Editor, The Beacon:

I am a Christian, an American and a Floridian. As a Christian, I believe we are to treat others the way we would want to be treated. We are to do justice, to love mercy, and walk humbly with our God.

As an American, I believe that in a democracy, all people are created equal, with the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. This is fundamental, protected under our Constitution. All other rights stem from this central belief.

It is apparent that these beliefs are under attack by many who call themselves Christian and American. Rather, they would choose to pass judgment on those who are not like themselves. This is particularly true in Florida, where our governor claims this is the place where “Woke comes to die.” He has led the way in passing laws that limit academic freedom, ban books that do not fit the mold that his followers accept, and is creating culture wars that pit people against one another.

And what does “woke” mean? It is a slang term meaning to come awake to inequalities. It means treating everyone as you want to be treated. It means believing that all of us are created equal with certain inalienable rights. All of us — rich or poor, Black, White, Asian, Latino, gay, straight, men, women, in all their gender identities, Christian, Jewish, Muslim or Atheist — all of us.

Florida cannot be a place where “Woke comes to die.” If that were true, we are all in danger of losing not only our democracy, but our humanity.

Dr. Pat Ruehl




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