Menu Close

Letter to the Editor: Do Republicans Really Believe in Freedom and Liberty?

letter to the editor

Letter to the Editor of the Defiance Crescent-News.

Dear Editor,

If rural Ohio Republicans were surveyed and asked if they believed in freedom and liberty for everyone, to the person they would say YES! However, words are cheap, and when we take a close look at Republican behavior and practices, we learn that they only believe in freedom and liberty for some people.

Most rural Ohioans voted for and currently support Donald Trump. They overwhelmingly voted for the disgraced ex-president in 2016 and 2020, and plan to do so again in 2024. Does Trump believe in freedom and liberty for everyone? Of course not. He routinely threatens people like me, calls for my arrest, and says that I should expelled from the country of my birth. Why? I have political and religious beliefs different from Trump and his MAGA followers. Evidently, freedom and liberty only apply to people who agree with Trump and the rhetoric of white Evangelical Christians. Everyone else is an enemy of God and state.

When local Republicans talk glowingly about their commitment to freedom and liberty, I don’t believe them. These same people are working diligently to undo the express will of the people as they try to neuter recently passed initiatives that legalize abortion and recreational cannabis. If Republicans truly believe in freedom and liberty, then they would accept the will of the people. Instead, both at state and local levels, Republicans are intent on forcing their moral beliefs on others.

Republicans want public school students to have freedom to attend release time programs such as Lifewise Academy — an Evangelical organization — yet when The Satanic Temple wants to sponsor a release time program, all of a sudden freedom only applies to Evangelical Christians. Everywhere we look, we see right-wing Republicans prosecuting the latest iteration of the culture war. For all their talk about freedom and liberty, Republicans deny that same right for everyone. Not for LGBTQ people, nor socialists, atheists, or humanists. Not for women seeking abortion care, nor people with moral beliefs different from the Christian majority.

I am in the minority when it comes to my political and religious beliefs. Even local Democrats distance themselves from me because I am a Democratic socialist, too liberal, or a godless heathen. That’s the price I pay for living in rural Ohio. That said, I demand and expect the same freedom and liberty as my Republican neighbors.

Bruce Gerencser
Ney, Ohio

Bruce Gerencser, 66, lives in rural Northwest Ohio with his wife of 45 years. He and his wife have six grown children and thirteen grandchildren. Bruce pastored Evangelical churches for twenty-five years in Ohio, Texas, and Michigan. Bruce left the ministry in 2005, and in 2008 he left Christianity. Bruce is now a humanist and an atheist.

Connect with me on social media:

Your comments are welcome and appreciated. All first-time comments are moderated. Please read the commenting rules before commenting.

You can email Bruce via the Contact Form.


  1. Avatar

    Trump wants you arrested, Bruce? For what, exactly? That statement sure surprised me and got my attention!

    Anyway, I don’t think you need to worry, because in my opinion, there’s no way in hell he’ll be President.

      • Avatar

        Never mind, I looked up quote. I think Trump says lots of over-the-top stuff, it’s his style. Anyway, that you are extremely worried about it seems silly to me, especially knowing that he’s not gonna be President anyway. I’m imagining Trump sending someone to rural Ohio to arrest you. On what charge? C’mon, Bruce.

        • Avatar
          Bruce Gerencser

          Thank you for marginalizing my fears. Evidently, you slept through Trump’s presidency. He is an existential threat to our country and to the world at large. If you can’t see this, I don’t know what to tell you.

          • Avatar

            Bruce, I’m sorry I flippantly minimized your fear. I shouldn’t have done that. You’re an intelligent man and very informed on many issues. I hope you’ll accept my apology.

        • Avatar
          Bruce Gerencser

          First, you don’t know whether Trump will be president. With an electoral college, anything is possible.

          Second, eight eight years ago, Trump said all sorts of over the top stuff too. We ignored him; laughed at him; ridiculed him; dismissed him. “Oh, he can’t win.” Yet, win, he did. And then he tried to turn the US into an authoritarian regime. Trump loves dictators and wants to be just like Viktor Orban — the Hungarian dictator. Trump will be more successful the second time around. As a sociopath, Trump has no feelings or regard for the welfare of the American people. All he cares about is raw political power.

          Third, it is offensive to tell someone who has legitimate fears for their safety that their fears are “silly.” You do understand this, right?

          Fourth, C’mon, Sharon, do better.

        • Avatar

          Ok, Harvey, so maybe Bruce isn’t high on the list, even though he is outspoken and a voice easily found on the internet. But he is still on the list.

          Let me introduce you to me…Sage, a very androgynous non binary person who is a target of every conservative authoritarian on the right…ie..everyone who supports trump.

          There are currently states that I consider unsafe to enter. There are towns and cities in every single state where I will not stop, as they are not safe. Nearly every Christian and the politicians that are part of their gang of hateful, despotic, theocrats would love to see me, at the very least, shoved into a closet, but prefer that I be eradicated through laws, or in some cases, as has been preached by godly men, killed.

          They don’t want mention of me in schools or libraries. They want to tell me what my gender should be and how I should express it. They find all kinds of horrid things to call me, and tell everyone I am a threat to their men, or their wives, or their kids, or their pets. Apparently I am even a threat to their religion (I guess I am too much for their god? Hmm..maybe to seductive?🤔🤔)

          I can’t even go to a public restroom because no matter what I choose, it is wrong in these moron’s mind. It sure is great fun to do your best to avoid bathrooms, but then keep an hyper vigilant watch when you do have to use a bathroom. I am no threat to anyone, regardless of what you hear, but there are many threats to me in any bathroom.

          States already pass laws that make some of us illegal, if we aren’t old enough. Then they pass laws to control our health care for all ages, or tell employers they can’t acknowledge our existence, or control our healthcare. They try to eliminate us from any chance to hold state jobs, or work in universities or non profits. They create laws so that hate-mongering god believers misgender us or use names that we do not use, because their religion trumps the rights of anyone else. All of this is done in love, of course…the love of hating anyone not like them.

          And now we have small minded, white nationalist, totalitarian politicians in congress proposing laws at the national level to do these very same things across the nation, so that if any of us live in states that haven’t passed laws, or have laws to protect us, we will be at serious risk. If the small brained, orange, totalitarian creep with tiny hands does get elected, and if congress goes to the party of freedom loving white men, you will see an avalanche of anti-LGBTQA+ laws in the first 100 days, and they will be backed and enforced by federal troops in places where I live. Nothing like a band of brothers, with heavy weapons and martial law on their side, knocking on door to drag you to the gulag because you are not ”normal” enough.

          And even if those laws can’t pass, the hate rhetoric, which is already spewed by party of hate in congress in speeches, hearings, and random media and social media venues, will increase when the shrill voice of fearless leader takes up the bullhorn of hate. And that will still make it extremely unsafe for me.

          So yes, the threat is real, and some of us are squarely in he crosshairs of an authoritarian demagogue. We already deal with bad treatment today, under trump it would get much worse.

          It is complacency like your that allows this to happen. I guess you have all the right pieces to make everything ok, so you can’t see the danger. You call it over reaction. You downplay real fears with a dismissive wave of the hand. Maybe you have the option to ignore or look past these issues. Maybe to you they are no big deal.

          But for some of us, it is about our very existence.

          • Avatar

            Sage, I’m sorry I downplayed your fears. I have not walked in your shoes. And thanks for explaining exactly why you are afraid.

          • Avatar
            MJ Lisbeth

            Sage—Folks like Harvey remind me of something I learned very early in my gender affirmation process: People who have privilege don’t realize they have it and can’t understand why people like us “worry” or “complain.” I have never preyed upon anyone of any age or gender identity or, for that matter, species, yet I am accused of paedophilia (That’s enough to provoke thoughts of suicide in someone like me, a survivor of child sexual abuse !), bestiality and of being a lurker, groomer and predator. Even though I don’t draw much attention in public, it’s not hard for someone with free time and internet access to find out about my previous identity, not to mention my political leanings.

            I will say this as politely as I can: I am fucking scared shitless about the prospect of more Trump—or even of more versions of MTG, Mike Johnson and their ilk getting elected to Congress and state and local offices if Biden is re-elected. I have every reason to feel the way I do. So do you, Sage.

    • Avatar

      That’s exactly what they think the other side does to them! When you see the comments from both sides, it gets pretty funny. Each side thinks the other is the devil.

      • Avatar

        Both sides do try to oppress and silence each other. I used to be a hard shell Republican conservative, but watching the hate of my fellow conservatives, and reading the entire Bible are what pushed me away from right-wingism and into being a progressive liberal.

        This is why I worry when my liberal friends scream, with veins popping out on their necks, that conservatives have no right to voice their views and must be silenced and cancelled. They are sounding just like the hateful right-wingers used to sound.

        The two sides must somehow come to a peaceful meeting of the minds, or our society will be ripped to shreds. Once again, I say this as a liberal.

  2. Avatar
    MJ Lisbeth

    Well said, Bruce!

    It seems that today’s Republicans want the freedom to:

    —push LGB people back into the closet
    —eliminate trans or non-binary people altogether
    —harass, convert, or kill atheists, agnostics, Muslims or anyone else who doesn’t follow their version of Christianity
    —deport anyone who’s too brown, black or broke for their tastes
    —dictate public school curricula so that they inculcate pupils with a whitewashed version of history and views of gender and heritage that are based on a book of half-baked, warmed-over late Bronze Age myths.

    • Avatar

      MJ, spot on. And don’t forget, GOPers want to make sure that uteruses are at the beck and call of the GOP, regardless of the wishes of the uterus-owner.

Want to Respond to Bruce? Fire Away! If You Are a First Time Commenter, Please Read the Comment Policy Located at the Top of the Page.

Discover more from The Life and Times of Bruce Gerencser

Subscribe now to keep reading and get access to the full archive.

Continue reading

Bruce Gerencser