Were Mailings Repugnant ...

November 15 2002

I was appalled when I read "Gay-Bashing Is Repugnant" [editorial, Nov. 12], about the anti-gay mailings. I agree with The Courant that that kind of behavior is despicable. To know it was supported by a religious organization is, frankly, outrageous.

Is there a religion left that teaches basic morals such as, "Be kind and respectful to your fellow man"? Some Muslims blow up innocent Americans, some Catholic priests molest children and, now, some Baptists slander gays. One might think that gay people contribute more good values to this society than our religious leaders.

I am neither gay, liberal nor religious, but when I woke up this morning it was the 21st century. What century do those religious people think it is?

Christa A. Sterling

... Or Righteous?

Why is it that when someone or some group disapproves of or disagrees with the homosexual agenda, it is labeled as "hate"? Can't anyone disagree or disapprove of a lifestyle without being hateful? I'm sure that the editorial writer disapproves of stealing. But because there's disapproval of a person who steals, does that mean the thief is hated? What a lame platform: Anyone who disagrees with us hates us.

The best and real authority is God, and he declares in the Bible that the perverted acts of homosexuality and lesbianism are a shameful sin in his eyes.

I don't know the Rev. Jim Townsley, but I applaud his creativity in sending out the attention-grabbing postcards regarding the gay-agenda stance of state Reps. Michael Lawlor and Christopher Murphy.

I laughed when I read: "There should be no place for this type of hateful campaigning, especially in a state that is rightfully proud of its tradition of open-mindedness and tolerance." What is now called tolerance and open-mindedness is sin in God's eyes.

Only 200 years ago, the Founding Fathers had a tradition of keeping and imposing scriptural truths and, thus, our country was blessed. But now we keep "the rightfully proud tradition of open-mindedness and tolerance" and we are a country (and state) that is not blessed.

Does anybody else see that Connecticut becoming a gambling Mecca and the next state to pass civil union legislation is not a blessing or good thing?

Robert A. O'Neil

Smith Case Goes Too Far

I think the case against former New Milford police officer Scott Smith has gone too far [Connecticut, Nov. 13, "Review Of Smith Reversal Sought"].

He did not slaughter anyone. He was doing his job as society pays him to do. Being a police officer is a very dangerous job; one that most of us take for granted. Franklyn Reid, the man Smith shot in self-defense, was a fugitive with a record.

A situation that an eyewitness may see for just one second can change very quickly, and an officer's life can be at stake. An officer does not shoot to wound when he thinks his life may be in danger. He shoots to kill because he may not get a second chance. He has to make a split-second decision.

Now State's Attorney John Connelly wants the state Supreme Court to reinstitute Smith's manslaughter conviction, which was overturned by the Appellate Court. For doing his job by protecting society from criminals? Shouldn't our courts be protecting our police on the streets?

What this young man is being put through is wrong. If Reid had been a good member of society, he would be alive today. He chose to be the opposite and paid the price.

Fred M. Yeager

One Republican Party Is Enough

U.S. Rep. Martin Frost of Texas said that the 2002 elections indicate that America has moved rightward. This is a complete misreading of statistics.

Most Americans do not vote at all, and this is because they see no difference between the two major political parties. They see neither party substantially addressing the corporate crimes of Enron and WorldCom, and they see neither party addressing the disarray of our nation's health care and education. They perceive a lack of Democratic opposition to the irresponsible war plans of the Bush administration, which are making our once-respected nation appear as an unaccountable rogue in the international community.

There is no need for two Republican parties. When the Democratic Party represents the needs and aspirations of the American people, it will energize our electoral process and give citizens a reason to vote.

These are observations that The Courant should be making. Instead, it generally presents headlines that appear to be dictated by its corporate ownership, and fails to play an independent role so crucial to the democratic process.

Christopher V. Castelli

Democrats Should Stand Against Bankruptcy Bill

In "Democrats Stood For Nothing" [Other Opinion, Nov. 7], syndicated columnist E.J. Dionne Jr. gave examples of the Democrats' lack of ideas, courage and passion. Another example of how the Democrats lost their electoral base and deserved to lose is their stand on H.R. 333, the so-called bankruptcy reform bill.

The bill, initiated by Republicans and major lenders, gathered more than enough Democratic votes, including those of Sen. Joseph I. Lieberman and Reps. John B. Larson and Jim Maloney, for Congress to forward the bill to the House-Senate conference committee. Democratic support came despite the opposition of bankruptcy lawyers, leading law school deans, major consumer groups and civil rights organizations, which all recognized the harshness and unfairness of the bill.

The bill would create a large class of people too well-off to file under Chapter 7, but too poor to file under Chapter 13, barring them from bankruptcy protection. Judges would lack discretion in waiving the proposed rigid means test.

In contrast: In several states, many affluent debtors would still be able to retain multimillion-dollar homes.

The late Sen. Paul Wellstone, who had not lost the way and had led the opposition to H.R. 333, wrote, "It boggles the mind that at a time when Americans are more economically vulnerable, when they are most in need of protection from financial disaster, we would eviscerate the major fiscal safety net [the bankruptcy law] in our society for the middle class."

It boggles the mind that Democrats have become indistinguishable from Republicans, but it should not boggle the mind to understand their well-deserved defeat. Democrats can begin to find their way by working to defeat H.R. 333.

Jay S. Lapidus
West Hartford

The writer is the franchisee for We The People-Newington, a non-attorney bankruptcy preparer.

Guilt Doesn't Aid Fitness

I was appalled by the tone and content of Jim Shea's Nov. 9 column "Waist Not, Eat Smart" [Life].

No one has the right to tell people how to live, eat or spend their holidays, and no one should have to feel guilty about it. It is this guilt, so prevalent in our society, that causes people to overeat "forbidden" foods because they have been given that label.

Your weight is based on what you eat throughout a series of days. No one should feel guilty for small indulgences.

As a young woman recovering from anorexia, I know that it is articles such as this that cause many people to have eating problems. Shame on Shea for making anyone feel ashamed or guilty because of his tasteless article.

Corey E. Blake

Copyright 2002, Hartford Courant