Pope, climate change
In his new encyclical letter, Pope Francis challenges all of us with one simple question: “What kind of world do you want to leave those who come after us?”
The pontiff cites the problems of climate change, safe drinking water, loss of biodiversity and the breakdown of the value and quality of human life, the family and society.
Much of this is caused by a culture of materialism, consumerism and waste, where people and precious resources are treated as disposable.
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In all of this it is the poor who are most harmed and threatened.
Pope Francis is challenging those of us who live in affluence to examine our consciences and make radical changes in our lifestyles.
We often embrace convenience over healthy stewardship, and our dietary choices are unhealthy for us and our fragile environment.
Above all, our over-reliance on fossil fuels urgently needs to be addressed. All faiths share the belief that the Earth has been entrusted to humankind, to be cherished and protected. As good stewards we should hand on to future generations a world more ecologically and morally sound than the one we received.
Pope Francis has presented us with the challenge.
It is up to us to meet it.
Msgr. Stuart W. Swetland
Kansas City, Kan.
The pope is giving Republicans a massive migraine again. What happened?
On abortion, contraception and gay marriage, conservatives were all-in with the pontiff.
Republicans became a little queasy when Pope Francis suggested we should all be a little nicer to poor folks — quaint idea, not too radical.
But then the pope overreached when he advocated that these same poor folks deserve to earn a livable wage.
This caused Republicans to come down with a severe case of ecclesiastical indigestion, which was exacerbated by the pontiff’s infamous attack on greed-is-good capitalism.
Among Republicans, it is an article of faith that so much wealth concentrated in the hands of so few is actually a sacred virtue — just ask Kansas Gov. Sam Brownback.
When the pope visits the U.S. in September, Republicans won’t be throwing any welcoming parties like they did for Israeli Prime Minister Benjamin Netanyahu.
The pontiff’s recently released encyclical exhorting us to take climate change seriously or else has conservatives crying blasphemy.
If the pope issued an encyclical urging Congress to double spending for defense, then Republicans wouldn’t be lining up to tell the pope to stay out of politics and mind his own business.
Adoptees have rights
The right to know their roots
The right to be introduced to their truth
Let’s erase the scars
By letting adoptees know who they are
Set them free
We would agree
To be all they can be
Set them free
To become their own trustee
Let’s endorse their right to know their source
It should be their right henceforth.
Renata J. Beaudoin
I understand the disappointment in Donald Trump’s downplaying of Sen. John McCain’s valor during the Vietnam War. However, the Republican Party itself has a history of questioning our veterans’ patriotism:
▪ Chuck Hagel — Two Purple Hearts, Vietnam War, patriotism questioned by Republican Party.
▪ Tammy Duckworth — Double amputee, Iraq War, patriotism questioned by Republican Party.
▪ Max Cleland — Triple amputee, Vietnam War, patriotism questioned by Republican Party.
▪ John Kerry — Boat patrol, Vietnam War, patriotism questioned by Republican Party.
Gee, I guess the Democrats are an appropriate target but not the Republicans. Oddly, I had no idea politics played any part in how one conducts himself under fire.
Dear Donald Trump
As one who did not serve during the Vietnam War, you know not of which you speak (7-19, A2, “Trump criticizes John McCain”).
It does take courage to fly off carriers at night and in bad weather. It does take courage to fly over enemy territory providing air support for the ground troops. It does take courage to survive five years in a prisoner-of-war camp.
And Sen. John McCain never sought the title “war hero.” It was bestowed upon him by those who knew of what they spoke.
Mr. Trump, your actions and words are despicable.
Costly hotel project
On Sunday, The Star endorsed the proposed downtown Hyatt, apparently without any modification to the convention center catering giveaway (7-19, Editorial, “New downtown hotel is a risk worth taking for KC”).
The present catering agreement apparently provides the city $2 million per year. The hotel developers want most of that income.
Proponents of the deal are happy there might not be costly contingent financial costs if the project fails. In reality, the concession agreement is just giving up the money sooner rather than later.
Of the projected $311 million cost, the city is asked to provide half in the form of land, tax breaks and monopoly concessions. The city does not even receive any equity in the project.
Supporters say this is a risk worth taking. I say the upfront cost is too high. Protect our local concessionaires.
Once again, one of our servants of the people has been caught letting his manly ego get the best of him, allegedly (7-23, A1, “Capitol intern alleges harassment”). According to reports, Missouri Sen. Paul LeVota of Independence has been implicated, as have others in the past, behaving in a way that seems rather common in Jefferson City.
If we can't be sure that our young folks are protected from inappropriate behavior by our Jefferson City lawmakers, what message do we send to young people who may be interested in seeing our political system at work firsthand?
Some of the folks in Jefferson City seem to have a sense of entitlement, arrogance and even omnipotence, which defies explanation. Instead of working diligently toward resolving such issues as highway funding, Medicaid expansion, and a comprehensive ethics bill, they seem to distinguish themselves with boorish behavior.
Is it any wonder that politicians are held in such low esteem? Perhaps it is time we hold these folks accountable at the ballot box and not fall for their empty phrases as they seek re-election!
Recently, I served as a counselor at a leadership camp in Topeka for some of Kansas’ best high school seniors.
When visiting the Capitol, we received a warm welcome from state leaders — except for one, Rep. John Bradford, a Lansing Republican.
In a group with other officials, Mr. Bradford demonstrated little respect for others’ opinions, including his fellow Kansans, President Barack Obama and most especially the U.S. Supreme Court. Mr. Bradford lamented the recent ruling on marriage equality, defaming the judicial process and the judges.
Mr. Bradford launched into a diatribe about the “gay disease” and his concern for his children’s well-being. All the while my lesbian, bisexual, gay and transgender students sat bombarded by this elected official’s bigotry. Unfortunately, Mr. Bradford is not the only Kansas official to target LGBT children for his own political gain.
We would never permit a school bully to verbally assault others. But I subjected my students to bullying at the Capitol. Worse, these people represent communities of our neighbors and families.
How can I show civility to officials who not only disrespect me but openly attack my community and make children feel unsafe and unwanted?