Maryland's state motto: It is what it is

It sets a bad precedent to legislate into law a translation known to be inaccurate.

Regarding the proposed legislation to "revise the translation" of Maryland's state motto, perhaps this is just a symbolic gesture to address the implication that "women don't take any action and are only interested in words" ("Maryland Senate considers new translation of motto on state seal," March 22).

But re-translating a state motto that is now widely considered sexist also implies something even worse: A willingness to legislate into law a false translation that is known to be inaccurate.

Regardless of one's views on how sexist the motto is, it sets a bad precedent, especially for lawmakers, to knowingly misinterpret what something says.

I'm sure lawmakers would be incensed if any of their laws were "re-translated" and enforced differently from how the authors intended.

Granted, the courts are constantly re-interpreting the Constitution and the law. But I think it crosses a line when a court or lawmaker knows that something says one thing but officially declares that it means another.

I realize it's just a motto and not a law. But irrespective of the application, the proposed measure attempts to achieve something on principle by undermining an even bigger principle.

If you don't like what the motto says, if you feel it is inappropriate or that it no longer represents the views of our society, then replace it.

Scott Richardson, Westminster

Copyright © 2017, The Baltimore Sun, a Baltimore Sun Media Group publication | Place an Ad
34°