William Brock is to be commended for noting that there is a cultural schism in Moscow that has become too large to ignore (Daily News column, March 16). This is certainly true, but in our attempts to stop ignoring it, we need to take care not to make things worse — and one of the ways to make it worse is to be careless with the facts.

In his first paragraph, Brock says that three members of Christ Church were arrested for “flouting a mask order.” The problem with this statement is that the mask order explicitly exempted religious events and protests, and our event was both. The ordinance did not apply to us, not even a little bit. When the federal judge ordered the case back to settlement, he did so while explaining that virtually no one in city government appears to have been familiar with the terms of their own ordinance. How would it be possible for us to stick our thumb in “the eye of civil society” through actions which complied fully with all the terms of the ordinance passed by our city council?

At the same time, Brock does see what a lot of us see as well, which is that our small town is experiencing the same kind of polarizing divide that is afflicting the country at large. But unfortunately, the way he writes simply perpetuates the polarization. For example, he points out that there is a photo online that shows me standing on a rainbow flag, and he reports that fact with a “case closed” finality. What he leaves out is that the photo was a satiric riff off the very famous photo of Bill Ayers (Obama’s friend) standing on an American flag. Does Brock have a problem with both photos, or just with mine?

Recommended for you