The root of all wars
We were offended by Pastor David Walls and the other officials at the First Congregational Church by their lack of understanding of today's U.S. military and their disregard of the First Amendment by barring the Muslim Call to Prayer portion of the Mass for Peace, and shame on director Jeffrey Cobb for his spineless decision to continue the performance piecemeal.
This country's military is not a "Christians-only" organization and one needed only to visit our Veterans Day Memorial to the Michigan Fallen at the Open Space to see the names of Muslim-Americans along with Christians, Jews and others who gave their lives for freedom and peace.
Censoring their religious beliefs as though it were somehow offensive to veterans makes a mockery of their sacrifice and reflects a shameful benightedness and bigotry not welcome in this community. Former Air Force Officer Michael Weinstein said, "When one proudly dons a U.S. military uniform, there is only one religious symbol: the American flag."
Pastor Walls' intolerance in a forum dedicated to the celebration of peace illustrates to our community how ignorance perpetuates the tribalism at the root of all wars.
James A. Kulczyk
The writer is writing on behalf of Veterans for Peace Chapter 50 in Traverse City.
Editor's note: This letter is being reprinted because of an editor's error.
Design from the 1950s
Wow, did you see Sunday's front page, Nov. 11, the bath house and concession stand at Clinch Park? When I first saw it, it reminded me of two old trailers pushed together. Will someone please tell the city commissioners that this is 2012. Not only is this building "ugly" but its design is from the 1950s and for over $600,000, couldn't your "great minds" come up with something newer? All the wooded areas that we live in ... oh well just a thought.