Barry Goldwater, Kauffman Center, Kansas woes

05/02/2014 7:42 PM

05/02/2014 7:42 PM

Constitutional shield

Barry Goldwater, in a televised interview, looked straight at the camera and declared, “The religious right scares the hell out of me.”

We should remember his admonition when considering the push by some in church hierarchy to amend the Missouri Constitution. They want to allow public money to flow directly or indirectly to parochial schools via vouchers or tax credits. The U.S. is a democratic republic under a secular Constitution, and no part of the Constitution is more important than the Bill of Rights with its strong protections of religious liberty and of minorities and minority opinion.

With such legal safeguards, all dogma and shibboleths may be examined and re-examined, be they secular or sectarian. We owe the innovations that power our economy to this protection. Just as the Bill of Rights protects religion from government, so too does it protect government from religion.

When the church hierarchy launches a campaign to change this formula, we must ask, whom do we trust? The claim advanced by the church that parishioners are victims is arrogant nonsense.

It is time to eliminate some of the tax concessions already extended to churches, church schools and religious broadcasters.

Donald D. Meyer

Labadie, Mo. KC mobility issues

We have been season subscribers to the Kansas City Symphony for several years. The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts is a beautiful building with a striking view of the city.

However, unless you are young and able to handle stairs, it is not set up to move large audiences in and out of the structure. To leave the parking garage requires a wait for one of two overused elevators, then a trip up an escalator and then a wait for the one elevator that moves between the will-call floor and the main floor.

After a performance, everyone is attempting to leave at the same time. A recent Saturday evening emphasized the problem as the symphony and another performance took place the same evening.

The structure needs additional escalators to move people in the parking garage and another escalator to supplement the elevator that moves people from the will-call floor to the main floor.

Paul Hirth

Olathe Kansas stumbles

No need for bumper stickers or yard signs leading up to the November election. I’m just going to ask people to remember how many times they shook their heads in disbelief at something the Kansas Legislature and governor did in the past two years.

Gerald K. Gentry, Ph.D.

Olathe Oklahoma execution

I felt emotions of disgust and nausea while reading of Oklahoma’s botched execution (4-30, A1, “Oklahoma execution is botched, halted”).

God gives life and should not be circumvented by man taking what is rightfully God’s.

Grace Fiorella

Overland Park U.S. is racism-free?

So, in rapid order, we have an avowed white supremacist shoot up the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom care facility in Overland Park, followed by anti-government Nevada rancher Cliven Bundy explaining how “the Negro” might be better off picking cotton on a plantation, followed by Los Angeles Clippers owner Donald Sterling explaining his plantation mentality toward his NBA players.

The obvious conclusion? According to the U.S. Supreme Court, racism is no longer an issue in this country.

Kenneth Newman

Overland Park Attack on teachers

School administrators once tried to cram as many students as possible into a classroom. This would have made teachers just babysitters, and put the education of my kids (who are now grown) in jeopardy.

If it wasn’t for some tenured teachers and vigilant parents saying no to school administrators, it would have happened.

Americans for Prosperity pushed the bill through the Kansas Legislature that would stop the advocates for our children for fear of being fired. I’ve seen the veiled threats to the teachers who were noble enough to take a stand.

There have been provisions to terminate teachers who are not doing their jobs.

Now the teachers will have to kowtow to administrators who have their own agendas (other than our children). This teaches our children to not question authority when they think an injustice is being committed, but instead be subservient and docile.

This isn’t the America I grew up in. What would’ve happened if the Rev. Martin Luther King Jr. just looked down at his feet and walked away?

Workers can’t stand up for themselves (without representation), and now teachers are being beat down.

Who’s next?

Kansas lawmakers sold us all out to number crunchers.

Mark Anderson

Overland Park Motorcycle helmets

Is Missouri vying to be a major state for organ donors? How irresponsible to allow folks riding on two wheels to choose not to wear helmets.

Does the Missouri Legislature not know that everyone who rides on two wheels will likely fall? And who pays? Taxpayers do.

The medical system needs organs, and brain-dead motorcycle accident victims are great sources. However, that’s not the end of it.

Brain injuries are expensive to treat. Maybe the injured person has insurance, maybe not. If not, then we taxpayers get stuck with the injured person’s irresponsible decision.

The expense doesn’t stop there.

Who’s going to take care of the dead person’s family — the taxpayers? Aid to dependent children, housing support, education support, food stamps, Social Security — and the list goes on.

It does not seem apparent that those in the House who voted for this did their homework. Why, with all the issues facing this state, did this have to be a priority?

Sen. Will Kraus, I hope that when this issue reaches final action by the Senate, you and the Senate body will have better sense.

Bob Burns

Blue Springs GOP is anti-women

I thought the goal of Republicans after the last election was to try to reach out to female voters. They even held seminars on how to talk to women.

Given that women make 77 cents on the dollar compared with men, you would think the Paycheck Fairness Act would be a no-brainer. But no.

Republicans insist that there is no wage gap, that this is just a number made up by Democrats.

According to their statements, it is actually women’s fault for not being better negotiators when it comes to wages.

The argument used to be that women were paid less as they took time off for things such as childbirth and child care. That argument seemed to go away now that men are allowed to take time off to stay at home after their children are born.

Are Republicans in a war on women?

No, they’re just anti-women’s rights.

Karen Lane

Overland Park Compliant Kansas

When will the geniuses propelling the Kansas lower-taxes and retraction of social services juggernaut wake up to the fact that business leaders have more than one factor to consider when evaluating the ideal location for expansion?

Contrary to the beliefs and actions of Gov. Sam Brownback and company, intelligent and responsible business executives will not expose employees to an environment of schools with inadequate funding and the threat of taking freedom of choice from the state’s women.

Kansas is a state with government leaders whose actions are turning it into a national disgrace and the butt of jokes.

Reactionary, mean-spirited laws and regulations are making Kansas inhospitable to a significant percentage of residents who cherish quality education for their children and the quality of life that is being eroded.

The actions and narrow goals are those of totalitarian egotism. Worst of all, the trend is just a harbinger of the ultimate goals of the governor and the compliant congressional delegation.

Steve Sherry

Kansas City

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