Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor 8/11

Book burning

A nondenominational church in Gainesville, Fla., plans to host an “International Burn a Quran Day” on the ninth anniversary of the Sept. 11 attacks. They invite Christians to burn the Muslim holy book at the church from 6 to 9 p.m.

Pastor Terry Jones told CNN’s Rick Sanchez, “We believe that Islam is of the devil, that it’s causing billions of people to go to hell, it is a deceptive religion, it is a violent religion, and that is proven many, many times.”

As I heard these words, it occurred to me that this is exactly what many Muslims say about Christianity. It also occurred to me that if the pastor and his flock had all been born and raised in Tehran or Mecca, they would now be fervent Muslims eager to burn the Bible.

If people realize that the religion they uncritically accept is usually the dominant religion of their culture, then perhaps they will be more inclined to practice tolerance toward people of different religious traditions.

Laurence Houlgate

San Luis Obispo

Checks, balances

A lot of recent letter writers, protesting the ruling by a federal judge on Proposition 8, wail that “democracy is dead” and “the voter does not matter,” then declare that the “framers of the Constitution (are) turning over in their graves.” 

No, they’re not. But apparently, United States government and civics classes are no longer being taught in our schools. Constitutional rights cannot be voted away by the people, nor can they be legislated away by our various legislatures, although, historically, we’ve tried hard over the years to do just that (slavery, disenfranchisement of women, anti-miscegenation laws, segregation, restriction of civil rights, etc.).  

Those attempts to deny a citizen’s basic constitutional rights were rectified and the rights restored by our third, co-equal branch of government — the courts. Which is exactly how the framers of the Constitution designed it. 

Far from being some anti-democratic, anti-American “Death of the Republic” moment, the checks and balances processing of Proposition 8 through our courts is our form of government proceeding exactly as it’s supposed to proceed. The framers would be pleased.

So everybody, get a grip. Please.

Ann Calhoun

Los Osos

Natural resources

“Out, damn’d spot! Out, I say”(“Macbeth,” act 5, Scene 1)! I mean, “Out, United States military!”

In the countries of Iraq and Afghanistan, it is their natural resources such as oil that are keeping us there. So the private companies are making money off oil and the military?

And who authorized our military to fire drones into Pakistan?

Karen Husemeyer

Pismo Beach

Afghan support

A recent poll by ABC News shows that 68 percent of Afghans support the American military presence in their country. Do you know why that is? Because it gives the Taliban something to shoot at. Those people will eventually have to take care of themselves.

Stephen Kniffen