Maybe gay or lesbian couples who are married should call each other “spouse” so that a certain segment of society won’t have their evening shows disrupted by seeing a male “wife” or female “husband.”
The original meaning of “religious liberty” alluded to a person’s right to worship in the church of his choice without hindrance from state laws.
I see no similarity between this definition and the recent cries that some people’s religious liberties are being threatened by the Supreme Court’s ruling on marriage equality earlier this summer.
There appears to be a twisted logic that says giving one group the legal right to marry diminishes my religious liberty. I think this comes from people confusing their religious beliefs with legal rights.
These people would have us abandon secular laws, which protect everyone regardless of race, religion or gender, for a narrow Christian theocracy to promote their religious beliefs.
Some of the most cruel acts have been perpetrated in the name of religion. We see it every night on the news in the Middle East, where errant fundamentalist Islamists are intent on killing those who do not accept their brand of Islam.
We must not let that happen in our country. We as Christians are bound by the New Testiment to love one another.
Let us not forget this.
As the nation rightfully rids itself of official placement of Confederate flags and as the National Park Service considers renaming Negro Bill Canyon (8-2, A13, “Pondered name change for canyon in Utah stirs debate”), should not Johnson County, Kan., officials consider a less offensive name for “Negro Creek”?
Rich get richer
Thanks to Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback and the Republican-dominated Legislature, every time Kansans buy clothes, gas, liquor or cigarettes, go out to eat or do anything that applies to everyday life, we are giving about a 1 percent tip to the Koch brothers, lawyers, rich farmers and 300,000 other wealthy Kansans for their tax cut.
Our new Kansas motto: Tip the Rich.
Kansas City, Kan.
On a recent mission trip to Kenya with Presbyterians from the area, I visited an orphanage, where they were keeping young elephants and rhinos whose parents had been killed. An attendant thought that the rhino was already virtually extinct and that elephants were quite endangered, too.
Hearing this inspired me to speak up for responsible stewardship of God’s creations here at home.
In 1973, the Endangered Species Act was signed into law and has saved many species from extinction. Today, we have this law to thank for bald eagles, grizzly bears, wolves and others.
In Missouri, we must address our declining bat population caused by disease and habitat loss. We need to ensure that the species that call Missouri home are taken care of using the best science. Cooperation among state and federal partners, cities and landowners can result in common-sense solutions that conserve habitat and preserve the beautiful diversity of our world.
The Endangered Species Act is a smart way to preserve species and habitat and has been effective in halting the destruction of creatures. I encourage our elected officials, especially Sens. Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt, to support the Endangered Species Act and other strong stewardship measures to preserve all of creation.
Takers in Kansas
We have all heard of Robin Hood and his exploits to take from the rich and give to the poor. Well, in Kansas we have the antithesis of Robin Hood, and he is known as the “Hood Sam.”
In 2012 and 2013, Gov. Sam Brownback got the Legislature to pass sweeping tax cuts that greatly benefited the most wealthy of his constituents. Then this year, facing huge budget deficits caused by his tax cuts for the wealthy, he again went to his obsequious Legislature and passed the largest tax increase in state history, which will largely hurt the working poor of Kansas.
This amounts to nothing more than wealth redistribution, which the Republicans rail against all the time. They must like this form of wealth redistribution because it takes from the poor and gives to the rich.
The Hood Sam has even had the temerity to state that this is no tax increase if you couple it with his previous tax cuts. Let’s call it what it really is, taking from the poor and giving to the rich.
This makes the wealthy the real takers in Kansas.
Max David Aber
Illegal immigration is rapidly destroying this country. We cannot continue to absorb between 10 million and 20 million illegal immigrants already here and more coming each day. Our schools, hospitals and judicial and welfare systems are breaking down with the load.
We have been told incessantly by the major media that fences on our southern border won’t work to slow this mass illegal immigration.
We deploy our troops around the world to protect and enforce the borders of other countries. But we can’t seem to protect our own borders.
The Secret Service is now putting spikes on top of the fence at the White House to protect the occupants. And last year on the Fourth of July, 8-foot chain-link fences were thrown up overnight around the entire National Mall to force American citizens through a few entry points.
When you want government officials to do it, I guess fences are possible and do work.
In the Land of Oz, there is a city called Topeka. This is where representatives from all across the Land of Oz come to better themselves and pretend to help all others outside of Topeka.
It is controlled by Sam Brownback, Kris Kobach and Nobacks in the statehouse. Brownback is the king, and he rules with a mighty force. No one dares to question his decisions, even if he is wrong.
If his wisdom is questioned, he threatens to block any and all changes made by the Nobacks. The Nobacks are those who are sent to Topeka to speak on behalf of the peasants in the many villages across the Land of Oz.
But the Nobacks are a wimpy group. They huff and they puff, but they never blow the house down. They just lie down and bow down to Brownback.
Then there is Kobach. He wants to be the next king, and he’s starved for power. He looks for anyone who may vote twice for, presumably a Democrat, which he fears.
However, the peasants are becoming restless and are tired of being taxed and used as scapegoats. They soon are going to throw all those Nobacks out.
Gun control failure
They say people learn from their mistakes. Well, a lot of people don’t.
Remember Prohibition? It didn’t work.
There were bootleggers, booze running and gangsters shooting up the works. What do you think would happen if there were a ban on guns?
The law abiders would give up their guns, and the criminals would laugh all the way to holding up people. The country would have to put on more police and border-patrol officers.
When will people and that man in the White House ever learn?
Robert A. Stompoly
I crashed my bike recently in Independence near R.D. Mize Road and Little Blue Parkway. A woman in a dark gray Nissan stopped to ask whether I was OK, and I said I was.
While I was getting myself and my bike back in order, she turned around and came back to check on me again. Thank you for your concern and kindness.
I was looking for a quote on kindness to tag onto my email earlier that day, and I chose this: “When I was young, I admired intelligent people. Now that I’m old, I admire kind people.” — Abraham Joshua Heschel.