I’ve never felt the need to respond to a letter printed in the TC, but Gisela Stearns’ June 16 letter came at such a timely moment.

I find it sad that Ms. Stearns sits in judgment of everyone. I’ve no desire to get a tattoo myself, but I would never judge someone for having them, as I wouldn’t judge someone for their choice of hair color, jewelry or clothing.

The gentleman you referred to may have spent a great deal of time and money on his tattoos and chooses to display them proudly by wearing a tank top. If you find them offensive, look away, or stay home.

I imagine Ms. Stearns is sincere about her deep caring for our great nation. A prized hallmark of America is our freedom and tolerance, the latter quality being in short supply in her letter.

Then you mentioned the family preoccupied with their phones. Do you know what kind of morning they may have had? That might have been the first quiet time for those parents.

Now, perhaps Ms. Stearns and I share a concern about the decline of public conversation as a result of smart phones. However, to immediately accuse these kids of lacking respect and discipline because of their devices is a non sequitur. Exactly how are kids silently absorbed in their phones undisciplined?

Would Ms. Stearns prefer loud chatter, or worse, an attempt by the family to disturb her peace and engage in conversation?

When alone at a restaurant, I often use my phone to catch up on email or news. Would Ms. Stearns, if she happened to be sitting near me, be offended? This makes me suspicious of her bandying about terms like “respect.”

Does Ms. Stearns think her judgments, and public airing thereof, represent  good citizenship? Does she really believe only “dumb” people get tattoos? And that we benefit by the advertising of her distaste?

I would choose to live by these wise words: “Judge not, and ye shall not be judged: condemn not, and ye shall not be condemned: forgive, and ye shall be forgiven.”

Anne Finch