Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss remembering our past, the House chaplain and adoption policy

Two remembrances

When the National Museum for Peace and Justice in Montgomery, Ala., opened recently, I looked up online the number of verified lynchings in Missouri between 1880 and 1950. It came to 60 lynchings.

Kansas City has memorials to numerous events, mostly heroic, so it would be fair to include one to a shameful event as well. A street named after an African-American hero, Martin Luther King Jr., would be properly complemented by a regretful monument to past injustice against African-Americans.

Rich Kaufman

Overland Park

Good first step

The president pardons convicted criminals, and the speaker of the House fires its chaplain. Politics as usual? (April 28, 2A, “Firing of House chaplain creates uproar in capital”)

Speaker Paul Ryan’s firing of the House chaplain, the Rev. Patrick Conroy, was a service to democracy. The priest’s partisan prayer could be heard as a violation of his nonpartisan, non-sectarian tax-funded position.

Now, democracy could be very well served by closing the chaplaincy itself. It is one of the clearest entrenched violations of the principle of separation of church and state. Tax funds should not be used to provide religious services by an agent of any preferred sect.

There must be 500 churches, temples and mosques, not to mention Quaker meeting houses, within three miles of the U.S. Capitol. The concierge at the nearby Trump International Hotel could surely direct anyone to those institutions.

Want federal spending cuts? Start with eliminating programs that show religious preference.


Bob Campbell


Poor comparisons

As a former teacher of basic math and science (or even just as a proponent of logic itself), I find it distressing to read things such as Virginia Postrel’s commentary, “Mileage standard alone won’t fix climate change,” in these pages. (April 30, 9A)

No one ever said Corporate Average Fuel Economy standards are the only solution, but they are at least a start. Her analogy with cellphone battery life (which consumes about one ten-thousandth as much energy as a car, by the way), is illogical and ridiculous. She offers no alternative strategy for addressing greenhouse gas emissions.

While the author might prefer to do nothing to prevent climate change, that is the only strategy guaranteed to fail.

Pete Green

Farley, Mo.

Take code to heart

We should all hope that new Secretary of State Mike Pompeo remembers well and lives by the honor code he learned at West Point, where he became first in his class: “A cadet will not lie, cheat, steal or tolerate those who do.”

Richard Marien

Overland Park

Be phone-wary

My wife got a phone call the other night asking for a donation so “disabled veterans can get the help they need.”

My wife replied: “My husband is a disabled vet. Could you help him?” The caller hung up.

How many people get taken in by these calls?

Personally, I get all the help I need from the VA.

Check out any callers asking for money before they manage to tug your heartstrings.

Robert Gjertson

Overland Park

Question of choice

As I understand it, if Kansas’ Adoption Protection Act is passed, a faith-based organization such as Catholic Charities can refuse to place children with a gay couple, or perhaps with a single person who is gay, because this would go against the religious beliefs of Catholicism.

When Catholic Charities elects to exclude gay people from the pool of potential adopters, it is discriminating against gay people.

So which takes precedent: religious freedom or the right to not be discriminated against?

John Dubois

Prairie Village

Return policy?

I’m curious if those who promote and support taxpayer-funded discrimination against same-sex couples adopting children have return policies in case children adopted by their approved Christian couples turn out to be gay.

Can you imagine going through all the trouble and expense of adoption, only to end up with what these organizations would consider to be a “defective” product?

I’m guessing what the children need most are adoptive parents who will love them no matter how God made them.

Pat Stidham

Kansas City