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Letters To The Editor 9/25/2018

September 25, 2018

Nealon’s impact

Editor: I met U.S. District Court Judge William J. Nealon in approximately 2005 as an undergraduate at the University of Scranton and the president of the university’s pre-law society.

I invited him to be keynote speaker at the society’s annual dinner. Without delay he contacted me and accepted. We had a record turnout. Judge and Mrs. Jean Nealon sat at a table with my family and me, which included my late grandmother, Mary C. Duffy, and the society’s moderator, the late Robert Hueston, Ph.D., of the history department. Nealon was as comfortable reminiscing with my grandmother about old days in Scranton and speaking with Hueston about local history as he was addressing the crowd about federal law. He made us feel as though we were lifelong friends and not someone we had just met. He recalled facts and figures from years-gone-by case and funny anecdotes from a lifetime of service on the bench. All in attendance were captivated by his quick Irish wit and the breadth of his life experiences. He was an inspiration to all who were there.

I had the privilege of speaking to him over the years since I became an attorney and each time I did so with the same awestruck youthful exuberance as when I first met him as a college student.

I am an attorney and assistant professor at the University of Scranton and teach and work with criminal justice students. I will try to impart on them the many things that Nealon taught us about the law and life before his recent death.

It is appropriate that our federal courthouse bears his name. I am thrilled that he lived and served long enough to reach the milestone as the longest-serving U.S. district court judge in history. His memory will certainly live on. He will be greatly missed.

JASON A. SHRIVE

SCRANTON

 

Christian reminder

Editor: Kudos to Times-Tribune columnist Chris Kelly for his Sept. 16 Sunday Times column about a former student of Clarks Summit University — then Baptist Bible College — who attempted to return to the school to complete requirements for his bachelor’s degree. He lacks just six credits to graduate.

College officials refused the student’s request because he had revealed to them that he is gay. The format of Kelly’s column was a “letter from Jesus” reminding the school’s administration of the New Testament lessons regarding how to treat one another, including to love and accept people as they are.

It was one of Kelly’s gems, no ranting or scolding, just a gentle, but effective, reminder of the essence of Christian values and behavior. In a display of moral courage and prior to the appearance of Kelly’s column, Lackawanna College offered to help the student complete his degree and prepare for a career helping others.

JUDITH SEVERSON

TUNKHANNOCK

 

Summit’s low point

Editor: After I read Chris Kelly’s Sept. 16 Sunday Times column about Clarks Summit University’s treatment of a gay student, I went to the school’s web page to learn more about it.

The motto is “Christ-centered career-ready.” Someone didn’t check their cognitive dissonance when they published that motto. As you might think, Jesus Christ might not have done what the school did. In fact, anyone who believes in Jesus would not do that, would they?

People not familiar with the school might think it is a small liberal arts university, but that name does not tell you it is a Baptist Bible college. You can get associate’s, bachelor’s or master’s degrees in Bible studies there. You also can get two degrees in five years in its accelerated religious education program. The school offers degrees in business, education and other studies.

Its website states it is No. 1 most beautiful Bible college, No. 4 online Bible college and No. 5 faith-based online college.

So, clearly, it is a Bible college and liberal arts college, regardless of its name. So I was not surprised that officials would not let a gay student graduate. I was more surprised they let a gay student attend, but did they know he was gay at the time of his admission?

It is a bit scary to know that teachers receiving education degrees there will be antigay, antiscience and against women having medical control of their own bodies. Can Bible colleges not be antigay, or antiscience? They do not offer science degrees, so I don’t know how they know science is wrong and the Bible is right.

KEN LEIBOLD

DICKSON CITY

 

Rid of Marino

Editor: A friend told me her Clarks Summit neighbors were distressed about having U.S. Rep. Matt Cartwright as their new congressman. They were apparently upset about losing Rep. Tom Marino due to redistricting.

Marino has never measured up to the job of being an adequate representative of the people. As he runs for a fifth term he will again be inferior to his opponent. His district has been so deeply partisan that constituents would not find him objectionable — no matter what.

His failure in his fourth term makes the problem abundantly clear. For most of 2017 he was missing in action: not meeting with constituents nor speaking to issues.

The Week, a news magazine, reported in an October 2017 issue: “President Trump’s nominee for drug czar withdrew his name from consideration this week, after it was revealed that he sponsored an industry-friendly law that hobbled the DEA’s efforts to combat the nation’s opioid crisis. A joint Washington Post/60 Minutes investigation detailed how Rep. Tom Marino (R-Pa) — who’d been nominated to head the White House Office of National Drug Control Policy — championed a 2016 bill that made it nearly impossible for drug enforcement officials to halt suspicious bulk shipments of painkillers to pharmacies and pain clinics, he and other sponsors argued the law would help ensure patients received medications they needed.”

Marino received almost $100,000 in contributions for helping the opioid industry. Since his withdrawal from drug czar consideration he has returned to more active status as a congressman, but he has never been recognized as a particularly industrious or conscientious bipartisan lawmaker like Cartwright. He is more a game player at the highest level, a true Trumpster.

By virtue of redistricting, I now have the best representative in the House and relinquished the worst.

RICHARD J. YOST

SOUTH ABINGTON TWP.

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