Religions should be required curriculum
“The virtue of patience” by Don Shipley promoted understanding of world religions. Shipley eloquently wrote about patience and taking time to study and understand complex religious beliefs and human spirituality.
Our educationally challenged, politically correct society has created a void for ignorance and intolerance by suppressing religious studies and traditions in our public educational institutions under the guise of separation of church and state. World religions should be required curriculum at all grade levels, not for indoctrination, but for cultural survival in our increasingly polarized world.
Religion has historically been the foundation of many cultures, bringing a richness of traditions, and promoting a moral compass, no matter how imperfect.
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It is paramount to understand the stark differences between people of faith versus the warping of religious doctrine by those of the inquisition or fanatical terrorist leaders in monotheistic governments seeking to advance maniac agendas.
Many atheists argue that religion is the root of all evil. Vladimir Lenin sowed the seeds of a godless Bolshevik revolution, quoting in his diary he was not afraid of religious leaders, for they could be corrupted, he was afraid of people of faith for they could not be. Historically, millions of innocent people suffered and died under brutal godless dictators of the world such as Stalin in the Soviet Union.
Embrace religious freedom and knowledge. Mother Teresa, a remarkable woman, lived her faith and is quoted, “Words, which do not give the light of Christ, increase the darkness.” So, too, will our continued ignorance bring darkness.
DANIEL C. WALTERS, Olympia
Foreign money can buy lawmakers
The fox is in the hen house and the public, seemingly unaware of the danger, is doing absolutely nothing.
Many people are concerned about terrorism, yet the Supreme Court has released a veritable fox by allowing both foreign and domestic corporations (Citizens United v. Federal Election Commission) to spend unlimited monies to elect most anyone they support.
Why bother to vote when foreign money can now buy our representatives and the White House?
Kill the fox now. Reverse the Supreme Court decision through amending the Constitution, as supported by Sens. Chris Dodd, Arlen Specter, John Kerry, and Reps. John Conyers and Donna Edwards.
MARK LITCHMAN, Olympia
‘Precharge’ diversion is justice for currency
The pride Prosecutor Ed Holm has for the “precharge” diversion program is misplaced. His office makes a travesty of our justice system.
Attorneys and the editors of The Olympian miss a critical point. The fact is that our county prosecutor has established a program where those with financial resources can escape any punishment for a wide variety of crimes. He has set up a system that allows those charged with offenses an opportunity to buy their way out of court.
It’s a “Get out of jail card for a fee” program.
A person charged with an offense could escape any punishment by paying a fee that ranges from $750 to $1,200. The only real requirement for this program is the ability to pay. There is an additional requirement for the offender to come into Friendship two times a month for a brief check to insure there’s no further criminal activity and that all payments are current.
That’s it. There is no treatment, no program.
Friendship is a collection agency. The court could order further requirements, but since Holm’s concern is with lowering the court’s caseload, I doubt there are further requirements. Holm claims this is a cost-effective measure to save court dollars.
Really, it’s a cash cow for Friendship who holds a monopoly on this option. (What’s that about?)
In addition, it is justice for currency for those with the resources. This is wrong. It denies equal justice for all. That cost is too much.
FRED YANCEY, Olympia
Congress must adopt health care reform
Many have been feeling frustration due to increased challenges facing enactment of health care reform. In a recent communication to volunteer leaders, Bonnie Cramer, AARP board chairwoman, said, “I want to reassure you that these recent setbacks do not change our mission to secure affordable, quality health care for older Americans and their families.”
At this time, the path forward for health care legislation is to be determined by House and Senate leaders along with the White House. In this whole process, AARP will continue to fight to ensure that legislation is passed to protect and strengthen guaranteed Medicare benefits, close the doughnut hole, crack down on insurance company abuses and make sure seniors can continue to see the doctor of their choice.
Health care remains a vital issue for all Americans and to be successful it must do the following: strengthen Medicare and lower drug costs for today’s seniors and future generations; make insurance affordable for older Americans; ensure seniors can continue to see the doctor of their choice by fixing the physician payment formula; put an end to the abusive, discriminatory practices by insurance companies including age rating; cover pre-existing conditions; and improve long-term care options so all Americans can live independently in their homes and communities.
We have come so far in this past year to let Washington gridlock stall everything we’ve accomplished. AARP is counting on Congress and the White House to come together and deliver a reform package this year.
PEGGY QUAN, Olympia