Letters to the editor: June 12

June 12, 2013 

Editorial ignored the child victims in Gosnell case

Your May 16 editorial, "Protect women from Gosnells," which addressed the gruesome carnage in a Philadelphia abortion mill, put an amazing spin on the matter.

You make this into a morality tale about protecting the health of women who "choose" (or are coerced by men or parents) to abort their children.

If we did not know that abortion is a protected right today, we might conclude that you were campaigning for such protection.

The fact is, this case took place in, and might conceivably be construed as a consequence of, the abortion industry.

Moreover, in your solicitude for the poor woman whom Gosnell murdered, you totally ignore his other victims: the children who were born alive and then killed by having their spines severed.

You are concerned about women's health issues. I am concerned that we have a society and a legal system that do not protect the innocent. To me, this is a much more perilous issue.

Paul David Nelson

Lexington


Rule of law failing

In Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Boscombe Valley Mystery, Sherlock Holmes utters, "Singularity is almost invariably a clue. The more featureless and commonplace a crime is, the more difficult it is to bring it home."

In today's society, Holmes would feel right at home trying to solve the crimes so many people escape.

On the Herald-Leader's May 24 front page, we see that the former chief executive officer of the Lexington Public Library made questionable use of funds and that adult materials were viewed on her library-owned computer. She walked with $927,000.

On the same page, a Bourbon County chemistry teacher got to keep his job after he fabricated scientific findings as a University of Kentucky researcher.

On the national front, the head of the Internal Revenue Service's Department of Exempt Organizations was put on leave, with pay, after taking a Fifth Amendment plea. Mix this with the crimes of 20 million immigrants who break the law by being in America without documentation, and you have a lawless society.

In Federalist Paper No. 78, Alexander Hamilton, quoting French philosopher Montesquieu, states that the judiciary branch is the least dangerous to democracy. I bet that Hamilton and Montesquieu are rolling in their graves as they watch the American spectacle of lawlessness. I wonder if the Romans, as their society collapsed in 250 AD, felt the same revulsion that law-abiding citizens feel as they watch our society morph into something unrecognizable. Like the Romans, we are watching a very sad transition.

Robert Adams

Lexington


Bishop responsible

I'm a lifelong Catholic. But even the newest convert to the faith knows this simple truth about the church: Each bishop gets to decide which priests work in his diocese.

So I was shocked to see Lexington Bishop Ronald Gainer's public relations staff claim he's powerless to kick out of the diocese a priest who's been accused of assaulting four children. ("Support group for clergy sex-abuse victims asks Lexington bishop to investigate priest," May 17.)

Father Carroll Howlin isn't just an alleged child molester. At least four of his victims have settled civil child sex abuse lawsuits against Howlin's Catholic supervisors. His bosses have allegedly suspended him. The Vatican has reportedly ordered him to stay away from kids and do penance.

Yet he basically does now what he's done for years, living and working among the poor in Eastern Kentucky with little or no restrictions or supervision And Gainer wants us to believe that his hands are tied. Give me a break.

Kristine Ward

Dayton, Ohio


No praise for gays

As I read Roger Guffey's commentary, "Celebrate cultural gifts of gay geniuses," I was amazed at the intensity with which he pleaded acceptance of the lifestyle, based on cultural accomplishments and worldly contributions.

His extended list of prominent and highly praised individuals, at least in the eyes of the world, pointedly indicated that the sinful acts of homosexuality are not confined to the poor and unlearned, but have venomously affected the entire spectrum of society.

What he wrote as being the ultimate irony of King James being gay was the greatest indictment against homosexuality. It appears that King James, having realized the perils of such a base and morally bankrupt lifestyle, commissioned the translation of a book called the Holy Bible which openly condemns homosexuality, and even includes the total destruction by fire of two cities of the plains, Sodom and Gomorrah, due to homosexual activity.

Accepting or promoting homosexuality as Guffey has, based on cultural contributions, would be akin to praising an individual for being an alcoholic simply because he or she is an accomplished musician.

Guffey can praise whomever he chooses, but please refrain from demonizing those who entertain different viewpoints and opinion.

Phillip M. Ellis

London


Politics unbalanced

I recently heard a prominent politician unapologetically assert that the United States is a right-of-center country. That took me back a bit so I Googled "political spectrum" and found a wealth of ideas on the subject.

One spectrum placed both Democrats and Republicans slightly right of center. Libertarianism can be either on the left or the right. I thought, well, if we are right of center, we shouldn't be.

There are values to centrism: compromise, creating unifying ideas from many political viewpoints, engaging in healthy debate, experimenting with the novel, proving the value of an approach by experimentation, civil discourse and statesmanship, to name a few.

While ours is a two-party system, the multiplicity of ideas of the American people can't be so easily sorted into two boxes.

It's unfortunate that third parties have never taken hold with the voting public. There is a semblance of additional parties on the right with the Tea Party and the Libertarians. Now if these could be balanced on the left with a Green Party, Liberal Party, etc., then we could have debates in Congress — not just vacuous speeches to empty seats for the home-state TV station.

Universally demonizing moderate proposals and strategies for change as radical left wing is not helpful to civil discourse. Demonizing thinking based on fact and scientific evidence diminishes public respect for the political process.

Jesse P. Mark

Lexington


New senator needed

It's a good thing Sen. Mitch McConnell is up for re-election next year, since time after time he has proven that he is not for the citizens of Kentucky but for his special-interest friends.

Case in point: Last December, I was on his website and ordered a flag to be flown over the Capitol on President Barack Obama's second inauguration.

I paid through his online payment system so he would have the fee almost immediately, but I have not received a flag yet. A couple months ago, someone from his office called me to see if I had received the flag, and I said no.

I went on the senator's website over a week ago to bring this discrepancy to his attention and am still waiting for the flag, a letter, call or email to tell me it's on the way. At this point I'd even be happy with carrier pigeon, but you already know where I'm going.

I guess our great senator only assists certain groups of Kentuckians, not all of them. It's time for Kentucky to have a U.S. senator who will represent all of its citizens.

Robert B. Dalton

Lexington

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