Vatican proves it's out of touch, unlike the nuns
The Vatican announced that Rome will be taking more direct supervision over the Leadership Conference of Women Religious. The Vatican claims that the conference has allowed influential members and speakers at its meetings to undercut core church doctrines on sexuality, the nature of Jesus, and the male-only priesthood.
The U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops claims that the Girl Scouts are distributing inappropriate sex-education materials and associating with organizations with views that conflict with church teachings.
I believe these actions are continuing signs that Rome is out of touch with its parishioners.
First, the nearly 56,000 sisters nationwide are more attuned to spiritual issues facing parishioners than is the Vatican.
I speak as a lifelong Catholic. I was educated by nuns, prepared for communion and confirmation by nuns, nursed by nuns, and have several cousins who are nuns. I was never sexually abused by a nun, but I was sexually abused by a priest.
Second, the Vatican should spend more time and energy addressing the despicable behavior by priests. It should take a lesson from the nuns who openly address issues relating to sexuality and birth control, resulting in people learning how to cope with the challenges they face in a complex world.
The Girl Scouts should be encouraged to address the issues that young women are likely to face, including the discussion of ideas that conflict with those of the Catholic Church.
Finally, the suppression of speech by the church leads to frustration and depression, and alienation from the church. It is no wonder Catholic Church membership has declined.
Rep. Tom Burch
I must take issue with Rep. Stan Lee's recent article asking for the public vote before his recent reelection.
This man is a model of hypocrisy. He believes that, in his words, a bigger more intrusive government is bad for this state, but it's OK for government to intrude on the lives of gays by denying them the right to marry.
He also voted against allowing the government to dictate what medicine you can take, but he has no problem interfering with a woman's right to an abortion.
Ever the constitutional scholar, Lee cites his defense of the Second and 10th Amendments.
I sincerely hope Lee is as diligent in defending the 14th Amendment which, when translated as loosely as the Second Amendment, would guarantee the rights of gays to marry.
Is Rupp another Yum?
The Rupp renovation project appears to be following the same course as the KFC Yum Center. Both had task forces for initial planning. A non-profit corporation, the Louisville Arena Authority, was established to manage Yum.
The Arena Authority board is composed of predominantly private-sector representatives. The managing entity for Rupp has not been announced. Could it be the Lexington Center Corporation, also a non-profit with an existing board?
Yum received substantial state funding. Rupp has received $2.5 million, but expect additional requests as the project proceeds. An agreement is normally executed between the state and managing organizations. One requirement is the project has to be managed in accordance with state statutes.
Local control through a non-profit with little or no traditional government participation raises accountability issues. It is highly doubtful the Arena Authority Board was familiar or experienced with state statutes. There is little reason to believe the board sought continuing guidance from state government. Expect Rupp activities to follow the same approach.
Each project involves hundreds of millions of dollars. Should non-profits and other such organizations be left to their own devices, whims without traditional government oversight when tax dollars are involved?
Specifically, did the Arena Authority and will the Rupp managing organization comply with state government procurement processes when selecting architects, engineers, construction managers and contractors, other requirements to construct the facilities and make them operational?
Bills correct on USPS
The U.S. Postal Service's most immediate problem is the requirement to pre-fund future retiree health benefits for the next 75 years, at a cost of $5.5 billion a year.
It is the only organization, public or private, that is required by the 2006 law to prefund such benefits.
Two bills in Congress, HR 3591 and S 1853, both titled "The Postal Service Protection Act," contain all the components to return USPS to profitability. There are no taxpayer dollars involved, just access to USPS dollars.
Cutting service to our citizens is no way to grow this business. The national media has been duped by USPS news releases that do not mention this onerous prefunding requirement. The statement that USPS had lost over $5 billion in a recent year fails to mention this "poison pill."
The facts related to this problem are readily verifiable. Failure to save the Postal Service will surely cause a recession and hardship, especially in our rural areas of the commonwealth.
Robert P. McNulty
Setting it straight
In regard to the letter in which the writer wondered how Massachusetts could have a mandate in its health care law but the other states cannot — any state that votes to have a mandate and their state constitution allows it can have a mandate. Whether the mandate stands is up to that state or possibly a court challenge. States can often do things that the federal government cannot do.
As to the "radical conservative Supreme Court justices," because you are considered conservative or liberal does not make you radical. A U.S. Supreme Court justice is to rule on the constitutionality of something, not vote according to biases.
There are four conservatives and four liberals on the court, and one who is considered a "swing" vote. He is often difficult to pin down as to which way he might vote.
The justices presently serve for life, although the Constitution does not require this. Each sitting president generally appoints a justice who is the same party as his, although he doesn't have to.
I would imagine the letter writer would be perfectly happy if the four liberal justices and the swing voter would vote her way. Then there would be no problem with the Supreme Court.
The Constitution still rules. The health care law will be ruled on the basis of its constitutionality, not on the whims of the justices.
The Supreme Court is one of the "checks and balances" in our government, not a radical, activist arm of government.
I am appalled at the number of people now on the government entitlement programs. Doesn't anybody want to work any more?
I promise to vote for the first politician, regardless of party, who has the integrity to delete this ridiculous word from the political menu. Wake up everyone, and see the writing on the wall.
Anne M. Wells