BOSTON (CBS) – I hope things were relatively peaceful at Monday night’s fall Town Meeting in Groton, where controversy has erupted over the town’s decision – ratified by the voters at last spring’s Town Meeting – to install small stone markers around town with the inscription: “Town of Groton: All Are Welcome.”
I know, I should have warned those of you with sensitive stomachs before foisting that atrocity on you.
But never fear, heading into Monday night, the self-appointed watchdogs of right-wing political correctness were on the case in Groton.
It’s the word “all” they find troublesome.
That might “include Groton as a sanctuary city,” one resident told the Globe. “We do not want someone to read this and think this town has a political agenda.”
Facebook commenters were a bit more blunt, claiming the markers are welcoming a “criminal element,” such as “pedophiles” and “terrorists.”
It would be easy to just send these folks on their way with some mild ridicule, but I think it’s worth imagining what their mindset means in a bigger picture.
Perhaps we need to qualify the old Irish saying, Cead Mile Failte, a hundred thousand welcomes, by adding b’fheidir (Bay-did), which means “maybe.”
We’re going to have to get rid of all those pineapples, a symbol of hospitality since the founding of America, from the gates, doors and signs they adorn.
Wouldn’t want anyone to get the wrong idea.
If they can manage to have a welcome sign in English and Arabic at the Israeli-Egyptian border, surely we can manage to endure the implications of an “all are welcome” sign in Groton.
Unless, that is, we’ve completely turned into a nation of knee-jerk snowflakes.