Letters to the editor – Sunday (9-27-09)

Published 12:00 am Thursday, October 1, 2009

Who is really my neighbor?
Two thousand years ago, his disciples asked Christ, “Who is my neighbor?” Christ replied with a parable about a man, beaten, robbed and left to die by the roadside. Two leading Jews, a Pharisee and a Levite, saw the injured man and crossed the road to avoid him. Next came a Samaritan, a hated enemy of the Jews. He stopped and treated the injured man, taking him to an inn where the Samaritan had him treated at his own expense. Leaving, he told the innkeeper to do anything necessary to treat the injured man and he, the Samaritan would pay the expenses on his way back.
That was Jesus’ answer to the question “Who is my neighbor?”
Ask the same question today, and I wonder what kind of answers you might get, particularly from some of his self-proclaimed followers. Is it the folks next door? Or the people in their neighborhood? Or those who look like them? Who is my neighbor?
Apparently not the homeless, or the poor, or the uninsured, and certainly not those “illegal immigrants” who have come here to better themselves (as so many of our ancestors did). When those folks call out “brothers and sisters,” who are they including? Just the folks like them, sitting in their church? Who Is their neighbor?
When all of those churchgoers get home this Sunday, they might do well to reflect on Christ’s definition of their neighbor and their own definition of their neighbor. I can only hope they will see the disconnect.
Incidentally, the Samaritan never asked the injured Jew if he was there “legally,” or if he had a right to be there. He simply went ahead and took care of the stranger by the roadside.
ó John P. Burke
Cap the nonsense
The U.S. Department of Treasury stated in a March 9, 2009, report that the Cap & Trade bill will cost every household $1,761 more annually for electricity. Rep. Henry Waxman (a sponsor of the bill passed by the House) said in April that it would only cost 40 cents a day. The president said (June 25,2009) it would only cost the price of a postage stamp. I have no earthly idea what the actual cost will be, but can you rely on politicians for an honest answer? Maybe so, maybe not. But in either case, this increase ó coupled with a $900 billion health-care bill, massive reductions in Medicare benefits and the probable significant increases in taxes to be paid by everyone ó will hurt us all.
The elderly, and those earning less than $30,000, will be especially hard hit. There are far less costly ways to achieve clean air and state-of-the-art health care for everyone. Let the electric companies build nuclear plants, which are clean and provide low-cost energy. Pass tort reform and eliminate the fraud in health care. Do not force medical insurance on those who don’t want it, and don’t give it to illegal aliens. Make their home countries pay for their medical expenses. And allow drilling for oil off our own shores instead of giving Brazil $2 billion to drill for their own oil off their shores.
The Cap & Trade bill is pending in the Senate. You can help stop it by contacting our senators. As for the bill regarding health care, which encompasses 16 percent of our nation’s economy, beware. This could bankrupt our nation, with your descendants paying for the rest of their lives. Please do what you can to stop this nonsense. Far too many good people are going to be hurt, badly.
ó Donald Schumacher
Why Beck is bad
What Glenn Beck is doing is bad for America in general and very harmful for our democracy. He is setting a precedent for unethical practices by telling lies, spreading divisive racial issues and trying to fill the minds of his listeners, mostly uninformed, accusing the president of unfounded blatant lies.
Our country and our morals will be better off if Mr. Beck would simply stop his antics and limit himself to facts that he can substantiate.
ó Awni Sammakia