Sunday letters: ‘Duck’ star did nothing wrong; Shale drilling boosts economy; Kasich and racino; Respect opposition

‘Duck Dynasty’ star did nothing wrong in venting biblical views

There seems to be a big misun- derstanding that is hitting the media, gay groups, the A&E network and African- Americans.

Phil Robertson of “Duck Dynasty” made some statements. OK, some groups didn’t like them. Some TV hosts and commentators are all fired up in opposition, OK.

What did Phil Robertson say? He quoted the Bible. But Phil’s a bigot. He quoted the Bible. That’s right. Well then, so am I and other folks, including some TV hosts and commentators.

How come of all the commentators I heard, about 95 percent opposed Phil quoting what the Bible says? Why weren’t there more people interviewed that agreed with Phil? Were they invited or were the inviters bigots?

There was a pastor who had a degree in Hebrew study of the Old Testament (originally written in Hebrew) that told an opponent that misquoted Leviticus 18:21-24. The opponent said God was not against homosexuality. The pastor said, “Study it.” Another opponent said Jesus never addressed homosexuality. “Study Matthew 19:3-9.”

We, who hold to Scripture, are not bigots. Phil quoted what God wrote. Phil quoted 1st Corinthians 6:8-11 along with Leviticus 18:23.

As far as Phil talking down about African-Americans, what did he say? “I saw.” He saw singing and the happiness. The African-Americans happened to be in the same environment that Phil was in as “white trash” before welfare came “for anyone on it” (there are whites on it). This is what Phil saw. You opposing groups were not there at that place, at that time with those who were present — white and black.

What God says will never be changed (Matthew 24:35.) Is God a bigot? Or is he trying to teach us something like right from wrong? I know this gay lifestyle has been called a medical-mental condition, and science says it’s just another way to live. Sorry. The Bible says it’s sin. The Bible outranks anything man says if in opposition.

If more people who oppose what Phil quoted would study the Bible, they will understand.

Phil did nothing wrong.

James E. Brammer, Salem

Contrary to study findings, shale plays big role in NE Ohio growth

A recent study authored by opponents of shale energy made the unbelievable claim that Ohio’s oil and natural gas boom isn’t that great. The truth is that we have a new industry in our state that is creating jobs and making a major impact in the lives of Ohioans, especially here in Northeast Ohio.

Across our shale region we are seeing many opportunities that we did not before. Of course this is not only limited to direct industry jobs — those working for oil and natural gas companies — it also includes jobs being created to support those workers. From construction and manufacturing jobs to new hotels to restaurants, the article clearly ignores the thousands of jobs being supported and created as a result of oil and natural gas activity in the state.

This industry is still very young as well. What we will see over the next few decades will be even greater development.

We need to recognize the opportunities that have come and will come to our region thanks to this new industry. The jobs being created go much further than just the companies doing the drilling. We will continue to see a positive impact across the region for years to come.

Amy Rutledge, Carrollton

The writer is director of the Carroll County Convention & Visitors Bureau.

Why does Gov. Kasich distance himself from Austintown racino?

Why does the Ohio Rac- ing Commission persist in gumming up the works for Penn National Gaming and its $125 million racino under construction in Austintown?

Last April, the commission took issue with the number of indoor seats with views of the track.

More recently, they were whining about the number of horse stalls, insisting that 760 stalls aren’t nearly enough. The “benchmark” it claims is 1,000 stalls.

A Vindicator column written several months ago told of a friendship between Ohio Gov. John Kasich and Dan Gilbert, owner of the Cleveland Cavaliers, Quicken Loans, and a major player in several northeastern Ohio gaming venues. I believe that writer referred to the friendship as a “mutual admiration society.”

Regardless of the status of their “bro-mance,” it doesn’t take a genius to connect the dots. Kasich, through his appointees on the racing commission, continues to stymie Penn National. Gilbert, a potentially major campaign donor, gains a preferred spot on the governor’s already crowded dance card.

Speculation? Perhaps. However, we do know one thing for sure, and that is the deep affection Kasich has for the sound of his own voice. Indeed, always eager to speak to any audience, captive or otherwise, yet the governor was conspicuous by his absence from the May 31 racino groundbreaking, a significant event attended by Penn National officials, business and community leaders, local and county officials, most area state legislators, as well as U.S. Rep. Tim Ryan.

It should be noted that the governor appeared at a similar launch at Exterran on Salt Springs Road, just a stone’s throw from the racino. He also spoke at NiSource in nearby New Middletown.

An accidental snub to Penn National? I don’t think so.

Chris Crowe, Canfield

To close partisan divide in US, parties must respect opposition

Bipartisanship among Ameri- ca’s political leaders is virtually nonexistent because of a major difference in opinion. Liberals and conservatives, even with their most moderate policies, have ideologies that are miles apart from each other. If that’s the case with moderate politicians, then the extremists are in different galaxies. When highly revered public officials like Mike Morell, former deputy director of the CIA, makes a statement on “60 Minutes” saying, “what really keeps me up at night is the inability of our government to make decisions that push our economy and our society forward,” every American should set aside time for some unbiased research.

If that statement isn’t discouraging enough Morell follows up with another message for Americans. “For some reason that I don’t understand, there’s been a change from a willingness of the two parties to work together to get things done to today the two parties at each other’s throats simply trying to score political points, and I don’t know why that’s occurred and I don’t have a good understanding of how to fix that.”

Remember, Mike Morell isn’t a politician; his sole purpose was to protect the American people from external threats. He was a true public servant whose words can be trusted and should be listened to.

The responsibility for the mismanagement of both parties is in the hands of our commander and chief; putting at risk not only our national security but our way of life. Set aside your loyalties and biases and focus on the fact that the president’s inability to successfully manage and communicate to both sides of government is destroying the two-party system.

Instead of working through differences, which is the basis for our political system, the two parties have retreated to defensive positions; worrying more about scoring political points than working for the people they represent. Wholeheartedly agreeing with the liberal or conservative policies isn’t tearing this country apart; it’s the lack of respect for the opposition. We are better than this and should demand more from our public officials.

I say fire them all.

Nathaniel Whaley, Youngstown