Letters to the editor: April 9

April 9, 2014 

Equality may reach Kentucky too late for loving partners

I read with much sadness that Gov. Steve Beshear has proceeded with his money-wasting and regressive attempt to delay marriage equality in our state. Perhaps Kentucky will be among the last to grant equal rights to its gay and lesbian citizens, but progress in this area is inevitable. As one pundit on TV remarked, "That train has left the station."

I hope it will come quickly enough for me and my 83-year-old partner. She has physical challenges and has also been diagnosed with Alzheimer's disease. We have been together for 38 years. Together we raised 3 children, all of whom are straight. They are also exemplary citizens and have followed our family tradition of rescuing animals.

If you would ask any of the health care professionals who treat my partner, you would hear about my deep devotion and commitment as a caregiver.

Trust me, if we are able to have a legal marriage ceremony in our chosen state of Kentucky, I will not ask your fundamentalist minister to perform it. I will not ask photographers and florists who despise us to provide their services. However, friendly and inclusive businesses may experience a real bonanza — unless all of us have traveled out of state to spend our wedding budgets.

Right now my dear partner is not up to traveling, and that's why I wish Kentucky politicians would do the right thing and come down on the right side of history.

Pat Ritz


Snake-bite death

I was disappointed to read Paul Prather's comments concerning the death of Jamie Coots, who died from a snake bite suffered during a religious ceremony. The death is a tragedy, but Prather's comments compound the tragedy by blaming the death on literal biblical interpretation. I believe that Coots was wrong about Mark 16:17-18, but from misunderstanding that passage in the context of the New Testament, not being "too literal."

Prather takes what he described as a "high...view of scripture." I believe it is more high-minded than high, placing his judgments over the words of God. His authority comes from John Wesley, telling us that Wesley's position is based on centuries of Christian history. In that same history I find the Crusades, using the gospel for money and execution of those who translated the Bible.

In contrast to this, we should consider the words of God himself. God gave Moses a number of details concerning the building of the first tabernacle which we find in Exodus 25-31. God warns Moses to follow this very detailed pattern exactly in Exodus 25:40.

The problem with the approach advocated by Prather is man places himself in the position of deciding what details are important. Paul asks the man who would sit in judgment of God and his words, "Who are you, O man, who answers back to God?" (Romans 9:20). I advise instead the wisdom of Eli, "Say, 'Speak Lord, for your servant is listening'" (1 Samuel 3:9).

Edward Pagan


Jensen impresses

I was disappointed in the March 16 article, "Barr challenger must prove herself to Democrats," by Sam Youngman. Rather than focus on the credentials of the candidates, especially those of the challenger Elisabeth Jensen who is new to the political scene in Kentucky, the article was a complacent, defeatist synopsis of modern-day, money-driven politics.

What did this article accomplish? This is newsworthy? The fact that Jensen is an outsider going up against the incumbent with much greater financial backing? Point taken. That could have been made in the first paragraph. However, as someone who has benefited from Jensen's hard work and tenacity, I wonder if many others know her as I do. She spearheaded The Race for Education which was directly responsible for a college scholarship that enabled me to pursue my career in the Thoroughbred industry in Central Kentucky. What was a great idea became a reality and has since funded hundreds of students' educations across the country.

Jensen is no stranger to a challenge, whatever the odds may be. She has overcome adversity, fought for what she believed in, all the while with character, integrity, kindness and compassion. Traits seemingly harder and harder to find in Washington.

Chance Timm


Don't send Brangers

The Herald-Leader reported on March 16 that no charges will be filed against Officer Jeff Brangers for shooting Angel, his neighbor's dog. Shame on her owner for letting her wander. Shame on Brangers for his lack of character and kindness.

Being a police officer is not just about carrying and sometimes using a gun and being paid a decent wage to do so. Police officers are supposed to set and be the example of the law; they used to be public servants. Don't shoot old dogs, who have owners too irresponsible to keep them in their yards (a 12-year-old Labrador is old), unless they are aggressively attacking you or your loved ones (might include chickens here). I don't want this guy dispatched to my house in an emergency.

The article said Lexington police had started an internal inquiry. I hope this lack of sound judgment and good character will be noted and the police department will deal with it swiftly. Let's further hope that if this officer retains his position that he is never allowed to transfer to the K-9 division. These are prime jobs in a difficult economy; actions outside the workplace should probably have bearing on the status of that good job.

Jaclynn A. Williams


Great job, creator

Big Bang. God creates the universe. Spring flowers snap up. The great one brings into being majestic winds that crackle through fall colors and blow over the laughing seashores and whisk the silent snows. Multi-colored craters pop up. Flying, swimming, walking, great and small. Finally for an encore snap, crackle, pop, Rice Krispies and Gatewood Galbraith with the munchies.

Personally I think God did a bangup job. What's the rumble? Seize the day.

Duke Martin


Vote McConnell

Just like the Kentucky Derby, the Kentucky Senate race is right around the corner; the urgency of that race prompts me to write this letter. For my entire life I have been a Democrat with a pulpit. I have regularly preached true values of my party such as economic equality and a government for all.

I voted for John Yarmuth, I think Steve Beshear is a great governor and I am a member of the College Democrats of America. But for the first time in my life I will be voting for a Republican, and he is the only Republican I will vote for: Mitch McConnell. Why? Because who are going to replace him with?

McConnell is one of the most powerful politicians in our country and in Kentucky's history, second only to the historic Henry Clay. Regardless of McConnell's conservative federal politics, his record has shown that he looks out for Kentucky and gets federal funding for our state. This is a bipartisan fact that goes beyond party lines and politics.

This is what Kentuckians should care about in a senate candidate. No other candidate the state can muster, Democrat or Republican, can fulfill his role at the national level. Regardless of your party, if you are a Kentuckian, you should consider voting for McConnell.

Michael Mannen


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