College Admissions Bribery

Actress Lori Loughlin, front, and husband, clothing designer Mossimo Giannulli, left, leave federal court in Boston after facing charges in a nationwide college admissions bribery scandal in April.

Actress dared to demand her rights

Felicity Huffman and Lori Loughlin were accused of essentially the same crime.

Huffman admitted her guilt and received a 14-day prison term. Loughlin refused to plead guilty and had her charges increased by the Department of Justice; she now faces a possible 45 years in prison for exercising her constitutional rights.

Let’s put this alleged crime in perspective; this was a nonviolent first offense, Loughlin’s career is ruined (contacts have been canceled), her daughters have left USC in shame, and Loughlin will spend a fortune defending herself.

And the DOJ is demanding 45 years. Not because Loughlin’s crime was so terrible (after all, a similar crime was worth 14 days), but because Loughlin dared demand her constitutional rights.

Steve Fleischer

Monument

LGBTQ adoption overreach

Daniel Ramos, an LGBTQ advocate, was quoted by Joey Bunch on Monday in The Gazette as saying a “shameful” Trump adoption rule change would “negatively affect 6,000 children in Colorado’s foster care system.” Ramos was referring to a “last minute” rule implemented by the Obama administration barring any (faith-based) organization that excludes same-sex couples for consideration in adopting children from federal childhood welfare programs. The Trump administration is rescinding that rule, which would again allow faith-based groups to participate in adoption and foster home services as they had been since the beginning of our country. Contrary to “harming foster children,” by allowing faith-based organizations such as St. Vincent Catholic Charities and Miracle Hill Ministries, many more children in foster care will be helped because of these organizations.

For evidence of this, one need not look further than Illinois, who discontinued adoption and foster care services with faith-based groups in 2011. Between 2012-2017, Illinois lost 1,500 foster homes! A recent Barna study shows Catholics are two times more likely to adopt, compared to the general population, and evangelicals five times as likely. Faith-based organizations are the most effective way to assist those who are the most motivated, to the tremendous benefit of children in need of foster care and adoption. It appears to me that Ramos and others in the LGBTQ community are more interested in advancing their agenda, specifically by attacking and excluding the Christian church, than truly helping these children in need.

Mike Golden

Colorado Springs

For the church to remain relevant

In his column, “Keeping politics out of church,” David Ramsey contends that churches should not be involved in politics and voter guides have no place there. I respectfully disagree.

Foundationally, God created the institution of government (Romans 13). He calls Christians to be stewards over all of His creation, including government. Most importantly, we are to love our neighbors and help them flourish. Government is one tool through which we can do this.

In our country, all citizens including Christians have the opportunity to elect persons based on their beliefs. If the church is to help Christians grow in their understanding and practical application of the Bible, shouldn’t it provide guidance to its members on which candidates, regardless of their party affiliation, best represent moral and political values consistent with biblical teaching — and therefore, if they are elected, will seek governmental policies that help our neighbors prosper?

Ramsey claims that a “major reason” for the decline in church attendance is churches expressing political views. In fact, the opposite is true. In a Pew Research study on why Americans are leaving religion, only 4% said it was because “religion focuses on power/politics.” Another study by pollster George Barna found that Christians overall want their church to be more, not less, involved in elections.

Ramsey is also incorrect in implying that voter guides are partisan. The IRS requires voter guides offered in churches to be strictly nonpartisan and has specific rules to ensure their compliance. I know; I’m a lawyer who certifies that such guides comply with the IRS’s rules. What these guides do provide is information about where competing candidates stand on matters of importance to Christians and other voters, such as issues of life, sexuality, religious freedom, parental rights, and others.

For the church to remain relevant, it must speak — in a winsome, respectful and loving way — to political and other controversial issues, not ignore them.

Douglas Barth

Colorado Springs

Shift to renewable energy

To meet our country’s energy needs, we should choose clean energy rather than older polluting sources of the past. A 2019 study showed 81% of residents in El Paso County want policy that funds research into renewable energy sources. (Yale Climate Opinion Maps)

Jobs are crucial to the stability of our economy. Fears have been raised about a loss of Colorado jobs when transitioning from coal, oil, and gas extraction to clean energy. I was surprised to learn that the opposite is true. Renewable energy actually creates more jobs than an equivalent amount of fossil-based energy, because it is more labor intensive.

The shift to renewable energy can be expedited or hindered by government policy. We need to create rules to curb pollution and impose fees on businesses that pollute. Sixty-eight percent of El Paso County residents support regulation of CO2 as a pollutant, and 61% want fossil fuel companies to be required to pay a carbon tax, the Yale study finds.

A national carbon tax, economists tell us, is the fastest and most efficient way to reduce our greenhouse gases. Encourage your members of Congress to hasten the transition to clean energy with smart government policy by supporting H.R. 763, the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act.

Clean energy jobs can be the backbone of our state’s economy and create healthy, safe communities for future generations.

Susan Atkinson

Durango

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