Separation of church and state, not religion and state

Responding to the June 28 article "Supreme Court splits on religious displays": I am sure that many people were troubled by the trend, as proclaimed by the Supreme Court, away from our country's basic roots in Christianity.

I have studied and prayed for a solution to this problem and it has come to me that the Supreme Court has confused the concepts of church and religion. The Constitution requires separation of church and state, not religion and state.

It is right and proper that no church should influence or control our government. This nation was founded upon Christianity as a religious principle, not upon specific interpretation of any given church.

Freedom of religion is not hindered by this country's Christian foundations. Indeed, it is promoted. This in no way affects the manner of any group or individual's religious practice.
Ralph Ritchie
Springfield, Ore.

US should stay out of Venezuelan affairs

Regarding the July 5 article, "Anti-Chávez leader under fire": Today, when I read about political opposition figure Maria Corina Machado possibly facing a charge of treason for accepting US government funds, I was not at all pleased.

It's possible that she could get a sentence of 28 years for her misguided actions, but the blame lies squarely on the shoulders of the US government.

The US has no business involving itself in the internal affairs of Venezuela. The US does not permit foreign donations being given to US candidates running for office, so why does it think it has the right to influence an election in Venezuela by funding the opposition candidates?
Kenneth T. Tellis
Mississauga, Ontario

Positive dimension overlooked

The July 5 article "Africa looks East for political role models" overlooked a positive dimension that could have been added to the negative "models."

The major changes in the political system in Taiwan, which moved from an authoritarian government to elected leadership and multiparty politics, also changed its economic focus from traditional agriculture to industrialization.

A strong middle class developed and both the people and government have displayed a strong sense of openness, with positive responses to disasters worldwide and economic assistance to many countries.
O. Donald Meaders
Okemos, Mich.

Veterans deserve lifelong care

In response to the July 1 article, "Costs of care for veterans: high and rising": How can anyone question taking care of men and women who are fighting for our freedom?

If we utilize the services of veterans, we should take care of them - without question. Jobs should be available for them, as well as housing and medical care, etc. Shame on America that 33 percent of homeless men are veterans.

We need to give lifelong care to those who fight for our freedom. The military takes men in the prime of their lives, disrupting families. Wives and children are left behind, and soldiers do not know if they will return home. Some come home mentally and physically disabled. They need all we can give them. God bless all who are serving our country.
Dorothy G. Dyer
South Bend, Ind.

Speculation among oil traders

Regarding your July 6 article, "As oil prices rise, shrugs at the gas pump": Once again, the consumer is blamed for high gas prices. However, nothing is said anywhere about the rampant speculation among oil traders that drives prices to their heights.
George Kowalski
Southern Shores, N.C.

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