It takes courage and determination to stand up to ignorance.

Chances are, in our lives, we have stood on both sides of that fence. There seems to be an inordinate amount of it (ignorance) lately. Ignorance fuels prejudice, prejudice feeds hatred and at times this can turn to violence. In the long run we all pay the price for it.

There have been numerous letters and editorials in the newspaper lately sharing views on the subject of equal rights. There have been predictions of dire consequences up to and including our “social ecology.”

Over history, this argument has become a well-used and well-worn (out) tool by factions in their concerns over any number of issues. In the long run, few, if any, of these dire predictions has born fruition.

Instead, given the test of time, most of these issues melded quite nicely into society and we moved on. Predictions of chaos were sounded when the slaves were freed. A century later it was the Voting Rights Act that bore concern. When women were given the right to vote it was sure to be our downfall. And women at military academies. We would surely fall.

Yet here we are. Some of these concerns, over time, have bordered on ludicrous. A prominent psychologist of the time once predicted severe social consequences to the family when, of all things, the Teddy bear was introduced about 100 years ago. Motherhood was in extreme danger.

I’ve done no studies on families nor written any reports on social ecology. I know this, however, that while gay marriage may, but probably not, threaten our daily lives and social ecology, ignorance is a far greater threat.

John Kenneth Galbraith once said, “The conventional view serves to protect us from the painful job of thinking.”

Robert A. Creamer

Hallowell