Letters to the Editor

Letters: Readers discuss Christians in North Korea, adoption policy and Gina Haspel

Real persecution

In all the news stories I have read about North Korea, I have never seen any mention of one important fact: Christians in North Korea are not allowed to practice their faith. Many Christians are sentenced to serve time in labor camps.

South Korea and the United States both believe in freedom of religion, and I hope the leaders of these countries will raise this subject in their negotiations with North Korea.

Clyde Herrin

Bonner Springs

Open to all

Kansas lawmakers voted last week to permit state funding for private adoption agencies that discriminate by refusing to place children with LGBT families or anyone else who isn’t in line with their “religious beliefs.” (May 5, 1A, “Adoption bill could give lift to Colyer”)

As a retired professional with years of experience in the child welfare system, I am appalled.

I want to thank Republican state Reps. Joy Koesten and Jan Kessinger and Democratic state Rep. Brett Parker for their leadership in fighting against this travesty.

The situation for youths in the Kansas child welfare system is harrowing. Last year, there were more than 7,200 children in out-of-home placements. More than 100 kids slept in the offices of child welfare agencies, because no in-home beds were available. More than 400 children registered for adoption have no identified adoptive resource.

Yet these faith-based agencies would rather see children languish in foster care than allow LGBT couples to give them safe, loving homes. And now, the state has endorsed funding to these discriminatory agencies.

Please join me in supporting Koesten, Kessinger and Parker and all other elected officials who fought against this despicable outcome.

We must fight for all abused and neglected children and those who are willing to help them.

Martha Gershun


Quite qualified

I’m with her.

Gina Haspel has proved her mettle. (May 10, 12A, “Haspel vows she would not allow torture by the CIA”) She’s spent more than 30 years in posts the world over protecting the American people.

She’s been loyal, smart and a leader with universal admiration from her agency colleagues — the majority of whom cheer her ascendancy to the position of director of the CIA.

She has shattered the glass ceiling in an age that begs strong, proven women to come forth and strengthen our nation.

Oh, wait, forget all that. She’s not the right kind of woman.

Richard F. Thomas Jr.

Kansas City

In mothers’ honor

As we leave the private protection of our mother’s womb and enter the world, shocked by the vast expanse that greets us, we come into being. Small hands and unfocused eyes slowly grow and develop until we speak our first words and take our first steps.

During the transition through the phases of childhood that follow, our mothers provide the foundation to the building of who we become.

Thank you, Mom.

What better way is there to show our gratitude for our foundation than on Mother’s Day, quickly approaching Sunday, to focus society’s vision on child and maternal health?

The Reach Every Mother and Child Act, which was introduced in the U.S. Congress in October but has yet to be referred to a committee, addresses issues pertaining to these goals. Its mission is to end preventable child deaths globally by ensuring healthy and productive lives through funding for proper nutrition and health awareness.

Sadly, those without access to funding and education suffer.

But this suffering can end. I hope Sen. Pat Roberts of Kansas will support this vital act, not only to prevent 15,000 children from dying each day as they do now, but to ensure that the future does not see even more tragedy.

Corinne Thorsheim


Brave truth

Kudos to The Star for its impressive recent coverage about Janelle Monáe. (April 28, 7A, “Janelle Monáe reveals she’s pansexual and was worried what her KCK family would think”)

It takes a lot of courage to out your true self.

I did the same 44 years ago. As an African-American woman who is now 74, I have been waiting for years for another African-American woman to stand up and stand out for today’s gay youth.

I am so very proud of her. And we are both Kansas City, Kan., natives.

Lea Hopkins


Sliding standard

With President Bill Clinton, it was about sex. With President George W. Bush, it was about starting a war.

They taught us it was OK to lie.

President Donald Trump has taken it a step further: Now it’s OK to believe the lie.

Steve Carter