Published: May 12, 2014
Misguided liberal compassion
The convicted murderers who have been found guilty of unspeakable crimes in the deaths of innocent people deserve to die - as adjudicated by a court of law. They don't deserve our sympathy - much less our compassion.
The misguided outpouring of liberal compassion for these monsters defies reason, logic - and understanding. Mike Littwin (Gazette, May 6) is opposed to capital punishment based on what appears to be current humanistic philosophy. The death penalty (according to Littwin) is unfair because "murderers are sentenced disproportionately according to race, gender, geography, the ability to hire a good lawyer and how they scored on an IQ test"!
Excuse me? According to our laws, murderers are sentenced based on the nature of their crimes and merits of each individual case - not on some politically correct formula for equality. Today, capital punishment is reserved only for the most heinous and horrible murders.
I'm astounded that people like Littwin can find all this empathy and compassion for the murderers - but none for the innocent victims and their families.
Robert Vegvary, Colorado Springs
Private prayer more appropriate
Your editorial in the May 6 Gazette thanks the Supreme Court's conservative majority for upholding the right of the town of Greece, N.Y., to begin its council meetings with prayer.
As you point out, both houses of Congress have traditionally opened sessions with prayer.
Thus this Supreme Court ruling sanctions public prayer at governmental meeting at any level. However, there is a higher moral authority, namely the Christian Bible, which speaks out against public prayer. Matthew's Gospel, Chapter 6, says, "when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites who love to pray in the synagogues and at street corners, that they may be seen by others; but when you pray go into your room and pray to your Father in secret."
Opening governmental meetings with prayer appears to have had no beneficial effect as witnessed by the apparent inability of Congress to act in a selfless fashion for the common good. I suspect that prayer before town council meetings also lacks any benefit.
Your editorial mentions that a ruling favoring the plaintiffs would have two unthinkable results: (1) a ban on prayers at governmental meetings or (2) a need to censor prayers.
I don't think either result would be unthinkable. I would recommend a few minutes of silent prayer to each individual's own god as a better alternative and one more likely to have a positive impact on each individual member of the group. With such a policy, no one should be offended, and it would eliminate grandiose public prayers, which never reach the ears of a God who only hears sincere private prayers from the heart. The Supreme Court decision would still stand, but this alternative, still allowing prayer before governmental sessions, might be considered by leadership at all levels of government.
I think it would do the most good for our inept and disgraceful Congress.
Sumio Go, Colorado Springs
Keep religion out of government
Now we see the five Catholic judges on the U.S. Supreme Court, by a 5 to 4 ruling, say that government functions can be turned into partial prayer meetings.
Nonreligious agnostics and atheists and others wish to take part in serious deliberations of legal and policy matters, not watch appeals to supernatural entities.
Would it be too much to ask that religionists actually produce their gods in person to give inspiration - and no middlemen such as preachers, imams, rabbis, bishops or reverends? And with no appeals to various ancient holy books written by ancient prophets? We can be forgiven for suspecting that there are not, and never have been, any supernatural gods of any kind. No wonder they never appear.
The Catholic judges used the weakest possible argument to support their ruling: tradition. Yes, religious prayer in public is long tradition. But racial slavery was a centuries-old tradition in America, and so was child labor. Laws allowing them were thankfully trashed.
Perhaps James Madison said it best: "The purpose of separation of church and state is to keep forever from these shores the ceaseless strife that has soaked the soil of Europe in blood for centuries."
So, many of us make a modest proposal: Please keep your religions out of my government.
Larimore Nicholl, Colorado Springs
Preventing climate change disaster
The May 7 editorial "Hickenlooper must take lead against anti-energy efforts" is short-sighted in the extreme. It's not anti-energy to want to prevent climate change disaster from running our state's and our country's economy, and that's just what the latest IPCC reports and the May 6 U.S. Climate Assessment is warning about.
For our area, it's lower snowfall and streamflow, reduced yield of crops and increased wildfires. And with global warming, insects here now go through two complete cycles in one summer, devastating forests.
This can lead to catastrophic flooding as well. Insect damage and wildfires remove trees and plants that help the soil's ability to absorb water. If there's a heavy rain - and as the report indicates, climate change will mean longer periods of no rain punctuated with very heavy storms - we'll have more flooding like last year.
U.S. taxpayers have paid over a trillion dollars for climate change disasters (NOAA), and the IEA says just five more years of inaction on transitioning to solar and wind will cost $5 trillion more.
We need a revenue-neutral carbon tax paid to consumers, not the government. People use that money to buy renewable energy.
Pete Kuntz, Colorado Springs