Joe Beck, founder and leader of The Humanists of the Treasure Coast, and I appeared before the Vero Beach city council and objected to its supporting of the American Family Association. The AFA is, in our opinion and in the opinion of the Southern Poverty Law Center, a hate group.
We felt that Christian Heritage Week should have been sponsored by a mainstream Christian group and not by an organization labeled by the Southern Poverty Law Center as a hate group. We made it perfectly clear that we supported Christian Heritage Week. Thanksgiving was not even mentioned, so it is disingenuous for Carroll to now claim we objected to a “Thanksgiving proclamation.”
We followed up with private interviews with Indian River County Commissioner Joe Flescher and with each member of the Vero Beach City Council except Tracy Carroll, who refused to talk with us, and with Jay Kramer, who was out of town for personal reasons.
Councilwoman Carroll would not answer our phone call, nor could we get an appointment with her through the City Clerk’s office. We had written confirmation of what we were claiming regarding the American Family Association, and had no problem communicating our concerns with anyone except Carroll, who simply refused to meet with us or to return our phone call.
We also questioned the accuracy of some of the statements in the Christian Heritage proclamation. They could have selected better examples of people who exemplify our country’s Christian heritage.
We have never on any occasion chastised the City or the County as Carroll stated. Her total statement was false. If I had been given the chance, I could have explained all this to her. Vice Mayor Carroll and Mayor Fletcher obviously have their own interpretation of the United States Constitution.
I served ten years in the military, beginning during the Korean War, and was stationed on the USS Enterprise off the coast of Cuba during the Cuban crisis, and served during a part of the Vietnam War. My job was to take care of wounded.
Most who served in the military, including myself, did so believing our sacrifices would keep our country free and would preserve the Constitutional rights of all U.S. citizens. I hope we don’t have to defend our Constitution from its politicians.