Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss first responders, patriotism and separation of church and state

Heroic helpers

High praise and kudos are due to the courageous first responders who fought the horrific fires at Overland Park’s CityPlace development and neighboring homes Monday.

The firefighters, police officers, EMTs, utility crews, construction team members and the development company, the news media, ATF, hospital staffs, church communities, homeowners and citizens showed courage in the face of near insurmountable odds. There were minor injuries, but no loss of human life.

The challenge now is to gather the resiliency to grapple with loss and move toward recovery. My best wishes to all involved. This event stands as a testament to the strength of individuals working together for the common good of all. Each of us is safer because of you.

Diane L. Kehres


For the fittest

A recent letter writer is disgusted with the country of snivelers we have become in our maudlin concern for fellow humans who become sick or injured but can’t afford medical care.

“Health care is not a right,” he booms. He neglected to mention that in the good old days, “survival of the fittest” was the admired rule. That meant if you got sick and didn’t have money for a doctor, you were supposed to die and not hang around.

Sort of like the philosophy that applied to horses: If your horse got sick or lame, it was useless. No need to keep it around, eating hay. You shot him. End of problem.

My father had been sick, but he had a lot of money in the bank to pay for doctors. Then the Great Depression began, and the bank with all Daddy’s money closed.

This letter writer would have liked my father, who did not think he had any right to live if he didn’t have money to pay the doctor.

So my father committed suicide. His death was looked on with sad admiration. It was explained to me as “survival of the fittest.”

Helen Roser

Manhattan, Kan.

American first

America is a special place — I believe the most special place in the world. Most Americans have some connection to immigration in their ancestry. Immigrants have always been welcome in America.

Having said that, we have a serious problem with assimilation into American values and constitutional government. Any nation can and should accept and promote multiracialism, but no nation can survive and be successful if it is truly multicultural.

Citizens must be of one accord, proud and faithful to their nation’s values. It is about time for all Americans to start being Americans first and drop the nations from which they emigrated.

I respect all nationalities, and we all should have pride in our heritage. But first be proud that you are an American, living in the greatest country on earth.

Carroll L. Story

Lee’s Summit

Church, state

Dave Helling’s terrific opinion piece, “If faith trumps secular statutes, then no law is safe” (March 22, 17A) raises a salient point about religion and valid laws.

Those claiming divine authority to justify their actions, like Hobby Lobby’s Green family — as well as ISIS — may truly believe God is guiding them. That does not make it true.

Fortunately, we live in a country where religious liberty is guaranteed by the absolute separation of church and state. We can all believe what we want; we just can’t impose our beliefs on others.

Nor do beliefs grant immunity from the law.

As Helling accurately observed, even qualified judges can make bad decisions.

As our own Supreme Court seeks to weaken the Constitution by eroding the church-state separation, I’d like to propose a better solution. When sharing religious views, include a disclaimer; “The opinions expressed here do not necessarily reflect the opinions of any actual God.”

Georgia Jacobson

Blue Springs

Unite, don’t divide

I watched a show on PBS about Shia Muslims killing and displacing Sunnis during Iraq’s battle to eliminate ISIS. I was sickened by the sectarian barbarism, torture and murder. I realized that this was retribution for years past when Sunnis were in power and had their way with Shias.

Next I realized how fortunate and blessed I am to live in a place where this doesn’t happen and wouldn’t be tolerated. Then it dawned on me that the same thing happened here between 1860 and 1865. We fought and killed each other over politically conflated differences.

Now I see our government is led by someone who is dividing us and breeding contention.

I pray that we are not destined to relive the counterproductive legacy of our past — our differences, greed and basest instincts.

Steve Shaft

Prairie Village