Disagree Vehemently With You

To the publisher:

You own the newspaper, so you have every right to publish your opinions, but I don’t have to agree with them. I can’t agree with your statements about scripture and sexual orientation in your “Publisher’s Response.”

I feel that your statements are not based on any fact but solely on your opinions. Your response sounded suspiciously like Creationist ideas or Anti-Climate Change arguments.

I also felt, and here I must admit that I have no facts only conjecture, that your article about the McNerny Town Hall meeting had only references to the point of view of one side of the aisle. I suspect that there must have been some comments supportive of Mr. McNerny, but none were referenced in the article.

That said, I will read future issues of your paper, but for the sole purpose of finding out who is advertising in it and be sure to avoid patronizing those businesses.

Disappointed Antioch resident,
Roger Martin


Mr. Martin,

Thank you for reading the paper and sharing your thoughts.

In response, you wrote that my “statements are not based on any fact” when I actually cited the American Psychiatric Association’s own website, that there is no proof either way that gays and lesbians are born that way.

I also referred to basic physiology.

Both of those arguments to support my position have nothing to do with “Creationist ideas” and I believe are very strong.

As for them having anything to do with being “anti-climate change” is a complete disconnect to me. I don’t see the two issues as remotely related.

As for the article on Congressman McNerney if you had attended his “town hall meeting” (which was held in a very small room that could only accomodate 20 people at the most – which I believe was intentional, but didn’t mention) you would have recognized it was quite kind toward him.

The meeting was also poorly publicized, but I didn’t mention that either.

I took many pages of notes but had to condense it down to what could fit in the paper and to give the general feel of the meeting.

It was his own fellow Democrats who hammered him on issues, one of which I cited regarding not voting to raise taxes on the rich in Obama’s first two years.

On the question of Medicare the Congressman’s response was rather confusing as he discussed MediCal instead. But I didn’t include that in the article.

He also got questioned on the failure of the No Child Left Behind education policy by administrators from Brentwood school districts, but I had to cut that part out to fit in the paper, due to limited space, unfortunately.

I quoted him exactly and included his verbatim responses to the questions posed to him.

The congressman’s experience was similar to what other Members of Congress have experienced across the country from even members of their own political party and is why some aren’t holding public town hall meetings during the summer recess – because people are upset with Congress in general. Some are holding tele-town hall meetings instead so they can better control the conversation.

So I believe the article was very fair and accurate as to what occurred.

I’m sorry to learn of your response in not supporting Antioch businesses who advertise in the paper because you disagree with either my viewpoint or articles you don’t like. Helping promote Antioch businesses and grow our local economy, as I’m sure you can appreciate, is seriously needed and one of the main reasons I started the paper.

My paper reaches more homes in Antioch than any other.

We didn’t have to run the letter to the editor critical of my article in the July issue. But we’re willing to print both sides of issues and even those critical of me, my views and/or our articles.

We’ll even publish your email on our website and in our next issue, to demonstrate that further.

To be fair, do you apply the same standard to all newspapers and other publications which contain advertising and which you read, if you don’t like their editorials or articles? Do you like or agree with all the articles and editorials in the Times, Antioch News or Chronicle? I seriously doubt it.

But if that’s your policy then you’re going to seriously limit where you can shop, do business and dine in town.

Plus, what you’re doing is demonstrating you disagree with my First Amendment rights of free speech and freedom of the press, because you’d prefer my newspaper go out of business by seeking to keep advertisers from advertising in it.

So is that what you want – an America where only your or one side’s views are expressed? I would surely hope not.

Allen Payton

2 Comments to “Disagree Vehemently With You”

  1. Barbara N Lynds says:

    Mr. Payton your reply to Mr. Martin, was in my opinion an excellent reply and very well written, factual!!

    If Mr. Martin wishes to discontine reading your articles that’s his perfect right, but to say he would not patronize the advertisments, again in my opinion is pure rubbish!!!!

    Thank you, Barbara N lynds Madera, Ca (formally from Antioch)

  2. harrystoll says:

    I don’t know which comment I’m commenting on but here’s my comment:
    Allen Payton’s beliefs about homosexuality are wrong but are not so bad as to call for economic reprisal. (Disclosure: I get paid for writing for the Antioch Herald, although lack of such payment would not economically imperil me.) This is not Apartheid, which was rightly pressured to go out of existence by shareholders in South African stock. I see no evil or hate in Payton’s views, just ignorance. Surely, we can tolerate views we disagree with. Let his arguments fail or prevail based on thinking about them.

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