Letters

Letters 10-27-2014

Paging Doctor Dan: The doctor’s promise to repeal Obamacare reminds me of the frantic restaurant owner hurrying to install an exhaust fan after the kitchen burns down. He voted 51 times to replace the ACA law; a colossal waste of money and time. It’s here to stay and he has nothing to replace it.

Evolution Is Real Science: Breathtaking inanity. That was the term used by Judge John Jones III in his elegant evisceration of creationist arguments attempting to equate it to evolutionary theory in his landmark Kitzmiller vs. Dover Board of Education decision in 2005.

U.S. No Global Police: Steven Tuttle in the October 13 issue is correct: our military, under the leadership of the President (not the Congress) is charged with protecting the country, its citizens, and its borders. It is not charged with  performing military missions in other places in the world just because they have something we want (oil), or we don’t like their form of government, or we want to force them to live by the UN or our rules.

Graffiti: Art Or Vandalism?: I walk the [Grand Traverse] Commons frequently and sometimes I include the loop up to the cistern just to go and see how the art on the cistern has evolved. Granted there is the occasional gross image or word but generally there is a flurry of color.

NMEAC Snubbed: Northern Michigan Environmental Action Council (NMEAC) is the Grand Traverse region’s oldest grassroots environmental advocacy organization. Preserving the environment through citizen action and education is our mission.

Vote, Everyone: Election Day on November 4 is fast approaching, and now is the time to make a commitment to vote. You may be getting sick of the political ads on TV, but instead, be grateful that you live in a free country with open elections. Take the time to learn about the candidates by contacting your county parties and doing research.

Do Fluoride Research: Hydrofluorosilicic acid, H2SiF6, is a byproduct from the production of fertilizer. This liquid, not environmentally safe, is scrubbed from the chimney of the fertilizer plant, put into containers, and shipped. Now it is a ‘product’ added to the public drinking water.

Meet The Homeless: As someone who volunteers for a Traverse City organization that works with homeless people, I am appalled at what is happening at the meetings regarding the homeless shelter. The people fighting this shelter need to get to know some homeless families. They have the wrong idea about who the homeless are.

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The fight to keep religion free

George Foster - October 20th, 2005
Do you ever get informational mass emails from friends that sometime seem like a chore to read… if you even bother? Recently, I received an article written by radio personality Paul Harvey from a well-meaning Christian friend who probably didn’t expect anyone on his email list to actually reply. He sent me an opinion piece about Harvey’s outrage leveled against a court decision that disallowed organized prayer before one town’s high school football games.
Since I also need to fill space for this column, here was my friendly email response:

Dear Sam:
Thanks for the email, but tell that dim-witted Paul Harvey he might be welcomed in Iran by the Ayatollahs if he wants to live in a nation governed by a national church.
Thankfully, our founding fathers mentioned religion in our Constitution only once - with a reference prohibiting the establishment of religion by government. That way, individuals have the right of prayer and church preference OF THEIR CHOICE.
Freedom of religion is for everyone, not just the group that has the greatest numbers. When groups or governments are able to dictate their denomination’s prayers before football games, on City Hall’s walls, and in classrooms - that freedom is eroded for you, for me, all of us.
Before you start jumping up and down about taking away your prayer time, what is wrong with praying silently? I recall several references in the Bible when Jesus admonished those who appealed to God while “beating their chests” in public for appearances’ sake. In this country, we each have the right to pray silently anywhere, anyhow, and anytime we want.
Furthermore, as a Christian, I resent other Christians or groups dictating prayers for me on some perfunctory schedule and with words of their choice. As all of us do, I have my own relationship with God and I don’t need Paul Harvey or anyone else butting in. Mind your own business... GOOOOOD DAY.
Your old buddy - George

On a related note, the fiasco surrounding President Bush’s Supreme Court nominee, Harriett Miers, has reduced politics to a new low. Bush has justified Miers’ nomination by emphasizing that she is a member of an evangelical Christian church.
Bush’s emphasis of religion may be astute politically, but this is a first in my lifetime that any president would openly trumpet religious affiliation as an important rationale to seat a justice. It is obvious that the president is trying to appease his conservative base – but at what cost to our Constitution?
In the past, the opposite extreme was sometimes the case: membership in some religions was unofficially considered to be a disqualifier for a seat on the bench. If
the most capable person available were a Jew or Muslim, would the president
be emphasizing the candidate’s religion? Not likely.
I thought the idea was to pick the nine best lawyers in the country as Supreme Court Justices What ever happened to being an expert in constitutional law? Isn’t past experience and accomplishments as a lawyer and judge just a little important?
Americans have been taught that the freedom to practice any faith was a cornerstone in the founding of this country. It would not be surprising that, if present today, Jefferson, Washington, Franklin, et al would be dusting off their muskets once again in response to an awakening of the Church of England and religious intolerance.
There is nothing wrong with Harriet Miers being religious. We should all be outraged, though, that her denomination now seems to be a prerequisite for this job.




 
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