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Online Letters to the Editor for July 24

Friday, July 24, 2009
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Understanding America's history will make God's role more clear

Pamela Terlaak-Poot’s well-researched July 19 Viewpoint, “DiNicola used Palin to belittle Christians and their values,” will undoubtedly come under fire from those who want to negate or diminish Christianity’s role in the founding and maintenance of democratic America.

Before critics start pointing out the religious diversity among the founding fathers, recall that Terlaak-Poot makes clear that they all held to Thomas Jefferson’s position that all human rights come from God. Hence the King George of their day or any leader today may not violate these rights.

I’m sure that Terlaak-Poot’s concern is that when this principle is given only lip service, then the republic and personal liberties are destined to crumble. Alexis deTocqueville, a 19th century French observer, wrote in his “Democracy in America” that one of the dangers inherent in democracy was “the tyranny of the majority.”

Just as individuals can misuse absolute power, so could a majority of people because “God alone can be omnipotent, because his wisdom and justice are always equal to his power,” he says.

The majority can rule well only if it adheres to the morality of the Creator. What Terlaak-Poot calls the “relativistic morality of the liberal left” endangers liberty. If many voters live as if God were not important, except in a crisis, and if they “do their own thing” in morality, then they potentially will get a chain around their necks.

Eric Retzlaff

Rotterdam

Taxing the public to provide free health care is the wrong way to go

I agree with David Welch’s July 19 letter about the looming health-care changes.

As a senior citizen, who has paid for health insurance for myself and my family for 45-plus years, I resent being forced or taxed so that those who never had a job can have benefits.

Finally, as Mr. Welch mentions, we already have competition between health-care providers.

Richard Stevens

Ballston Spa

 
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comments

July 24, 2009
7:32 a.m.
PKlotzJr says...

Guess what, Eric. We Christians do not have a monopoly on God. Your letter also makes zero sense as it relates to political theory and the relationship between politics and theism.

I'm suprised and disappointed the Gazette was willing to publish this, even online. It doesn't say anything. Bad job on this one, Editors.

July 24, 2009
4:36 p.m.
cs2247 says...

Just six years after the First Amendment became an official part of the Constitution, the U.S. Senate read (in the English language) and ratified a treaty with Tripoli which included in Article 11 the following assertion: "The government of the United States of America is not in any sense founded on the Christian Religion" (John Adams, 1797, Hunter Miller, ed., Treaties and other International Acts, 2:365).

The Founding Fathers could not have stated the principle of separation any more clearly than when they wrote: "No religious Test shall ever be required as a qualification to any Office or public Trust under the United States" (U. S. Constitution, 1787, Art. 6, Sec. 3).

Most people have a poor understanding of history. The neocons and right wing fundamentalists of the last twenty or thirty years have done what they can to obscure these truths in favor of their own ideologies. America is not a Christian nation, but we are a free nation. It's important not to let the partisan ideologues change that.

July 24, 2009
8:18 p.m.
cs2247 says...

Poor Richard. He says because he didn't get "free" health care, nobody else should get it either.

What a small, bigoted, narrow minded view from someone who should be wiser than that.

July 30, 2009
5:23 p.m.
ericretzlaff says...

One of the lousy approaches of online "commentators" is exemplified by PKlotzJr who attacks someone's opinions without offering specific reasons. Then he suggests that, since he doesn't like the other person's viewpoint, it ought to be censored by the editors. His criticisms are useless and offer no constructive alternative.

I suggest that PK show his whole hand by saying why he opposes God-given human rights, the role Christians had in forming this nation, and the suggestion that believers in God really be committed to him and live a non-self-centered, non-self-serving morality. Besides that, what's PK's constructive plan for a good society.

Please don't censor his comments because once he starts talking, his shallow, ill-conceived views will become apparent.

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