Letter maligned Muslim, Christian traditions
It was with regret that I read the Sept. 21 letter, "Speak out, Muslims." In no way does it speak for the Christian tradition nor does it accurately reflect the good will and leadership of the majority of Muslim faith communities.
I would remind readers that Christianity has its share of hate-filled people who have cloaked God in the rags of terror, power and hatred as witnessed by the Crusades, anti-Semitism, slavery and barbaric quarrels within nations.
Muslims have spoken out against people who have misused their Muslim faith tradition but statements of good will and clarifications of beliefs and traditions do not make news stories.
Christians and Jews are commanded to love God with all their mind, heart and soul, and to love neighbor as self. A similar expectation is embraced by the Muslim tradition.
Regrettably there are people who profess to believe in God but whose lives, for a multitude of reasons, reflect evil. If you wish to understand better the supposed divide between Muslims and Christians, I encourage you to read Allah: A Christian Response by Miroslav Volf.
Janet M. Ehrmantraut
Court's role confused
The Roberts court favors corporations and the 1 percent and worsens inequality, wrote Ron Formisano, who is either confused about the Supreme Court's role or intent on confusing readers.
The court exists to settle disputes regarding the interpretation of laws and to function as the nation's final court of appeals.
It is not in the business of championing particular individuals, groups or organizations. It could no more fulfill its mission by favoring the 99 percent than by favoring the 1 percent.
Like any judiciary, it earns legitimacy by demonstrating and protecting equality before the law. Other kinds of equality are outside its job description.
Formisano expresses horror over the 2010 Citizens United decision, which affirmed First Amendment rights for corporations. Like most Citizens critics, he neglects to mention that some corporations, including the publisher of his essay, had long enjoyed free speech rights without controversy.
In essence, the Supreme Court was asked why Comcast, Walt Disney and McClatchy could freely engage in political advocacy forbidden to Whole Foods, Nike or the United Mine Workers. A majority found no logical answer and expanded speech rights to all. If Formisano can square the circle that stumped the justices, he should do so in a future column.
Improve end-of-life care
The Hospice of the Bluegrass Board of Directors applauds the Herald-Leader for reporting the recent Institute of Medicine study calling for a "sweeping overhaul...for end-of-life care".
The study indicates that the U.S. health "system fails to meet patient needs." This is an important issue. We want residents in Fayette and the 31 counties served by Hospice of the Bluegrass to know they are fortunate to have care options and that HOB is leading the way nationally for other health-care providers.
Last year, because of HOB's expertise in palliative care and helping the seriously ill, Medicare asked HOB to test a new program in southeastern Kentucky. Medicare is pleased with the results and we are hopeful the program will be funded and become widely available throughout the United States.
HOB is committed to helping our residents wherever they live to make important decisions about their health care.
As the article states, care for the seriously ill is currently underfunded and underutilized. Please join us in helping our neighbors who are seriously ill. Share with them the good work of Hospice of the Bluegrass and give if you are able. Visit www.hospicebg.org to donate, volunteer or refer a patient or family.
Board Chair, Hospice of the Bluegrass
(This letter was also signed by other board members.)
Not that reassuring
So, President Barack Obama has assured us that no ISIS members are in the country and we, the people are in no danger from these forces.
But at the same time, a person is able to jump a fence and get to the door of the White House. Makes me wonder just how concerned we should be about Obama's assurances.
My wife and I have been Lexington Philharmonic attendees for over 20 years and have enjoyed the orchestra's musical growth and fine performances.
I have particularly appreciated the fall opening concert at which the national anthem was played and sung.
What a missed opportunity for all at the recent season opener when The Star Spangled Banner was absent, particularly during the very week that our nation was celebrating the 200th anniversary of its writing.
As I have told my various college classes and campus colleagues, the anthem is not just for athletic events. I'll trust that the omission was one of the mind and not the heart. Guess I'll just have to "wait 'till next year."
It is no wonder that students often use poor grammar.
The superintendent of Fayette County Public Schools is quoted in headlines on a recent front page, as having said "We've got problems that need to be fixed."
Does he mean that we have problems that need to be kept in place? Or does he mean that we have problems that need to be castrated?
We have gotten (sic) so used to poor grammar that few people know the difference.
Prather on preachers
I admired the forthrightness of Paul Prather's Sept. 14 column.
He reminds me of another Mount Sterling citizen, the pioneer James French, who in 1825 published a Baptist circular stating that the problems Christians of that era faced included preachers' drunkenness, "illicit commerce between the sexes" and involvement in secular politics.
However, Prather could have included at least some exploration of alternatives to his conclusion that ministers' faults don't "mean the message they preach isn't true."
What if that's not so? Does the possibility not require consideration, or is the idea too unsettling to even entertain?
Does a religion purporting to clean up its adherents from the inside out gain from the claim that its ministers, supposedly trying to save souls under the guidance of a deity who knows their very thoughts, are "merely human" and therefore not to be held to any higher standard than the "lost" they hope to convert?
I wonder, exactly as I ponder which is worse: The idea of this deity becoming the tool of a foul-tempered old "prophet's" anger in the story of Elisha and the bears quoted by Prather? Or that the biblical account simply recorded an ancient mother's tale to scare kids into behaving?
Herald-Leader failed in climate march coverage
The Herald-Leader's news coverage of the climate march, particularly of the New York City gathering, is pathetic, comparable to a rural weekly or a high school paper. I've seen much better news coverage even in those papers.
Kentucky had over 110 people in NYC last Sunday, joining the estimated 310,000 to 500,000 people marching, 12 to 15 feet across the streets from 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m.
Located along the 6th Avenue/Central Park intersection to share with the entire parade of participants a "Stop Mountaintop Removal Kentucky" sign, I was photographed, applauded, interviewed or simply met hundreds of people. I met one blogger from Brazil, diplomats from South Africa, United Nations staffers, Norwegians, a Farm Aid organizer and people from Britain, Hawaii, New Hampshire, Minnesota and even Kentucky.
Representatives from politicians, labor unions, vegans, medical health professionals, universities, towns and religious groups had many creative messages and signs that I had so little time to read. All participating knew the damages to our environment are real and the future for our children at stake.
Maybe these words will precipitate others to share, but do not ignore this major issue and numbers of those concerned.
Bicyclist puts many at risk
Your Sept. 19 editorial regarding Cherokee Schill's dilemma is very interesting, yet maybe somewhat inaccurate. Why do you believe Schill has a "legal right to be on the road"? The automobiles on that road must be registered and licensed. Schill has neither on her bicycle and is creating serious and dangerous disruptions in the flow of traffic on busily traveled U.S. 27.
And her camera (if she is so poor, how can she afford that?) on her bicycle distinctly shows her riding in the middle of the right lane of the highway. Automobile drivers pay taxes to help provide and maintain these roads. The automobiles passing her on the right in the emergency lane certainly should not do that. However, they probably feel this avoidance is better than running over someone they unexpectly encounter going approximately 10 miles an hour while they are driving down a highway at 55 mph.
Schill is creating a danger to herself and others and should not be allowed to do so, just as we do not allow dangerous drunken drivers on our roads. And, again, she is neither a registered or licensed driver.
Billie B. Johnson
Irresponsible editorial support
What if our bicyclist had been seriously injured or killed and the police had done nothing?
There would have been a horrible tragedy for the family of our bicyclist and for the person who had struck her.
Her actions display an arrogant self righteousness that usually results in harm to someone.
The Herald-Leader on the other hand would have served the community better if its editorial, "Where is Bluegrass regional transit?," had pushed for a discussion on better public transportation or even a bicycle path. But. instead, it contributed to creating a hostile if not paranoid environment toward law enforcement — that they were persecuting this person even as they were performing their duties to enforce public safety. (Pennsylvania presently proves that little encouragement is needed.)
If law enforcement had warned her once then they are obligated to pursue the problem. If not and she had been injured or caused someone else to be injured or killed, who would the paper be blaming then?