Traverse City Record-Eagle

December 25, 2012

Letters to the editor: 12/25/2012


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Intolerance, ignorance?

Intolerance or ignorance?

I am bemused by the secular backlash concerning the Rev. David Wall of the First Congregational Church and his decision to eliminate the Muslim call to prayer from the church's presentation.

The accusations run the gamut from "promoting hate" to "violation of the First Amendment."

This is so atypical of short-sighted people.

If anyone bothered to check, the First Amendment prohibits Congress, not churches themselves, from impeding or abridging the "free exercise of religion." Nowhere does it prohibit a specific faith from excluding another faith's beliefs from its own worship practices.

If you reverse the scenario it is inconceivable that a Muslim church would allow a Christian faith to voice its beliefs or prayers within a Mosque's walls.

And promoting hate?

This borders on ignorance and by its base accusation exemplifies the most intolerance of all.

All those who are offended by the Reverend's decision should reread Mary Miller's letter of Dec. 2 as she does an excellent job of explaining this situation in an non-accusatory manner.

Henry Ramsby

Traverse City

Need to get over it

Republicans are complaining that raising taxes on those earning over $250,000 is unfair, especially to small business.

Assume the top tax rate goes up 2 percent; that would mean a small business person making $300,000 would pay an additional $1,000. Outrageous, huh?

Elections have consequences and this is what two-thirds of the country wants. Republicans need to get over it.

Roger Parkins

Suttons Bay

Modest suggestions

Here are a few modest suggestions regarding future elections in this unfortunate age of "corporations are people":

Institute a "Do Call" list that the PACs and the candidates must utilize to impart their message. Citizens voluntarily put their names and phone numbers on the "Do Call" list and only those on the list will receive "robo calls."

End the gerrymandering that has made a mockery of state elections.

Changing boundaries every few years in order to win an election is antithetical to the democratic process, and has resulted in the Traverse City region floundering under ineffective representation, and downright incompetence, from the likes of Michelle McManus, Dan Benishek and Ray Franz.

Institute an "election season" wherein political action committees and candidates have a three-week window in which to inundate us with commercial messages. Twenty one days should be enough for all candidates to get their message out and would even the playing field for those with limited funding.

After this three-week "election season," allow the voters a full week of voting, and announce all winners Sunday night at 7 p.m.

These are positive steps to, as the bigots and tea partiers say, "take back our country".

Gary S. Powell

Traverse City