LETTERS: Insult to military; great fire coverage; Cole's an elitist

ltr Updated: July 5, 2012 at 12:00 am • Published: July 5, 2012

An insult to the armed forces

Despite what the Supreme Court says, the Stolen Valor Act is not freedom of speech. It is contemptible fraud and an insult to armed forces members who served heroically.

There are exceptions to the First Amendment such as libel and slander. I believe the Stolen Valor Act is a similar exception.

David J. Baker, Colorado Springs

Staying abreast of conditions

You folks should receive an award for the outstanding coverage of the fire situation in the greater Colorado Springs area. We have seen The Gazette referenced in other publications as the source of detailed information. In addition, thank you for making the online edition of the newspaper freely available during the past few days. Through your excellent coverage, we here in Connecticut have been able to stay abreast of conditions in your area, where we have family.

We applaud the ‘fire heroes’ for their outstanding job and wish the residents of Colorado Springs a quick resolution of the disaster so that the healing can begin.

Ernie Gagnon, Manchester, CT

No one has the answer to that

I was visiting my family in Colorado Springs the week of June 17, and I bought the newspaper every day at a local Safeway store. Even though it has dwindled to so little information I still got something useful from it every day. I found a Farmer’s Market being held at Memorial Park at 7 a.m., which I went to and bought fresh garlic and basil for an Italian meal I was cooking. I cut out an excellent recipe for Greek potato salad. I found a new sandwich restaurant on North Academy owned by a woman that I gave to a friend — who works up that way — for her to try. And I got to read my favorite comics, advice columnist, and horoscope every day just for fun.

The demise of the newspaper in our society is tragic and I have yet to figure out how I am going to get all of this varied information provided to me on the Internet. Maybe it’s all there somewhere but how do you look for something that you don’t know exists? No one has the answer to that. Please provide your newspaper in its entirety online for an annual fee so when the paper version goes away we have somewhere to go for the exact same information pulled together for the public’s convenience.

Colleen Kouri, Palo Alto, CA

Call that religious elitism

Daniel Cole’s observations on the indispensability of religious sentiments to motivate good works contain not only discredited presumptions but also a double standard (“Charity and prayer are integral to sustaining our culture”, July 3). It’s demonstrably false that charity cannot survive in the absence of religious foundations. While care and compassion are religiously motivated for some, these same qualities are non-religiously motivated for others. The history of humanism, as just one example, demonstrates this. People of this persuasion show compassion for the simple but persuasive reason that they see all human beings having common bonds.

But Cole apparently cannot allow that to be what it is. He’s critical of atheists who will not give legitimacy to the religious spirit, charging them with an essential philosophical and theological arrogance and narrowness of mind. Call it rationalistic elitism. But Cole then goes on to practice the same arrogance and narrowness in reverse by insisting that non-religious altruism is a figment; in his view any claim to such altruism is illegitimate because it won’t admit the religious base he insists is there. Call that religious elitism.

Cole is pretending to peer into the minds and hearts of others and tell them their professed altruistic motives are pretense, because, well, because he knows their motives better. You can’t get more arrogant than that.

Ken Burrows, Manitou Springs

Circling back to tyranny

As Independence Day comes to a close, I wonder how many people took time to read the Declaration of Independence. It has been 236 years since 56 brave men signed their names to the Declaration of Independence and put their lives, and the lives of their families, on the line for the freedom we enjoy today.

The Declaration of Independence lists 18 grievances against the King of England. By reading the Declaration of Independence, you will understand how the United States has come full circle back to tyranny.

It is time to reclaim our independence from the tyranny of the federal government.

Bill Moss, Colorado Springs

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