Letter writer urges south county residents not to be lemmings

To the Editor:

Lemmings are small mouse-like rodents with short tails and fur-covered feet.

Their primary habitat is the Arctic. They’re known to many because some species — particularly genus Lemmus — engage in spectacular migration at times of peak population. Ironically, many drown as they follow their leaders into ocean waters.

Humans are often like the Lemmus brand lemmings. The vast majority of us tend to follow, not lead. Rather than think and evaluate, we tend to accept as gospel truth that which is related via mass media. It’s the easy way to let others do the thinking for us.

We also tend to overlook the possibility of inaccuracies inherent to all communication, often accepting without challenge the extrapolation therein, particularly in the information contained in “letters to the editor.”

The letter from Kent Bettale in the April 6 issue of the Call therefore should be of interest. Mr. Bettale discourages the signing of a petition now circulating that would put stem cell research on the ballot in Missouri.

Bettale says he was “suspicious” of “a guy” who was trying to get signatures on the petition because “the guy” was not a neighbor and was being paid to collect signatures. Bettale says the the proposed constitutional amendment “changes the definition of human cloning.” And he concludes, if the amendment passes, “then corporations will have the right to clone (humans) and kill embryos in Missouri.”

Points to ponder: Because the proposed amendment is a very hot topic, it is understandable that those in favor of the amendment might hire people to hawk signatures rather than risk exposing supporters. The extreme temperature of the topic is evidenced in Mr. Bettale’s letter, which is wrought with religious beliefs, beliefs that are not necessarily factual information.

If, in fact, the proposed amendment indeed changes the definition of human cloning and will in fact permit cloning of humans, why didn’t he quote the exact wording of the amendment? Why not let the document speak for itself?

Don’t be a lemming. If the amendment issue is important to you, get a copy of the amendment and read it again and again. Gain an understanding of the issue before you get to your polling place.

Because at the polling place, I’m certain a neighbor recruited by “the church” and working his way to heaven, will be waiting to tell you how the Lord wants you to cast your vote. Don’t be a lemming.

Michael K. Broughton

Green Park