Prayers for victims of Wis. shooting
I am deeply saddened by Sunday's tragic events at the Sikh temple in Wisconsin ("Assault on Sikh temple kills six," Monday), a place of worship with the purpose of developing people into better human beings.
As a Muslim, I know that Sikhs face similar discrimination, often due to their attire and beards. The Quran tells us, "And if Allah did not repel some men by means of others, there would surely have been pulled down cloisters and churches and synagogues and mosques, wherein the name of God is oft commemorated" (Quran 22:41). As a true Muslim, I must not only respect all religions, but must furthermore protect their places of worship.
I pray for the families that are suffering through this horrific, senseless attack. May God grant them ease and peace of mind.
Nameer Bhatti, member, Muslim Writers Guild of America, Blue Bell, email@example.com
Confronted with massacre stories
Pick up the daily paper and one is confronted with stories related to rampage gun killings: "Shooter had ties to hate forums" (Tuesday), about the Sikh temple shooting that left six dead, and "New hearings ordered in Arizona shooting" (Tuesday) on the attack that left six dead and 12 wounded. These follow the theater massacre in Aurora, Colo., where 12 people were killed. Thus, playing God to burn away one's social grievances would appear to be the most American of all public displays.
In this cadaver-strewn bloodscape, I don't think I can take once again hearing about the "law-biding citizens whose freedoms would be infringed" if we got military-style WMDs off the streets. I don't believe that the first symptom of a gun "collector's" psychological incompatibility with lethal force must be a mass killing.
Kurt Jaworski, West Chester
Encourage wind power
I was happy to see Sandy Bauers' article "Parents' groups urge action on climate for children's sake," (Monday) about minimizing our human impact on the planet's climate.
It's unfortunate that there are those who, for ideological reasons, are spreading misinformation about what is really going on with the planet. In a just-published study, the Sierra Club shows how the fossil-fuel industry is both buying the votes of our elected representatives and funding a campaign designed to discredit renewable energy. It wants to prevent Congress from extending production tax credits for wind power, which would level the playing field for this free, nonpolluting form of electric power. At the same time, it defends oil subsidies. We could lose thousands of jobs in the renewable energy business if these credits are allowed to lapse.
For the sake of young people, the environment, and green jobs, we need Congress to pass measures to encourage the growth of the renewable sector.
Sue Edwards, Swarthmore
Alternatives to voter-ID law
Linda Kerns says that one person voted twice in the 2012 primary ("Voter-ID law ensures no fraud," Sunday). Why not use ink that cannot be removed for 24 hours on a person's finger or forehead when he or she votes? Wouldn't that ensure that no one votes twice? Wouldn't that be cheaper than the current ID law, saving precious tax dollars, while simultaneously not disenfranchising anyone?
Mardys Leeper, Wynnewood
This law must be repealed
Two things anger me most about the voter-ID law. First, the amount of resources, both time and money, wasted trying to ensure that everyone will be allowed to vote in November because of this needless law. Second, the fact that both sides are arguing over numbers. If even one voter is disenfranchised, that is one too many. This law must be repealed.
Amy Mendelsohn, Elkins Park
Measure creates undue burden
I thought the many reasons Linda Kern gave in support of Gov. Corbett's voter-ID law were overkill. People just don't "march into a polling place, sign a name," and vote on the honor system. As an inspector of elections, I know that a person's signature is compared to the previous year's signature. Besides, we know these voters, who are our friends and neighbors, from voting over the years. This law is an undue burden for a nonexistent problem.
JoAnn Williams, Media, firstname.lastname@example.org
Culture of education, hard work
Regarding Michael Smerconish's column "Chutzpah or culture: What drives Israeli success?" (Sunday), whether you are talking about the small country of Israel, with fewer than eight million people, or American Jews, who make up less than 2 percent of the U.S. population, I personally believe that it is all about culture, with genetics having little or nothing to do with it. But we are not talking about the culture of bagels and lox; we are talking about a culture that emphasizes education and hard work. That recipe for success is available to all - Jew and gentile alike - who are willing to make the sacrifices associated with it.
Steve Mendelsohn, Penn Valley, email@example.com
If Israel is doing so well, why the aid?
Michael Goldblatt, chairman of the Zionist Organization of America, explained that it is Israel's "culture of private enterprise, research, innovation, and technological development" that accounts for its "superior economic vitality" compared with the Palestinians ("Culture does make a difference," Monday). It's grand that the Israeli economy is doing so well. When can the U.S. taxpayer expect Israel to start returning the $3 billion we send it every year?
Brian Farrell, Telford, firstname.lastname@example.org
The limits of some freedoms
I agree with George Parry's point that the official attention being paid to the opinions of Dan Cathy, president of Chick-fil-A, is a waste of governmental time ("Picking a bone with Kenney over Chick-fil-A," Sunday). I also agree with the start of his seventh paragraph, which begins, "You might think that in a pluralistic society open to the free exchange of ideas, where free speech is supposedly protected by law." Finish that with "that any two people who loved each other and wanted to marry would be able to do so." But I guess that freedom is not open to pluralism.
Steve Barrer, Huntingdon Valley, email@example.com
Don't redefine marriage and family
Why should society redefine marriage and family, the foundational building block of society ("A chicken and egg debate it's not," Friday)? This attempted redefinition does in fact harm all marriages insofar as it states that a marriage between one man and one woman is no different, and has no more importance to our society and culture, than an arrangement between two people of the same sex. This is not true.
Stable lifelong marriages between one man and one woman provide the best environment for raising families. Children do better by all measures when raised by both a mother and a father. So-called same-sex marriages suggest that children don't need a parent of either one sex or the other. This social experimentation provides no benefits to society and should be met with a resounding "No!"
Bernard J. Brunner, Springfield, firstname.lastname@example.org