Letters for July 28, 2005

No excuse for violence
Re “What’s a gang?” (Editorial, July 7):You classify straight-edgers as “law-abiding kids.” This is only true if you are speaking of drinking under-age or using drugs. When it comes to perpetuating violence, however, they break many laws. The behavior exhibited by straight-edgers at the school I teach is abhorrent. They can certainly appear to be good kids that simply “dress differently,” but what about the people they beat up simply because they smoke cigarettes?

The RPD Gang Unit provided some much needed training to the staff at my school this year and discussed how the straight-edge group would soon meet its definition of a gang. During their presentation I was impressed by how they treat gang members with respect and to what lengths they go to do help them.

The mentality of these kids is the same as any other gang. Their actions and behavior to outsiders is considerably against societal norms. Their violence is inexcusable.

As a local educator in a Title 1 school, I appreciate all the help RPD’s Gang Unit provides my school and hope they continue to help our community with their efforts.

Please withhold my name from publication … I don’t need my tires slashed!Name withheld


Christian nation I
Re “Jesus skates Sparks” (Letters, July 14):

Regarding the display of the Ten Commandments in a Sparks park, this country was founded upon a belief in a creator from whom we were claiming certain inalienable rights.

The Founding Fathers not only recognized the existence of this creator, but sought his help in the foundation of this country and in formulating our country’s laws and even injected the Bible containing this same creator’s laws, the Ten Commandments, into use in our judicial system, by making it mandatory for every person testifying in court to first swear an oath on this same Bible to tell the truth, the whole truth and nothing but the truth.

Not only is Sparks’ display constitutionally legal, but the fact that the Ten Commandments is not allowed in any court, since these same Commandments are depicted on the Supreme Court building, speaks volumes about the lack of wisdom, the ignorance and utter arrogant disregard for the truth, evidenced by some of the decisions of some judges and their presumptions of assuming the congressional duties by making laws instead of correctly interpreting those contained in the U.S. Constitution.

As for religion belonging in our churches and homes, Mr. Dougherty evidently doesn’t understand what religion is.

Besides being a constitutionally protected right for Americans, religion is man’s acknowledgement of a supernatural creator involved in the lives of all humanity and man’s acceptance of the laws set forth by this same creator as a guide to be followed in the fullness of man’s life, not just in church or in the home.

If this were not the case, we would, among other things, prosecute people who commit murder only for those murders committed in churches or in homes.

Does that make sense? I think not!

Mary Santomauro

Christian nation II
Re “Jesus skates Sparks” (Letters, July 14):

To the writer of this excerpt I just want to say that for anyone to say that America has no established religion is wrong. The whole reason this country was formed was so that the pilgrims could worship God. This country was founded upon Christianity, our currency says “In God We Trust,” the pledge says “one nation under God.” Our laws are based on the Ten Commandments. So to say that this country has no established religion is not correct. This nation was built on belief in God and Christianity.

E. Ennis

Hurrah for good kids!
Re “The kids are alright” (Cover, July 14):

Thank you so much for the article on Reggie and Matt Parker. It’s nice to see good kids get some recognition, especially when they’re kids of color. Minorities are earmarked to be social deviants, smoking crack and vandalizing. The Parker boys are being raised “old school,” and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Sabrina Zackery

In the July 14 Right Hook, “Public TV: Swing right or die,” two paragraphs from Bill O’Reilly’s July 7 syndicated column were closely paraphrased without attribution. We apologize for the oversight and any confusion it may have caused. The online version of the column has been edited to reflect the quote the paraphrase came from.

In the July 21 Art of the State, “Scenic outlook,” the name Brian Porre should have been spelled Brian Porray.

These changes have been made on the Website.