I appreciated Ken Hampian’s “civics lesson” (“His civics lesson: Build trust,” Jan. 13). His suggestions for fostering trust and sustaining a healthy civic culture are not new ideas, but his down-to-earth and concise presentation brings them to life.
Application of these simple yet powerful practices would lead to much more effective government at any and all levels. They could (and should!) be evident in many areas of our everyday world, such as business offices, charitable organizations, schools and churches.
I’ll keep his list on my desk.
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On the Golden Rule
While we’re on the topic of what the Bible and Jesus really commands, let’s read Matthew 5:17-19 and Luke 16:17, where Jesus says he’s not here to change “one letter” of the old laws. Or how about Matthew 15:22-28, where Jesus calls a Canaanite woman a dog, and Luke 7:1-10, where Jesus heals as opposed to frees a slave.
Then in Deuteronomy 2:32-34, Jehovah aids in the killing of innocent women and children. In Genesis 19:1-38, Lot offers up his virgin daughters to be gang-raped to protect his angelic house guests and then later impregnates his daughters when they rape him while drunk.
Deuteronomy 21:18-21 demands that rebellious children be stoned to death for disobedience and drunkenness.
One thing positive I can take from Jesus is that he did profess the importance of the Golden Rule, but it’s not unique to his teachings. The flaws in biblical morality, or any supposed holy book for that matter, are just too glaring to be overlooked by someone who actually reads them.
The Golden Rule coupled with the Scientific Method (critical thinking) can and have improved humanity better than any ancient text. It certainly improved my life.
Don’t ban dirt bikes
In response to Rosemarie Bem’s request that we outlaw dirt bikes (Letters, Jan. 8): Being a father of four and an avid motorcycle enthusiast, I disagree with her request.
Losing a child is a parents’ worst nightmare; however, I feel that we must keep all recreational sports available to our youth. This includes dirt bike riding.
I have ridden motorcycles my entire life, and I used to ride after school just about every day. I attribute my mom’s positive attitude and my dirt bikes to keeping me out of trouble.
In a world where kids are pushed to go to college and get a high paying job, I feel that there is a need for more youth activities, such as riding camps to teach kids how to safely operate a small dirt bike. It builds a child’s confidence, improves their motor skills and gives them the desire to be passionate about something.
The last thing we need in this world are more laws to prevent us from enjoying life.
Sure, dirt bike riding has its dangers, but many more children are lost from drowning, auto accidents and choking and we do not ban swimming pools, cars and food.