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Letters to the Editor

Readers write about why the world is safer without nuclear weapons, how the government cannot legislate whom churches marry, why America must change the way it invests, and why tickets for men's basketball games cost more than tickets for women's.

April 10, 2009

A nuke-free world is a safer world

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In regard to the April 9 Opinion piece, "Obama's bid for nuke-free world: Bad idea": Author Richard Harknett's commentary on President Obama's proposal to begin work toward a world free of nuclear weapons bypasses the facts to get to his conclusion.

Mr. Harknett ignores what Australian Ambassador to the United Nations Richard Butler calls the "axiom of proliferation," which is that as long as any nation holds nuclear weapons, others will seek to acquire them. India, for example, which once campaigned for the complete elimination of nuclear weapons, joined the ranks of the nuclear weapon powers after failing to see any movement toward nuclear disarmament as required of the signatories to the Nuclear Nonproliferation Treaty (NPT). And it is no coincidence that India's acquisition of nuclear capabilities accelerated neighboring Pakistan's successful nuclear initiative.

Now, of course, it's neighbor Iran's turn to follow this classic proliferation pattern. And who will it be after Iran, if it succeeds?

If, as Harknett states, proliferation can be contained and managed while preserving the nuclear capabilities of the few, then why hasn't that strategy already worked? Why are there now nine nuclear powers, rather than the five that existed when the NPT was first signed?

There is only one way to stop the threat of nuclear proliferation and its accompanying dangers. It is the same conclusion the world came to concerning both biological and chemical weapons: a careful, verifiable global ban on both the possession and use of nuclear weapons.

Nathan Pyles
Lake Mills, Wis.

Churches can't be told by government whom to marry

Regarding the April 6 article, "Gay marriage ruling has Iowans weighing their values": This article states that, "Pastor John Beller...worries that state legislation might one day force him to perform marriages that would otherwise be against the tenets of his church."

With all due respect, Pastor Beller's fears are unfounded.

No church in America has ever been told by the government that it must perform any marriage ceremony. For example, last I checked, the Roman Catholic Church is still free not to marry divorced persons.

Of course, a little fear-mongering never got in the way of some "Christians" to bear false witness against God's gay and lesbian children.

George Olds
Hamilton, Ontario