I was pleased to read Bill Gregory’s July 1 Religion & Values column linking stewardship of creation with stewardship of our political process. Although it was not the main point of his column, the urgency and intensity of professor Timothy Snyder’s book “On Tyranny” were not conveyed in Mr. Gregory’s synopsis.

One of the most essential and alarming historical points made in professor Snyder’s book is that both Adolf Hitler and Vladimir Putin assumed authoritarian powers after a terrorist attack allowed them to declare a “state of emergency.” In Hitler’s case, civil rights and political power were not returned to the German people until millions died and the world suffered a terrible war.

Our Founding Fathers were very concerned with tyranny and established our Constitution with a balance of powers. However, these powers can be taken away in an “emergency,” and history shows that authoritarians use emergencies to do just that.

The best defense we may have against this happening in our country is knowledge of the possibility. Please, let us be good stewards of our country as well as our planet. Please, let us be watchful. Please, let us leave our children and our children’s children a sustainable planet as well as a free United States of America.

Sara Wright