When I have the window open for creating a new blog post, I get a list of the categories I’ve created, and the subcategories that go with them. And as I was looking through these categories, I noticed that my “Letters to the editor” category only had one post filed under it. “Surely,” I muttered aloud, “I will be able to find another interesting letter to the editor to reply to.”
Lo and behold, there are several letters in today’s issue of the Des Moines Register that are fairly short and pertinent to topics I’m passionate about. It’s like a dream come true, really.
The full list of letters can be found here. I’m posting, it their entirety, the three letters that I wish to resond to. I do have an opinion on the others, but I feel that these three are the three most pressing issues currently on my mind, so I’m better able to reply to them. Any italicizing or bolding is purely my own emphasis.
There were a couple of letters about the health care reform bill in today’s issue. And it was welcome to see someone supporting the bill rather than slinging partisan catchphrases to oppose it. I agree with this letter in its entirety:
In regard to Glenn Fanslow’s April 4 letter opposing the health care reform law that was recently passed: The American people spoke loudly when they elected Barack Obama president. They wanted change, and change is what they’re getting.
The opposition can continue playing the partisan game if they want to, but they’re going to be left behind in history. As time passes and more of the health care reform goes into effect, and people see the sky isn’t really falling, it’ll get harder to argue that it is.
I’m thankful every day that Congress, at the president’s urging, has taken the difficult steps to first lead us out of the recession. These social issues are going to get resolved instead of being talked to death by the Republican Party.
Sen. Chuck Grassley even has the gall to tout sections of the health care law that he put in – then, in lockstep with his party, voted against.
I especially like the last paragraph of this letter, because it shows what many Republicans are doing and have done with this bill. They complain about how there was “no discussion” about the health care reform bill, and how the Democrats “shoved it down the throats of the American people.” Yet when there was ample opportunity to have discussion and to be bipartisan, they fouled it all up by not talking about it, and instead wanting it to be forgotten and to “prove” that Democrats can’t keep their promises. It’s disgusting to think that the people who are leading this country are driving it into the ground with ignorance and faulty rhetoric.
Speaking of ignorance and faulty rhetoric:
I strongly disagree with the Rev. Chet Guinn’s assertion that the issue of marriage is “insignificant” compared to issues like global warming (“Churches Must Renew Shared Global Values,” April 2).
As Pope Benedict XVI has pointed out, social issues and environmental issues are intricately linked. It all relates to God’s creation. Respect for nature includes respect for human nature.
If we seek to defend part of God’s creation by protecting the environment, it is important for us to defend other aspects of that creation as well. This includes defending marriage as the natural union of the two complementary sexes.
There are several problems I have with these sorts of arguments, the main one being that people assume that marriage is a gift from God. It’s not. Marriage is a part of all cultures, way before the invention of religion, and even remote, God-less, “savage” cultures, who have no exposure at all to world events, have marriage ceremonies.
Also, there is absolutely no correlation between global warming and same-sex marriage. Letting gays marry won’t increase the global temperature, and cutting down carbon emissions won’t turn gay people straight.
The fight for same-sex marriage isn’t to push some radical, homosexual agenda to turn everyone queer. The fight for same-sex marriage is one for equality: same-sex partners want to have the same benefits that Mr. and Mrs. Robinson get when they say “I do.” That’s it.
Same-sex couples want to visit each other in the hospital, they want to adopt children, they want their belongings to go to the other in case of death. They don’t want to start Hetero-Concentration Camps and kill straight people who don’t want to kiss a member of the same sex.
(I’m reminded of a webcomic that I frequent called Surviving the World. The link given is to Thursday’s comic about how blood donors are similar to gigolos, but it’s the text underneath that I’m a huge fan of. Read it, and let me know what you think).
This topic came in a two-fer: the editorial cartoon, and a letter to the editor. The cartoon has a caption at the top that reads, “Who has the ultimate responsibility for preventing obesity in children?” On the left is Ronald McDonald; on the right, “Parents”. To me, it shows that parents are quick to blame others for their faulty parenting, and never take the blame themselves. The letter, though not about obesity, sends an equally strong message:
How do basketball players get good at shooting three pointers? They practice – a whole lot. How do children become better readers? They practice – at home – a whole lot.
If parents do not require children to read every night, or read with them, better reading scores will not happen. We do not need to spend money on an investigation to solve this problem.
We need parents to take charge of their children, and work together to make daily reading a pleasurable part of their lives.
It’s true: parents are quick to say, “Well, it’s not my fault that my child doesn’t know how to read. If the teachers would teach more effectively, then it wouldn’t be an issue.”
However, part of the responsibility of being a parent is to also be a teacher. When your child is still young and impressionable, it’s your job to teach your children right from wrong. The parental teaching doesn’t stop when the child goes to school. You teach your child to sit, crawl, walk, talk, tie their shoes, apologize, wash themselves, dress themselves, use the toilet, and a myriad of other tasks. Why does reading–along with healthy eating habits, and so much more–have to take a backseat to all of this?
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