Letters to the editor/Rosemond: July 21

July 21, 2013 

Not just an issue of First Amendment

I found the editorial defending parenting advice columnist John Rosemond to be tremendously disappointing. The paper's interest in defending the First Amendment is both understandable and usually admirable.

However, in this instance, your defense of Rosemond's right to free speech is blindly guided by your journalistic reflex (which typically serves this editorial board well), clearly inconsistent with Kentucky law and, most critically, counter to the best interests of your readers.

The simple fact that Rosemond is identified as a "psychologist" in his column conveys to the general public a specific legal and professional endorsement of his typically antiquated and often potentially damaging advice.

Nothing could be further from the truth. Among the many mental health care providers in Kentucky and elsewhere with whom I am familiar (I am not one myself), Rosemond's advice is widely viewed with shock and astonishment, as it is almost wholly counter to the standard practice of psychology today.

Your other advice columnists do not claim such professional endorsement and, as such, are truly advice columnists expressing themselves through protected speech.

So, as a parent and teacher, I respectfully ask the editors to take pause with their journalistic reflex in defense of our cherished First Amendment to consider the weight and ramifications of Rosemond's dispensing his advice while representing himself as a mental health care professional to your readers.

Mark Prendergast

Lexington


Psychology board: Heal thyself

I've always found wisdom in John Rosemond's column, regardless of his title. Titles cause some to start believing it gives them some intellectual authority, not realizing it is merely proof someone has the intestinal fortitude to see a degree through. It becomes a safe haven to hide behind. A doctorate does not equal common sense and state certification is simply a matter of system.

The problem the state psychology board has with Rosemond is that he is a doctor of productivity, and lesser minds and/or those of less self-esteem see such as a threat. It exposes them for who they are, and takes away their excuse for not having the same common sense or intestinal fortitude for success.

When I was in college, my teammates and I used to try and guess the psychology majors. More often than not we guessed correctly. Their actions and psyche exposed them for who they were. When questioned why they chose psychology as a major, more often than not it was due to a childhood issue.

Perhaps some of these childhood problems have manifested themselves again in some state board members, such as low self-esteem, projection or jealousy.

It's a sad commentary when the state certification board uses its office as a bully pulpit to harass. Is it a mental sickness? The state board and attorney general should have an awareness course in bullying, otherwise, forfeit the right to lead.

Randy Graham

Danville


Say no to silencing dissent

The recent efforts of the Kentucky Board of Examiners of Psychology to get syndicated advice columnist John Rosemond, a licensed psychologist in North Carolina, to "stop practicing psychology in the state without a Kentucky license" are obviously misguided.

The idea that publishing a column which is nationally syndicated in over 200 newspapers constitutes practicing psychology in Kentucky is obviously incorrect and rather ridiculous.

Eva Markham, chairwoman of the board, claims that this is not about censorship but that does not seem to be true. The problem, of course, lies with Rosemond's unfashionable views on child rearing. The actions of the board make clear that membership in the profession is largely about conforming to a politically correct orthodoxy. Dissenters will be silenced and shunned.

Considering this campaign against Rosemond, imagine what would happen to somebody like him who actually did want to get licensed to practice in the state.

Unless they kept their views hidden, it seems they would have little hope of being permitted to work.

Is the profession of psychology really just about the promotion of certain opinions and styles of living deemed acceptable by the licensed elite? I would encourage people to contact the Board of Examiners of Psychology directly to let them know what you think.

David W. Carpenter

Lexington


Bravo for taking courageous stand

Congratulations and bravo to editor Peter Baniak and the Herald-Leader for not allowing attorney general and future candidate for whatever's higher, Jack Conway, to dust up a tempest about John Rosemond's 30-year column of parental advice and whether or not he's a licensed psychologist.

The irony is that Conway would step on the First Amendment to help him step up to a higher office. The newspaper's actions were in the true spirit of the First Amendment and show the Herald-Leader to be a true and courageous leader in journalism, truths, opinions and freedom of expression in the midst of the gathering political fog.

Bill Griffin

Lexington


Reel in the jackboots

Bully to the Herald-Leader for standing up for First Amendment rights in regard to the attorney general's overreach on the John Rosemond issue.

I look forward to the paper standing up for other parts of the Bill of Rights like gun ownership, National Security Agency and Internal Revenue Service abuses, and local control of marijuana laws.

If we all stand up for each others' freedoms, maybe the jackboots like Attorney General Jack Conway and President Barack Obama will reel it in a bit.

Mark Leaver

Lexington

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