This is a guest opinion column
This was written by someone who rarely posts or comments on any form of social media. However, sometimes it is necessary to speak up. I’m tired of the lies, negativity and hate spread and used everywhere I look. But, singling out and endangering a group of people, especially children whose lives are already harder than you can imagine, made me speak up.
My beliefs make me both a Christian and a conservative. I believe that we are called to concern ourselves with the general health and well-being of all and to provide for those who cannot provide for themselves or who find it difficult to provide for themselves, to the extent of our means. I believe it is incumbent upon the government and our elected officials to protect the safety, health and general welfare of all its constituents and to ensure the safety, health and general welfare in a dignified and constructive manner for those who cannot do it themselves.
I don’t agree with targeting a group of people and putting them at risk. This is exactly what you have caused and are causing with some of your political ads. For your information, since your last ads aired, there have been instances of individuals driving by MCAA and posting signs or honking and shouting insults and threats at students and faculty. Was that your intention? You are not the only candidate to take similar action, but your actions have prompted some of your supporters to endanger children, teachers and staff working to educate these children in a safe environment. Was that your intention?
Regardless of anyone’s political views: what you said about the Magic City Acceptance Academy (MCAA) is inaccurate and misinformed. I know that for a fact. Among other reasons, the MCAA has been accredited to provide a safe learning environment for students who have been bullied or are not getting what they need in traditional classrooms or other learning environments. ‘learning. Your speech and your actions have removed this safe environment and put these people in danger. Perhaps more research should have been done before making or running the ad. Or was it just to spread hate and get votes? Life is not as simple as you would like us to believe. Not everyone fits into such a narrow view of the world. Does your god make mistakes? My God no ! I agree that “male and female he created them”. He didn’t stop there. I personally know of human beings created by him who were born with the chromosomes of one sex and the physical characteristics and physiology of the opposite sex. Generally they are listed on their birth certificates according to the sex identified by physiology, in reality they may be neither or both. These people are classified as intersex. I’m sure there are other examples that don’t match your stated view.
It is not for us to judge or condemn. Our job is to love, unconditionally, as Christ loves us. It’s okay to disagree with something and to express that disagreement with factual information. It is never acceptable to attack children. It’s never okay to attack someone for traits they’ve had since birth. Hate is not acceptable. Encouraging your followers to target a group of people and then threatening and intimidating them is not acceptable, whether intentional or not. Your words and actions have consequences that can have an extremely negative impact on others, also designed and created by God. If you want to be elected to a leadership position, please act like someone who knows what it means and genuinely cares about all citizens of Alabama.
The views expressed above are my own and do not necessarily reflect the views of any individual, company, group or organization with which I may associate or belong.
I am open to a personal one-to-one conversation to discuss this further.
Ryland Byars was born and raised in Alabama and has resided there most of his life. Ryland is married, an active member of St. Alban’s Episcopal Church, has raised four children and is a local Birmingham businessman.