The killings at the Jewish Community Center and Village Shalom in Overland Park are an outrage, and the fact that they occurred on the eve of Passover feels simply diabolical.
Our prayers are with those who have suffered and lost loved ones in this act of senseless violence. We must redouble our efforts to bring about peace, reconciliation and justice.
Bishop Roger Gustafson
Central States Synod
Church in America
Olathe Tragedy in KC area
It is unfortunate that the word “black” has been applied to so many sad, unfortunate or illegal events while the word is still used to identify people of African ancestry as well (4-14, A1, “Black Sunday”).
I know words have different meanings, dependent on context, but after a while wouldn't it be better to retire “black” as a catch-all for terrible things.
And the Jewish Community shootings are truly terrible.
Michael G. Smith
Lee’s Summit Taxpaying time
Anyone, regardless of financial status, who does not pay the taxes he owes does not support our troops. And any legislator who votes against benefits for veterans betrays them.
It takes taxpayer dollars to pay our soldiers and see to their welfare. Providing physical, medical and financial support is the true expression of patriotism.
If you want to honor their sacrifice, pay your taxes.
Lenexa Wasted tax dollars
I’m unhappy to learn that 40 cents of every one of my 2013 federal tax dollars went to fund current and past wars, according to the Quaker advocacy group the Friends Committee on National Legislation.
We have some critical needs as a country — how to respond to the effects of climate change, how to repair our crumbling bridges and roadways and how to bridge the growing divide between rich and poor.
I want to see more of my tax dollars going to these priorities rather than to the Pentagon. I hope that my senators, Claire McCaskill and Roy Blunt, will work to make this happen in the coming year.
They can start by eliminating the more than $100 billion of documented waste, fraud and abuse found in the Pentagon’s budget every year. We might disagree about the need to invest in the tools for war, but surely we can agree on the need to spend our tax dollars responsibly.
Blue Springs Vote for real change
If you dislike the current administration, go vote. I am so tired of hearing folks complain about the government.
If you want change, go make it happen.
Ottawa Pig virus questions
Let me think back a little. Shuanghui International Holdings Ltd., a Chinese company, bought Smithfield Foods Inc. for $4.7 billion.
Promises were made that it would never affect our pork production or pricing. Now pigs are dying across the country, and pork prices could increase 25 percent by the summer (4-10, A10, “Pig virus found in Kansas, Missouri”).
It’s strange that this disease happens to be from China. And to top it off, they say the pork is safe to eat.
We must be dumb as rocks. Enjoy your pork chops tonight and your bacon tomorrow.
Lee’s Summit Hobby Lobby, life
Listening to the Hobby Lobby claim that the government cannot require the company to pay for something that disagrees with its faith is strange in so many ways — particularly the claim that the law requires it to participate in taking a life (through certain forms of contraception, even before many believe a viable life exists).
It occurs to me that the government requires all of us to help pay for actions that take lives — the death penalty, for instance. My faith is profoundly against executions for many reasons, but in large part because it makes me an unwilling party to and financial supporter of taking a life that is precious to God, regardless of human judgment of guilt.
I wonder why Hobby Lobby and others think they have the religious right to pick and choose which lives are sacred? I look forward to Hobby Lobby joining me and others in fighting to end the death penalty in this country, particularly here in Missouri.
Welcome to the anti-death penalty movement, Hobby Lobby.
Jane Fisler Hoffman
Raymore Chimps overblown
Here we go again (4-11, A4, “Code Red as chimps escape”).
On Thursday, a chimp in the Kansas City Zoo propped a 6-foot log up against a wall.
The chimp sat atop the wall with three of his buddies who share 98 percent of our DNA and sunned themselves on a warm spring day. Our local NBC affiliate interrupted 15 minutes of the national NBC news with Brian Williams with live aerial coverage of the chimps sitting on the wall.
I would rather have watched the national evening news to see whether Russian President Vladimir Putin was behaving himself in the NATO playground, to see whether my retirement account is still there or to see whether a spring storm of biblical proportions was headed toward Kansas City.
With spring storms on the way, I wonder how many “NCIS” or “Person of Interest” episodes I will miss because of, heaven forbid, storms in Cape Girardeau, Mo.
Overland Park Going for green
A recent Scientific American article says the human brain “tends to stick with a familiar solution to a problem” and ignore alternatives, even when they are superior. Such “cognitive traps” befoul our energy policy.
Familiar solutions to the problem of energy production center on burning fossil fuels. But renewable energy is the emerging superior solution, with lower net costs for citizens and less carbon dioxide disrupting our climate.
One study suggests that states that get at least 7 percent of their electricity from wind have seen decreasing electricity costs over the past five years, whereas other states have had rising costs. Meanwhile, the Environmental Protection Agency is compiling evidence of the harms from our excessive coal and oil consumption.
These science-based truths would be clearly visible but for the dust cloud of confusion financed by the Koch brothers and their ilk, kicked up anew by some columnists.
A common truth of business is that if you wait for 100 percent understanding, opportunities are lost.
Further study is needed on the new patterns by which a warming Arctic causes more erratic jet streams over America, droughts and blizzards.
But we already have plenty of reasons to adopt clean, climate-safe energy with all possible speed.
Kansas City Stopping child abuse
As a child advocate and former foster parent, I meet victims who have experienced the horrible effect of child abuse and neglect.
Often these incidences occur because of underdeveloped parenting skills. A lack of exposure to healthy parenting is behind many problems affecting children.
It is vital that our youth be educated on the responsibilities associated with parenting. April is National Child Abuse and Prevention Month. It is a timely opportunity to look at ways we can change.
Schools have the opportunity to intervene through courses offered by the Family Consumer Science Program. These classes are designed to educate our youth by focusing on parenting skills and child development. This knowledge can make a difference.
Children raised in unhealthy family environments often grow to mimic the behavior of their parents.
Recently, I sent a letter to the Missouri Association of Secondary School Principals, urging it to direct attention to expanding the reach of parenting courses and incorporating an increased focus on parenting education.
Early parenting education can prevent problems, and it is vital that school administrators guide students toward participating in such courses.