Oklahoma Gazette provides an open forum for the discussion of all points of view in its Letters to the Editor section. The Gazette reserves the right to edit letters for length and clarity. Letters can be mailed, faxed, e-mailed to email@example.com or sent online at www.okgazette.com, but include a city of residence and contact number for verification.
‘UNIVERSAL BATTLE BETWEEN GOOD AND EVIL’
Regarding Greg Horton’s cover story “Is the religious left right?” in the Dec. 8 Oklahoma Gazette:
The question is not whether Oklahoma should side with the warmhearted Christian left who see the love of God in all things human or the Christian right who know God doesn’t love all his creations and want the law to hate them also; the question is how do we move past this concept of settling for what we can believe from our differing interpretations of a cultural history/myth/winners version of how things got this way.
If there is a universal battle between good and evil deities, it was surely a victory for the evil deity to convince mankind that belief was superior to knowledge. Our problems don’t need the appeasement of or direction from a deity. They require that humans understand the problems, understand that we are all in this together with common long-term goals and understand that there will be few easy fixes.
The churches may be fine places for meeting friends and feeling like one is part of a community; but they are self-crippled into lacking the tools and perspective to map a workable way into the future.
—Clinton Wiles Oklahoma City
LIBERALS WAGE CULTURE WAR
The Rev. Robin Meyers claims that in Oklahoma, “We’re passing laws to wage the culture war, not to put people back to work or educate our kids” (Greg Horton, “Is the religious left right?,” Dec. 8, Gazette). This case of the pot calling the kettle black is a classic example of a liberal political tactic described by Jonah Goldberg as “socialist-parry, cultural-thrust” or “economics-ondefense, culture-on-offense.”
Liberals routinely wage the culture war through courts and legislation to impose things like same-sex marriage, adoption rights for homosexuals, open homosexuality in the military, “hate crimes” legislation, abortion and contraception for minors without parental consent or notification and non-enforcement of immigration laws, just to name a few. Yet, when society passes conservative legislation to defend itself against this “cultural thrust,” liberals like Meyers parry with the economic argument that such legislation does not “put people back to work or educate our kids,” even though this objection applies equally to the liberals’ culture war agenda.
Jeff Hamilton of the Interfaith Alliance of Oklahoma claims that the Christian right does not understand religious liberty and is attacking civil liberties. Yet it is the homosexual political agenda of the Christian left that is attacking the civil liberties of Christians by refusing to accommodate their religious convictions, even when accommodation is easily made. According to Chai Feldblum of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, “There can be a conflict between religious liberty and sexual liberty, but in almost all cases the sexual liberty should win. … I’m having a hard time coming up with any case in which religious liberty should win.”
For example, Catholic Charities in Boston, San Francisco and Washington, D.C., had to stop providing adoptions because they refused to violate their religious convictions by placing children with homosexual couples. A lesbian’s lawsuit led the California Supreme Court to rule that a pair of Christian physicians who perform in vitro fertilization must do so for unmarried women, even if doing so violates the physicians’ religious convictions. Eastern Michigan University kicked a Christian student out of its graduate counseling program because she could not in good conscience affirm a client’s homosexuality. In each case, authorities rejected readily available alternatives that would have met homosexual clients’ needs without violating the Christians’ consciences.
As for the retired minister who claims that it is “wrong and immoral to vote for the Republican ticket” (www.OKGazette. com), only an online response will suffice and will soon follow.
—K.A. Straughn Norman
As I started my daily commute driving on Interstate 40 to my job at the Federal Aviation Administration, I was in a joyous mood. My Republican Party had gotten the message to prevent “Washington Overreach” and had emerged victorious in the recent election.
I had plenty of reason to be happy. I was a year away from retiring and collecting my federal pension and Social Security benefits. Thankfully, my prescription drugs would be the real things; approved by the FDA, not some foreign counterfeits. Also, Medicare would cover them.
Yes, I’ve done pretty well for myself.
You see I’m a self-made man. Pulled up my own bootstraps. I worked hard to get through college on my G.I. Bill after retiring from the U.S. Air Force. It had been tough because I had been stationed at one time or another at Tinker, Altus and Vance Air Force bases here at home.
Lots of construction and improvements continuing on I-40 — good thing our U.S. senators fought so hard for those federal highway funds for Oklahoma’s interstates. Hats off to those same senators for bringing in all those federal farm subsidies for us, too!
Yes sir, this was going to be a good day barring a tornado drops out of the sky, destroys my house and then I would have to have the Federal Emergency Management Agency rebuild it again.
Oh yeah, note to self: Use my Obama tax cut to buy more tea bags for the rally this weekend. We have to stop “Washington Overreach,” you know!
I believe that the state of Oklahoma should keep daylight saving time yearround, and I have created a petition to send to the Oklahoma Legislature. The benefits of doing this are numerous, and the negatives are few (if any).
The arguments against DST are largely irrelevant to extending DST into the winter, because they focus either on too much daylight in the evening or not enough daylight before work. In the winter, the daylight will not extend into the evening or before work, regardless of whether DST is in effect.
The main reason DST is opposed is because of the farmers. But farmers set their work schedules by the sun, not by the clock.
So, opposition on behalf of farmers is without merit. It’s true that during the winter months we would be on a different time than other states in our time zone, but the same is true with Arizona and Hawaii and it works OK for them.
Since most Oklahomans work indoors, DST is needed even more in the winter than the summer. So why end it when we need it the most? Daylight saving time should continue all year long.
Positives to keeping DST year-round: 1. There will still be daylight when people get home from 9-5 jobs.
2. More exposure to sunlight during the week will help prevent depression and possibly even suicide.
3. Lack of sunlight in the winter months has been linked to the sharp increase in cases of influenza.
4. More afternoon sunlight has been shown to reduce the number of automobile accidents.
5. More afternoon sunlight has been shown to benefit retailers and any outdoors-related businesses.
6. No more confusion with having to change the clock back/forward twice a year.
7. Changing the clocks on and off DST during the year has been shown to increase work-related accidents.
8. Seasonal affective disorder will be significantly reduced.
9. Clock changes affect the circadian rhythm so much that frequency of heart attacks rise significantly during the first three workdays following the spring clock change.
10. Clock changes have been shown to result in adverse effects from medical devices that can harm patients.
11. More sunlight exposure reduces some mental illnesses.
12. More afternoon sunlight leads to more exercise.
13. More sunlight exposure can help decrease the risk of at least 13 different types of cancer.
14. Lack of sunlight may also be linked to autism, Alzheimer’s disease, osteoarthritis, Parkinson’s disease, arthritis, rickets and cystic fibrosis. 15. Sunlight helps maintain adequate levels of insulin in Type 2 diabetics.
16. Sunlight exposure helps increase survival in patients with cardiovascular disease and may decrease the risk of stroke.
—Jonathan Grant Norman