Marriage a societal concept not bound by religions
With regard to the controversy regarding same-sex marriages and marriage in general:
For very good reasons, the average person believes marriage has something to do with God, because various religious faiths have adopted marriage as a holy relationship. Marriage, as I recall from my college studies, was created maybe a thousand or more years before Abraham by Germanic tribes.
It was a concept created to protect children by giving parents a sense of responsibility and children a sense of belonging.
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Today, however, with divorces, adoptions, single parenthood and other factors, households consisting of solely biological parents and children are a minority.
As evidence that marriage is a non-religious concept, consider that, if a ceremony is held without the issuance of a marriage license, the couple, whether male and female or a same-sex couple, is not married.
Marriage is a three-party deal consisting of the couple and the state. Subsequently, should the couple want to divorce, they cannot do so without the consent of that third party, the state. So, if a state wants to recognize a same-sex marriage, neither religion nor God can prevent it.
By the same token, neither religion nor God can prevent a male and female from marrying, which has been the accepted custom.
Unfortunately, numerous worthwhile customs, like bow ties and bloomers, have outlived their intended purpose for many. But for many, bow ties are still in fashion, thank heavens.
I mostly agree with Merlene Davis' concise assessment in her Aug. 1 column on immigration reform.
The flaw with the discussed comprehensive immigration reform is that it was tried in 1986 with the Immigration Reform Control Act.
This legislation failed to improve the basic problem. Why should we think this Congress will be able to do better than before with more comprehensive bill, especially since the situation is now much more complex?
There is one small piece of legislation that could start the process. It is called the DREAM Act. It would allow the qualified undocumented children raised in the United States to enter college. If examined carefully, it is a win/win proposal for everyone.
Due to the segmentation of our society, many people do not get to know Latinos as individuals. In our schools is where this is changing. It is this generation that will break down the present climate of anti-immigration sentiment. I see that in the college classrooms where I teach. Why not accelerate this assimilation process where we get to know each other as individuals?
I have been in this arena since I was a migrant farm worker in 1974. Last week, when an undocumented high school senior told me he wants to be an astronaut, I was reminded that he has a dream.
My, my, the Herald-Leader editorial staff sure can't abide anyone expressing opposition to a Muslim mosque at Ground Zero, be they libertarian or an attorney general.
Your editorial excoriated both Rand Paul and Jack Conway and anyone who rode in with them for saying these folks might be better off building the mosque at some other location.
In your words, these folks "spew senseless demagogy," have "insatiable egos" and "represent pure hypocrisy." These rabble-rousers are even likened to supporters of mountaintop removal mining. Now, that sure is strong.
Strange, but I don't recall similar outrage when the Vineyard Community Church folks were hounded out of a Lexington neighborhood. And where were the editorials decrying "diminishing freedoms" when the Quest Community Church folks were denied the right to build a church on land they owned on Man o' War Boulevard?
Well, in all fairness, those latter instances were different. Then, Christians were being denied, and that strangely doesn't seem to trigger the Herald-Leader's indignation.
A sad display
I saw U.S. Rep. John Boehner, R-Ohio, on television the other day. What is new? He is interviewed often. I was impressed by the sadness in his face. Is this sadness from birth or is it cultivated for political purposes? I do not know.
Boehner's sad face was matched by his words. He laments the growing national debt. And he laments the current attempts by some to help teachers and others keep their jobs with TARP funds. I do not know which is most important.
One question comes to mind. Was Boehner just as outraged when President Ronald Reagan increased the national debt? Was he outraged when Reagan increased the size of the national government? I do not remember any protests.
Was he outraged when President George W. Bush increased the national debt? Was he critical when Bush cut taxes for the rich which also increased the national debt? Again, I do not remember any such protest.
Is Boehner really against the debt or helping people, or is he advancing a political agenda? Maybe he is trying to help his party regain power.
It would be good if Boehner and his colleagues would cease the lament and present some good ideas on how to help the nation do better. Lament and "just saying no" are not very helpful methods.
I hope others are not fooled by this show. It is time to engage in dialogue and advance pragmatic ideas. That kind of activity might just be constructive.
Richard M. Royalty
Laura Schlessinger and Sarah Palin must think the American people are clueless. Schlessinger was not denied her First Amendment rights, which apply only to speech which is suppressed by the government.
She works, rather worked, for a privately held company and the complaint came from a private citizen that called her radio program. Palin, in her support of Schlessinger, is as usual talking about something of which she has no knowledge and turning it into another opportunity to churn up her base.
Two women, each with a powerful voice in our society — one makes a point of heatedly using a racist and horribly derogatory word multiple times over the airwaves, and the other defends her for frivolous reasons.
One is arrogant, and the other is a blatant opportunist. Perhaps Schlessinger will use her newfound free time to take a civics class.
Perhaps she will give her class notes to Palin, who should write them on her hand. Perhaps both will become something other than an embarrassment in our society.
Keep up good work
The Purchase of Development Rights Program (PDR) is the responsibility of the Rural Land Management Board, which is a mayoral-appointed, council-approved board.
Does the average citizen understand the amazing concept of the PDR program whose goal is to retain for perpetuity a critical land mass of 50,000 rural acres?
Nearly 25,000 acres of irreplaceable farmland has already been acquired via a Land Evaluation and Site Assessment system.
With the city matching federal and state funds, the average cost of $2,500 per program acre is a wise investment in Fayette County's future.
The average participant reinvests in the agricultural economy via additional livestock purchase, soil improvements, building and fencing repair, seed and implement purchases, etc.
Only horse farms in the program? Nope. There is about a half-and-half mix of horse farms with general agriculture and specialty farms. The PDR program is a bargain at today's worth for tomorrow's benefits. Think ag economy. Think ag tourism.
The candidate for Urban County Council at-large Linda Gorton has been a consistent supporter of the PDR program.
She deserves to remain in office as an at-large member based on past sound experience and judgment plus future consideration of the many challenging issues the next council will encounter.
How to save economy
Four years ago, I turned on a TV news interview of company executives discussing outsourcing by American manufacturing companies.
The interviewer asked if it were true U.S. companies moved overseas because of the availability of cheaper labor.
One of the executives replied, "Don't forget, most citizens of those countries can't afford to purchase our products. It is necessary that we ship them back to the United States for sale. When one considers the expense of shipment back to America, the cheaper foreign labor isn't that much of an advantage. It was extreme regulations imposed by the government of the United States that caused our companies to either close down or move to locations where they can manufacture."
Any self-sufficient nation must have a manufacturing base. Loss of American jobs and dependence upon foreign companies for products we need are two important issues at stake. In addition, we have to consider that these damaging regulations are unconstitutional. Most of the career politicians have shredded the U.S. Constitution for years.
In November, it is vitally important for voters to elect candidates who will recognize the importance of a return to constitutional limitations.
A repeal of unfair regulations will be essential to restore the American economy to its former strength. Senate candidate Rand Paul is one of those pro-constitution candidates.
I have been having a difficult time deciding for whom to vote for mayor this November.
Then all of a sudden, I had an epiphany. Would I rather have an attorney or a businessman running Lexington?
Just when I think Sen. Mitch McConnell can't sink any lower, he finds a shovel and digs some more.
His latest hole-digging involves praising former President George W. Bush for the troop surge in Iraq while criticizing the current president for opposing it.
How about criticizing the former president for taking this country to war in Iraq in the first place?
The war in Iraq has been a total waste of American lives and billions in taxpayer dollars. It was totally unnecessary and based on lies. There were no weapons of mass destruction. Instead of making us safer from terrorism, it has made us less so.
Until I hear one Republican or Tea Party leader acknowledge these facts, any complaint they have about President Barack Obama is going to fall on deaf ears. "Obamacare" did not cause our trillion-dollar national debt; the unnecessary war in Iraq did.
George W. Bush is a traitor to this country for taking us to war in Iraq and deserves no praise whatsoever. Rather, he deserves to be tried for treason, and any politician who praises him should be ridden out of town on a rail.
Credit where it's due
So Mitch McConnell wants to give credit to former President George W. Bush for the end of combat in Iraq.
That's reasonable. We should also give President Bush "credit" for getting us into a war we had no business being in in the first place.
Not a Wildcats fan
University of Kentucky basketball fans didn't want new coach John Calipari to send a basketball jersey to President Barack Obama.
Now they don't have to worry about visiting the White House as NCAA champions, either; that was the Blue Devils of Duke.
Hey Cats fans, did you drink the blue Kool-Aid? You said the Cats had a wonderful season by finishing in the Elite Eight of the 2010 NCAA Tournament.
However, the Elite Eight was never good enough for Tubby Smith. Oh, yeah, we keep forgetting, it was the "style of play." We all know that his skin color had nothing to do with it.
You fans got what you deserve again by losing in the tournament, and I couldn't be happier. All you do is belittle other schools' programs when yours is also seriously flawed. Let's see how long it takes before mighty UK gets on probation again.
You brag about the number of victories with your basketball program (UK2K).
After seeing your grade reports in the newspaper, your slogan should be UK2.OK.
I hate the Wildcats, and I'm not moving out of Kentucky either.