Stand for equality
I would like to add my name to the list of readers who are glad to have Jeneé Osterheldt back in Kansas City and back to giving us insightful commentary in The Star. I am in complete agreement with her support of professional athletes who protest inequality and injustice by refusing to stand during the national anthem. (Sept. 12, 2A, “Don’t believe in protests? You don’t believe in land of the free”)
Not only is it undeniable that freedom of expression is a right in our country, it is also undeniable that racism has been and continues to be a major issue here. Protests by professional athletes reach a large audience, and Osterheldt’s comments put these actions in proper perspective.
Wouldn’t it be nice if there were no racism, sexism, homophobia or xenophobia to protest? Our country needs to reflect the ideals symbolized by our flag and anthem.
I respect the right of professional athletes who have refused to stand during “The Star-Spangled Banner” to protest. And in comity, I suggest that the NFL not pay those athletes in U.S. dollars.
Spare them the implied endorsement of U.S. policy that accepting and using American currency brings. Rather, pay those athletes in a foreign currency of their choice. I suggest the sought-after currencies of Egypt, Turkmenistan or Somalia. Maybe even North Korea.
In regards to the controversy surrounding whether NFL players not standing for the national anthem constitutes disrespect for our flag and for veterans such as myself who served and sacrificed in defense of our flag, I offer the following point of view.
I understand that for many our flag represents the sacrifice we veterans have made in serving our nation. However, for most veterans, our flag represents the ideals for which our nation stands, and the most important ideal is freedom.
As veterans, we are proud that we served a nation that believes in liberty, in the freedom to be whatever we choose to be.
We are proud to have served a country where citizens are free to peacefully dissent to actions they believe to be unjust without persecution from government or citizenry.
From our perspective, the real slap in the face to veterans, and the true disrespect to our flag, comes when those we served attempt to stifle any of those freedoms we served to protect.
Kansas City, Kan.
My great-grandfather fought in at least three major battles of the Civil War as a member of the 12th Iowa Infantry. I never knew him personally. However, my father was privileged to talk with him about the war.
In turn, my father talked to us about his discussions. I remember no mention of my great-grandfather thinking he had fought to undermine or rescind the Constitution or the right to freedom of expression, regardless of race.
In the Sept. 5 story, “Relief comes slowly for coastal towns hit by Hurricane Harvey” (2A) is a quote from restaurant owner Ed Ziegler, saying, “I made a deal with the Lord that if I survived I’d give him 100 percent. Now I’m hoping he’ll settle for 10.”
As a pastor for 65-plus years, I have encountered this attitude many times, especially after World War II. I heard stories of deals made with the Lord, telling God if this or that happens, then they will do thus and so.
My understanding of scripture leads me to say that the Lord is not in the making-a-deal business. That is a TV show. Some folks have cancer, and no amount of deal-making will change the outcome.
Faith is the ability to believe that God is good and just, and we all deal with the outcomes of our life situations. The gift of life is just that — a gift.
Life is to be lived to its fullest every day. Death is part of life, and there are no bargains to be made with the Lord.
Fix health care
I agree with Sen. Orrin Hatch’s Sept. 10 column, “Obamacare doesn’t deserve a bailout. We need a real solution.” (7A)
The Affordable Care Act required Americans to purchase health insurance, but there is a vast difference between affordability and having access to health care. Many Americans are having to pay higher deductibles and co-pays, cover more medical bills than necessary and often times pay higher premiums.
As a home-health nurse, I often care for patients who struggle to feed themselves quality meals, let alone have the ability to pay for their medications and medical supplies.
This increases their risk for rehospitalization and developing comorbidities, which ultimately escalates their health care costs.