  Rather than addressing the issue, or perceived issue directly with the Minister of the church, they chose to “preach their sermon” on how the church should be run; rather than address the issue and work together to resolve the issue.   As we were talking the comment was made “they (the person referenced in the discussion) needs to step down from the good book they are standing and read it.”  After our conversation I thought long and hard about this statement

There have been issues come up throughout the state, many of them being disagreements due to a difference of opinion; that I feel could have been dealt with differently if we would have just stopped, removed the emotion and read our Declaration of Purposes. 

“We acknowledge the broad principle that difference of opinion is no crime, and hold that ‘progress toward truth is made by differences of opinion’, while ‘the fault lies in bitterness of controversy’.   We desire a proper equality, and fairness; protection for the weak; restraint upon the strong; in short, justly distributed power. These are American ideals, the very essence of American independence.”  

Let me state one line again “We acknowledge the broad principle that difference of opinion is no crime.”   Even though it is each of our responsibility to familiarize ourselves with the Declaration of Purposes many of us have not gone back to keep familiar with it.  It is NO crime to have a difference of opinion, what is a crime is when that difference of opinion drives a wedge in our organization.  When we permit this to be done we violate every oath we have taken, every core belief and value this great organization was founded on.  I encourage every member of every Grange to read or re-read, as the case may be the Declaration of Purposes.  It is my job as your State Master to assist you and your Grange in any way to make sure there is “proper equality, and fairness; protection for the weak; restraint upon the strong; in short, justly distributed power.”

I take that responsibility very seriously, but I ask you first step back and assess the situation and understand how your involvement lead to the current situation.  When you do, while relying on your obligations and the principles of the Declaration of Purposes I believe whatever the issue is you will find a way to an amicable resolution.

This message is not just for the members of the Connecticut State grange, I urge all members, regardless of the state they belong in or the position they hold to not just talk the talk, but to walk the walk, and remember “people, who live in glass houses, should always wear clothes!”

 
 
 

 
     
     
       
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