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Letters To The Editor 9/18/2018

September 18, 2018

Low summit

Editor: It amuses and bewilders me how people who call themselves Christians can use the Bible to defend their intolerant positions and then cry “religious freedom” when someone calls them on it.

Look at how the Bible was used to separate families and put small children in cages — but don’t take away the perpetrators’ religious freedom. Is anybody even a little embarrassed by that? The golden rule, in these cases, conveniently is ignored.

I learned Christianity from my parents. They always thought of others. They would sometimes drop everything to help family, friends and even the occasional stranger. They couldn’t quote the Bible but they were more Christian than any people in the news today.

So, let us discuss Clarks Summit University not letting Gary Campbell work toward graduation from that fine institution because he’s gay, citing the Bible and religious freedom. How Christian is that? Where is the golden rule? A person who went through the things he went through and came out the other side wanting to help humanity, which is a very Christian thing to do, by the way, should be celebrated and helped by the Christian community he placed his trust in. The story said he originally went to Baptist Bible College, the school’s predecessor, hoping he wouldn’t be gay anymore and that didn’t happen.

School officials should have been proud of the name Baptist Bible College and not try to hide behind a generic name change. Live or die on your Christianity, that’s what Jesus did.

JEFFREY STANISZEWSKI

SCRANTON

 

Advance tax equity

Editor: As noted in a recent Times-Tribune editorial (“Chamber tax proposal: tax others,” Sept. 9), the Pennsylvania Chamber of Business and Industry unveiled a recent study — which was authored by the Tax Foundation and funded via a grant by the chamber — that delves into how Pennsylvania’s tax structure compares to other states’ and provides a menu of policy options to improve Pennsylvania’s overall competitiveness.

It’s no secret that the commonwealth’s current corporate tax structure — which the Tax Foundation ranks as seventh-worst in the nation — is a burden to job creators and a barrier to growth. The chamber believes the state’s corporate net income tax — one of the highest effective rates in the country — needs to be lowered.

We disagree with the paper’s shortsighted approach that would couple this much-needed reform with combined reporting — an overly complex system that would serve as a disincentive to new business investment and threaten job creation. Additionally, combined reporting is not a “loophole closer” — the state Department of Revenue has sufficient authority to address any activities designed solely to avoid paying taxes.

The editorial’s calls for a punitive tax on the natural gas industry would hurt the state’s economic competitiveness. Not only does Pennsylvania tax the natural gas industry, but it pays an impact fee that has been distributed to every county in the state. It’s raised more than $1.5 billion in five years. In 2016, the impact fee raised more money than the severance of Ohio, West Virginia, Colorado and Arkansas; even though those states’ combined output was higher than production in Pennsylvania. As is noted in the report, a severance tax would in essence “double-tax” the industry.

Elected officials need to embrace tax policies that focus on our long-term economic future and entice new investment.

SAM DENISCO

PENNSYLVANIA CHAMBER OF BUSINESS AND INDUSTRY,

HARRISBURG

 

Mini-Me prevails

Editor: As we learn more about the North Korea-American summit it is clear that President Trump was Shanghaied in Singapore.

Oh sure, Trump said he and North Korea’s Kim Jong Un have great chemistry

and he even gave a character reference for Kim to the people of North Korea. This all seemed surreal after Trump had just bad-mouthed our Canadian friends and their prime minister. But why shouldn’t these two unconventional players get along? Both were born into great wealth and are arrogant autocrats. Both are brash and relish the use of power.

Each is overweight with an unusual hairdo. Kim is Trump’s Mini-Me. Our president made some huge concessions. He suspended joint military exercises with South Korean forces. Our soldiers, sailors, airmen and Marines believe they should be allowed to practice for war. Their saying is, “The more you sweat in practice, the less you bleed in war.” Trump also provided security guarantees to North Korea and made an announcement about pulling back the U.S. troop presence in South Korea.

For these concessions Kim gave vague promises of eventual denuclearization and the

return of remains of 5,300 U.S. servicemen killed in the Korean War. But the joint

statement said nothing about Kim’s freezing uranium and plutonium programs, nothing about his destroying intercontinental ballistic missiles, nothing about allowing inspectors to return and no clear pledge to halt testing of nuclear weapons or long-range missiles.

Clearly, the results of this summit are not nearly as good as the Iran deal. Trump was out-negotiated by Kim, his Mini-Me.

GEORGE J. MOTSAY, M.D.

UPPER MACUNGIE TWP.,

LEHIGH COUNTY

 

Show the flag

Editor: As I viewed the football game Sept. 8 between Penn State and the University of Pittsburgh, I noticed that our Penn State players no longer displayed our American flag on their helmets.

As I continued to watch the game unfold, I wondered when did the flag come off and most important, why? I needed answers to my questions so I reached out to our local sports director with my concerns.

He posed the question last week to Penn State coach James Franklin at the weekly football press conference. The coach’s response was far from direct and he said that “a lot of people change a lot of different things.” He also added that on the day the question was asked, Sept. 11, we needed to think about those families and their lost loved ones and to pay them respect. Well, coach, the flag reminds us to respect our values and to never forget our past.

So, why not proudly place our flag back on our helmets? For better than 50 years I always have felt that our Penn State is America’s college football team, so why not show it? Put the flag back on the helmets.

BRIAN REAP

SCRANTON

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