Letters to the Editor

Readers react to Donald Trump, the Bible and Billy Graham

Trump, Roosevelt

The media tell us that we’ve never seen anyone like Donald Trump on the political scene.

Read “The Bully Pulpit: Theodore Roosevelt, William Howard Taft, and the Golden Age of Journalism” by Doris Kearns Goodwin and you’ll see many similarities between an arrogant and bombastic Trump and Teddy Roosevelt.

And, the public then reacted in a similar way to Teddy as a cowboy and a soldier, charging up San Juan Hill.

Like Roosevelt, Trump has an ego that could fill a hot-air balloon. Like Roosevelt, he engenders a love-hate relationship with the public.

And, perhaps Trump, like Roosevelt, will become an occupier of the Oval Office.

Steve Katz

Leawood

Using the Bible

I assume that in addition to refusing marriage licenses to same-sex couples, Rowan County, Ky., clerk Kim Davis has always denied licenses to divorced applicants whose ex-spouses are still living because that is considered adultery by the Bible and should conflict with her religious beliefs.

If she hasn’t been doing so, she is guilty of the same hypocrisy that seems to afflict some of the more vocal members of the religious right. They are quick to condemn selective anti-biblical behavior in others while practicing and condoning equally proscribed behavior in themselves.

If I had just once seen Fred Phelps’ clan picketing Captain D’s for serving shrimp or heard of any TV evangelist going after payday loan companies for usurious behavior, I would have a lot more sympathy for their positions.

I am not holding my breath for either event and in the meantime must watch Ms. Davis continue to confuse her personal religious liberty (which has not been abridged) with her responsibility as an administrator of all legally permitted licensing.

Larry Stice

Kansas City

Graham columns

Billy Graham, in a recent Star column, addressed the question of how to tell when a group is a cult. It’s an important question, given the destructive manipulation that goes on in cults.

Graham’s answer amounted to saying that anything but a certain type of Protestant Christianity is a cult. His criteria would make cults of Judaism and Islam, and even some versions of Christianity.

In another piece, Mr. Graham offered the insight that bad behavior by a parent, such as alcohol abuse, can have negative consequences for children.

In yet another, he stated that he suspects that if someone concludes that the ideas of a last judgment and hell are man-made concepts to scare people, then that person just wants to be free to live his life without moral constraints.

In another he suggested that if skilled medical intervention is ineffective for a patient, then it might well be because of insufficient prayer.

Such answers, alas, are not unusual for Mr. Graham.

The advice or observations that he makes are typically useless, pedestrian or mean-spirited. I urge The Star to quit wasting money and space on Mr. Graham’s ruminations.

David N. Johnson

Gladstone

Bonded by faiths

Recently, GOP presidential hopeful Ben Carson said that he “would not advocate that we put a Muslim in charge of this nation,” and Republican presidential candidate Donald Trump also recently refused to rebuke or correct a supporter at a town hall meeting who said: “We have a problem in this country. It’s called Muslims.”

These incidents remind us of the urgent need for more education and engagement about world religions and culture in our community to dispel lack of understanding and bring an end to divisive rhetoric.

The Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council stands in solidarity with our Muslim friends and is deeply saddened by these xenophobic and anti-Muslim statements. We invite you to join us in focusing our words, thoughts and deeds on promoting peace, inclusion and acceptance.

The Greater Kansas City Interfaith Council celebrates the gifts of religious pluralism because it is a celebration of the interconnectedness of all life.

Whatever our individual faith traditions, we simply can’t imagine being separate. We can’t imagine our lives without each other.

We are growing a sustainable, pervasive culture of knowledge, respect, appreciation and trust among people of all faiths and religious traditions in the Kansas City area community.

Mary McCoy

Independence

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