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Founders knew dangers of mixing religion and politics; why doesn't Cal?



Published: Sun, September 8, 2002 @ 12:00 a.m.



Founders knew dangers of mixing religion and politics; why doesn't Cal?

EDITOR:

The argument in the recent column by Cal Thomas about the teaching of evolution in schools makes about as much sense as the events in the wonderland that Lewis Carroll created for Alice. How do you VOTE on the existence of God? For people of faith, religion unambiguously answers the spiritual question of why we were created. On an entirely different plane, science seeks to answer the physical question of how the world works. The conflict begins with an attempt to link why we exist with how we exist. But, Thomas' argument masks a deeper issue that is at stake.

Thomas' article appeals to the emotional demagoguery that widens the gap in understanding why church-state separation was in the Constitution in the first place. Jefferson and the others were well aware of the abuses of a theocracy. In Europe, during a period of 200 years before the Constitution, between 80,000 and 100,000 individuals (mostly women) were tortured and executed as witches under Catholic and Protestant-Christian-religious domination of governments. In 1692 in Massachusetts, 19 were hanged after a trial that was a result of religious hysteria in that Puritan theocracy. The founding brothers were also very much aware of the civil and religious abuses of Savonarola, Torquemada, Calvin, and Cromwell.

Statements that include a supreme principle or principal fall into one very general acknowledgment of man's place in a vast universe. For the fundamentalist, such relativism is unacceptable. For most people, that acknowledgment can be left open to interpretation. Inserting or imposing sectarian doctrine into political institutions is the opposite of the free speech argument that Thomas uses when he suggests that dogma and science be debated. Certainly the place for such debate is not the school. Historically, Madison, Jefferson, Adams and the others have been proven right in their fear of allowing a mixture of governance with religion.

WILLIAM FLYNN

Canfield

Press scares good people from running for office

EDITOR:

Mr. de Souza's column of last Sunday hit a new low. His complaint relative to Tish Traficant appearing on the CNN Greta Van Susteren Show amounts to nothing more than his crying about not being the first media type to get his interview. He failed to mention that my sister, Atty. Heidi Hanni Wolff, was on the program as well to aid and assist Mrs. Traficant who has, as he pointed out, always kept herself and her daughter out of the media frenzy.

De Souza's pronouncement that the "media light" will now be on Mrs. Traficant and the rest of her family is as threatening as de Souza is tall. It does, however, clearly answer the question as to why more people don't get involved in Mahoning County politics. Many of those living in our community who would consider serving in public office must consider first the harassment that they would not only have to endure themselves from the likes of de Souza but realize full well that every one of their family members will be subject to the same invasion of privacy. This additional stress on the family has been a major deterrent in attracting well qualified residents from even considering seeking public office.

I only wish that I had it all to do over again myself as the stress and strain that I speak of has no doubt played a role in the breakup of my own family.

DON L. HANNI III

Youngstown

Darkened streetlightsin city are safety hazard

EDITOR:

I am writing concerning the streetlight outage that has been an ongoing problem on the Himrod and Madison Avenue expressways. With over 40 lights out on these roads, one pole down since winter, and the near complete lack of working lighting at the curve near the YSU team logo wall all make for a dangerous situation. After a heavy rain, the lights on the Himrod Avenue Expressway can even be off for days at a time.

Since April, I have contacted the Youngstown Street Department twice. They informed me that the work order had been turned over to Mr. Bob Suttle at Ohio Edison. I have contacted Mr. Suttle three times, and each time he has assured me he will make it a priority, but nothing has been done. These two expressways lead to the area hospitals, Youngstown State University and are even within sight of the Ohio Edison Building on South Avenue.

What must travelers think when they drive these roads at night? I guess the last person to leave Youngstown will not have to turn out the lights because they will already be off.

GREG MARTIN

Youngstown

Coal miners were far above CEOs this summer

EDITOR:

This summer Americans have been on a remarkable roller-coaster ride. When one company after another went belly up, wiping out the savings of thousands of investors, and the jobs of thousands more, we swooped to a frightening low. Words such as greed and gluttony took on new meaning when describing the actions of CEOs who gleefully and without conscience plundered their companies to subsidize a new mansion or yacht or work of art, or some other nonsense. Their greed was on a level most can neither comprehend nor explain. These thieves should be charged with financial rape and punished accordingly.

We soared high as a nation when nine miners were rescued from hell by other real Americans. Television was at its best in detailing the efforts of these heroes who methodically plotted, step by tortuous step, how they would prevent nine lives from being forever entombed. As the nation watched, Americans drew strength and resolve from these unassuming men and women who represent the true fiber of our United States.

Corporate America is driven by selfishness and a contemptuous America-be-damned attitude, but thankfully, the majority of Americans stand side by side with those soot-covered heroes who were just doing what had to be done in a quiet farmland somewhere in Pennsylvania.

DONALD EVANS

Youngstown

SCOPE out a better life

EDITOR:

My husband and I have parents in SCOPE Adult Care. We were surprised and happy to see all the benefits that come with the center.

Our moms get their nails polished, hair washed and set. They bring home craft projects and have met new friends.

We say, thank you, SCOPE, for giving our parents a better quality of life.

CAROL and WARREN McKINNEY Jr.

Warren




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