Wednesday, April 16, 2003

Readers' Views

Young manipulated by peace activists

This is addressed to the students who participated in a Vigil for Peace on Fountain Square April 9 ("Catholic students gather to call for end to Iraq war," April 10). Your faith is exemplary and your prayers are needed by a troubled world, but I caution you to resist manipulation by "peace activist" organizers. God does not need your prayers to be publicly reported, but peace activists with a political agenda do.

Some participants stated that this rally wasn't anti-war, but for peace. News of these events, manipulated by the liberal media, demoralize our soldiers and Marines, and encourage enemy leaders and terrorist fanatics. I get e-mails from the war zone weekly, so I know firsthand how these "vigils" affect our guys. Peace activists know this, too, and therein lies your manipulation.

Good students, please pray for peace, but don't let your prayers be used for subversive purposes. Pray for a long-lasting peace that can only come through overwhelming, complete victory. Some things are worth fighting for.

Mike Emerine, Springfield Township


Plenty of obstacles to democracy in Iraq

The easy part is done-we have won the war. Now comes the difficult exercise as we try to install a representative democracy on a fractious population wherein alliances are based on the inherently unstable idea that the enemy of my enemy is my friend. Not only do the indigenous peoples of Iraq hate each other, but the country is surrounded by totalitarian regimes which have no desire for a democracy in their midst and which will actively attempt to undermine the experiment. We can hope for the best, but should keep our powder dry.

Paul Bloustein, Sycamore Township


Takes issue with Bible interpretation

I have to respond to Rueben A. Kyrk's letter "Biblical passages on gays are unambiguous," (April 12). First of all, these passages are undeniably ambiguous, otherwise there would not be such debate over the issue.

Pastor Kyrk stated, "There are too many passages of Scripture condemning the gay life for anyone to ignore them or misinterpret them."

Actually, there are only about a half dozen or so passages used by the anti-gay preachers, and even a cursory study of those, if taken in context, makes it plain the Bible says nothing about the "gay life." Those passages are nearly all about Pagan religious practices or prostitution. The rest have nothing to do with homosexuality and one wonders why they're even being bandied about.

It is not easy to read the Old Testament and then claim, as Pastor Kyrk did, "God would not create a human being and then in Leviticus 20:13 say they must be killed."

God often ordered the deaths of thousands of the human beings He created. Once, God even decided to wipe out the entire population of humans He created, with the sole exception of Noah and his family.

Scott Cruse, Covington


Why bother to join Burk's bandwagon?

Stunning. I can't believe the Cincinnati Enquirer and Martha Burk have the audacity to tell a private organization who it should and should not invite as members ("Augusta National: Time for change," April 12). Additionally stunning is that they are spending time and ink targeting a who-gives-a-beep-about golf club, when they could be focusing their energies on important targets, like my all too infrequent, all-male poker games.

While you're at it, Enquirer, please tell me who should be invited to my cousin's bachelor party, join the local Boy Scout troop, perform in the Vienna Boys' Choir and be granted admission to St. X, Elder and Moeller. Oh yeah, let's just drop that pesky Bill of Rights thing guaranteeing the right to assemble - unless, of course, you're always going to include a girl.

Will Richer, Sharonville


Hootie stands up to feminist extortion

Unlike the editorial, "Augusta National: Time for Change" (April 12), I give Hootie Johnson and the members of Augusta National two thumbs up for defending their Constitutional right to free association. I give the Enquirer two thumbs down for suggesting Hootie compromise his principles and give in to feminist extortion.

Martha Burk and her organization must be struggling to justify their existence if the only fight they can pick is with a golf club. There is no women's rights issue here or the matter would be in court. Funny, none of the Augusta members' wives seem to mind that the club is male only. Reasonable people have no problem with men or women belonging to private clubs and holding gender specific events.

Burk's attempt to destroy a time-honored male tradition that has nothing to do with women's rights only creates resentment and widens the gender gap. It seems to me that Burk is a man-hater hiding behind the cloak of the women's rights movement. She could start a female-only golf club and sponsor a Masters tournament for women. Only problem is it wouldn't become a tradition because Burk lacks the honor and integrity of a Bobby Jones or a Hootie Johnson.

J. Brock Dexter, West Chester


Thanks, Martha, for a no-ads Masters

I would like to thank Martha Burk, chairwoman of the National Council of Women's Organizations, for bringing us commercial-free TV coverage of the Masters golf tournament this year. I hope next year, she turns her attention to the NCAA basketball tournament. The absence of commercials would provide a welcome relief to this basketball fan. The National Collegiate Athletic Association membership is limited to colleges and universities. It does not permit any female membership. I find this practice archaic and highly discriminating. I hope Burk and her colleagues take note of this when they depart Augusta and begin looking about for their next meaningful project to advance the cause of women in this country.

Fred Tivin, Finneytown


Help is available to lower utility bill

With two recent utility rate increases in 60 days, many very low income or elderly homeowners may have trouble paying their energy bills. We'd like them to know that help is available locally through People Working Cooperatively.

For more than 28 years, People Working Cooperatively, Inc. has helped area low-income homeowners with essential home repairs and energy conservation services. We provide services funded through a contract with Cinergy that may include a furnace clean and tune, home weatherization, insulation and refrigerator testing.

If you need help, please give us a call at (513) 351-7921.

Jock J. Pitts, President, People Working Cooperatively, Bond Hill


Practice chastity, reduce illegitimacy

In his April 9 list of challenges to the leaders of the boycott ("Boycott crime"), Peter Bronson wrote, "Do something to reduce the number of teen pregnancies that aggravate poverty and school dropouts, which are far bigger obstacles than exaggerated racism."

This theme started with the late Sen. Daniel Patrick Moynihan, who, in 1965, brought to national attention that the black out-of-wedlock birth rate was somewhere between 20 and 23 percent at the time. The white liberal solution was taxpayer-paid free birth control to low-income folks. With his "help," the black out-of-wedlock birth rate has skyrocketed to 70 to 80 percent.

The liberal "solutions" of contraception and abortion have failed miserably. There is only one solution: chastity.

Ministers and priests who want the total well being of blacks need to preach chastity.

Marriage is for keeps. Till death do us part. This is the morality that helped to build the western civilization - including this country.

When the black community as a whole acts in accord with this biblical morality, they themselves, with the help of God, will solve the major problems of the black ghetto.

John F. Kippley, Westwood


U.S. had obligation to supply, guard Iraq

I cannot remember ever being more embarrassed over the actions of my country than I am now. Failing to immediately supply desperately needed aid to Iraqi hospitals, and even allowing them to be ransacked, is a moral shame for this country. If we have total air control, if we can easily fight our way to Saddam's palaces; if we can guard the Ministry of Oil, we could be getting aid and protection to the hospitals.

I also believe Secretary Rumsfeld made a fool of himself on television trying to diminish the seriousness of the looting going on in Iraq, describing it as "untidiness." Who is going to pay for replacing all that equipment? How much vital information needed for rebuilding Iraq is being lost? We are responsible under law and what we, and the world, are seeing on television makes a lie of his dismissal. Our "speak no evil" Defense Secretary has no credibility.

Charles Beam, Greenhills


Black leaders should support new museum

The black community leadership, unsupportive of the Underground Railroad Museum Freedom Center, needs to understand the benefits of history.

Many in this country substantially supported the Holocaust Museum. They realized that understanding the history of the Jewish people helped others better understand their nature and motivation.

The same is likely true for the Underground Museum. Certain attitudes result from the black experience. To not understand what the slaves experienced is to not understand an important segment of our population.

I think the black community should be totally supportive of this great concept.

Sam Paris, Highland Heights


Reds are starting to resemble Bengals

OK, now I'm starting to get a little upset. Back in 1999 when the Reds won more than 90 games, management talked about building around this nucleus of players for the future. Again and again we heard about how they were building for the future, desiring to have a contending team in the new stadium. Well, the new stadium is here and what sort of product do we have playing in it? A stinker. A bomb. The hitters can't hit (except Casey and Kearns), and the pitchers can't pitch.

Since 1999 the mismanagement of this team has been appalling. To wit:

• Fiscal mismanagement: $9 million/year for a washed-up shortstop who has spent more time on the bench than in the field. The bulk of the Reds salary is locked up in two players who haven't played half of the last three years. Even if the Reds are one of the smaller market teams, how much sense does this make?

• Dismantling of 1999 team: There's an old axiom that says if it isn't broke, it doesn't need fixing. Why did we send Greg Vaughn, Pokey Reese and Mike Cameron packing only to sign a much more expensive Ken Griffey? It messed up the chemistry on a winning team and things have never been the same.

• Pitching - it was going to be an obvious problem this year, but after letting Dessens go, riskily transferring their reliever Graves to starter (which nobody believed would actually work), and then admitting that they'd be willing to spend more money later in the year if they were doing well and needed more pitching, what was the point of letting Dessens go in the first place? And now with a team ERA of over 6.00, why didn't they pick up Shane Reynolds, a recently released, proven pitcher who could be signed for bare-minimum dollars?

• Hitting - I can't believe that nobody on this team can hit. With the plethora of home runs hit there already, it's clearly apparent that it's a hitters' ballpark. So why aren't the Reds hitting? And why not sign Greg Vaughn? He'd light up the place (and he's available and cheap right now).

The Reds are a disgrace to their new ballpark. Unless they turn it around quickly, I'm afraid they'll become baseball's Bengals. Before it comes to that, I for one, think heads should roll.

Drew Kendall, Norwood

Iraq: Well-connected contractors
Guilty teacher: This was abuse
April 16: A taxing system
Serve first, then protest
Readers' Views