In this time of intolerance, I want to give kudos to a local group working to change the paradigm.
More than 40 Kansas City area women belong to the three local chapters of Sisterhood of Salaam Shalom, a national organization of Muslim and Jewish women working toward tolerance.
The groups meet monthly to learn about each other and form friendships that cross religious lines. Their purpose is to have understanding in the world.
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This Christmas, as a Sadaqa/Tzedakah Day project (the two words mean righteousness and charity), the local chapters of SOSS made Christmas breakfast for families staying at the three Ronald McDonald Houses on Cherry Street near Children’s Mercy Hospital.
Coordinated by chapter members Laura Gilman and Samira Zaman, more than 20 members — some bringing their families — arrived at the Wylie House early on Christmas morning to make the day special for those who had to stay near the hospital.
“SOSS is about Muslims and Jews coming together to build friendships and spread tolerance,” co-chair Gilman said. “We couldn’t think of a better way to live our mission.”
As we move to a new year, we should honor all the interfaith groups that work to bring the world together and stamp out divisiveness.
We aren’t ‘entitled’
It is time for The Kansas City Star and all American press outlets to stop using the term “entitlements” when referring to Social Security and Medicare.
Both are confiscations on the front end, and both are returns of capital on the back end — with an insurance feature — but with an undefined required minimum distribution. IRA laws get in the way, too. Research your own situation.
Essentially, nobody (read House Speaker Paul Ryan) wants me to get my deposits back on my terms.
Instead of using “entitlements,” please find a more accurate and possibly more colorful description of Social Security and Medicare.
Perhaps Medicare should be called prepaid health insurance. Social Security would be unreimbursed deposits that are due. These terms are not colorful, but they’re accurate.
And both programs should also be exposed. We have had decades of politicians robbing the payers/depositors to these so-called trust funds. These lawmakers have been facilitating our nation’s growing debt and deficits.
“Entitlements” don’t really exist. Payback is a basic essential. I want my deposits. They are falsely characterized as entitlements.
Working for kids
With Cardinal Bernard Law’s recent death, many thoughts and feelings have been stirred in my mind, heart and soul.
I spent five years on the Kansas City-St. Joseph Diocese Independent Review Board. Through this time our diocese dealt with many cases of child abuse.
In my considered opinion the most important outcome of those days was then-Bishop Robert Finn’s hiring of Carrie Cooper and Jenifer Valenti. These two women are competent, strong and focused on seeing that each and every referral to the Office of Child and Youth Protection is thoroughly investigated. Justice is being brought on behalf of our abused victims.
Thanks to Bishop James Johnston for supporting both Carrie and Jenifer in their work of protecting our children and youth.
Charity at home
While the president’s family celebrates the holidays with quality time at Mar-a-Lago (Dec. 26, 3A, “Trump celebrates Christmas like most of America, with family”), many in Puerto Rico and the U.S. Virgin Islands still lack access to power and water.
In President Donald Trump’s America, some citizens are obviously more important and worthy than others. Removing debris at Trump’s private Palm Beach club was evidently a much higher priority than providing basic essentials in harder-hit areas.
New Year’s wishes
As 2018 approaches, we want to hear what you’re hoping for in the new year. Submit your letter at kansascity.com/letters and we will publish the best.