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Letters to the Editor

Readers write about political uses of Scripture, working toward retirement, and appreciating America's military.

April 23, 2008



Does Scripture have a place in politics?

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Regarding Uwe Siemon-Netto's April 18 Opinion piece, "Christians should keep Scripture out of politics": This was a welcome relief from the ongoing media frenzy over all kinds of religious issues in American presidential politics. 

I certainly agree with Mr. Siemon-Netto that there is a misuse of Scripture in American politics on both sides of the political divide. This article is important reading for anyone who wants to better understand, or be reminded of, what the separation of church and state means in the political arena, especially for voters during election times.

Siv Swan Pierson
Yucca Valley, Calif.

In response to Uwe Siemon-Netto's recent Opinion piece on holy text in politics: In arguing for a separation of Gospel faith from American politics, Mr. Siemon-Netto's reasoning leaves much to be desired.

According to Siemon-Netto, the Gospel message – central to Christian life – should somehow be checked at the polling-station door in favor of some vaguely defined "natural law." Given the truth that politics transcends the polling place – in fact, every act in life is a political expression – where then does the Gospel enter? And if the Gospel is not to inform our conscience in acts involving our neighbors – politics being the ultimate expression of those acts – of what use is the Gospel at all? To which value system shall the Christian subscribe if "natural law" conflicts with Gospel teaching?

It seems to me that we would all find a way to disagree with what "natural law" says about any issue just as readily as we disagree on scriptural points and church dogma.

The beauty of our society is that there is room enough for everyone to enter the discussion, whether their opinions are faith-based or not.

Anil Singh
Brooklyn, N.Y.

Work hard in order to retire well

In response to the April 10 article, "Retirement jitters on the rise": At 72 years of age, I will soon leave for a 16-day cruise (fully paid for and insured) to Norway. Through grit, luck, and planning, I have been retired since 1997.

I taught high school English for many years before going to work for the public library system in Oregon. My husband, in turn, had worked his way through college. We worked like dogs at times, but both graduated from college without owing money to anyone.

That said, I believe that it is more difficult today to get a college education.

My advice to all students of today is to avoid using credit cards if you can (not always easy to do), write down your goals, and make the best choices that you can. Life is not always fair, but your attitude toward the hand you are dealt is important.

Susan Dawson
Dallas, Ore.

Appreciation for military service

Regarding Luke Lawson's April 16 Opinion piece, "Thank you, 1st Lt. Shaun Blue, for a life of integrity and service": Men like this deserve the hero's recognition that this piece provided. Because of men like Marine 1st Lt. Blue, our country has not been attacked since Sept. 11, 2001. But all too often our brave fighting men and women get little or no credit for their bravery and sacrifice. Instead they must listen to politicians criticize the war and those who direct it. What a pity that we have lost the patriotism of the past. May God bless our soldiers and those who must make the tough decisions regarding their fighting strategy.

Rich Ronning
Blair, Neb.

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