Letters To The Editor 9/16/2018
Denial’s high price
Editor: If God helps those who help themselves, how will North Carolina’s government deal with the effects of Hurricane Florence?
A few years ago, the state’s Republican legislators banned the use of climate science by state and local agencies to develop disaster plans. They acted after their state’s Coastal Resource Commission predicted a 3-foot rise in sea level along the state’s coast over the next century. Instead of listening, the lawmakers heeded the state’s developers who complained that the news might be bad for business. Rather than take steps to mitigate their problem, the state’s climate science deniers stuck their heads in their once-spectacular beach sands.
The coastal commission’s findings parallel plenty of other reports, such the U.S. Geological Survey’s determination that the rise in coastal sea level is accelerating at about three to four times the global rate due to the melting of the west Antarctic ice sheet and it is caused by emissions. Just about every coastal city will be underwater eventually.
The Carolinas were not alone. Florida’s Republican Gov. Rick Scott pushed a similar plan and then-Pennsylvania Republican Gov. Tom Corbett wanted our schools to teach “alternatives” to climate science. Things have not improved much. Republican U.S. Sen. Pat Toomey of Pennsylvania is not sure climate change is caused by humans and U.S. Rep. Lou Barletta, a Hazleton Republican, is “not convinced that there’s scientific evidence” but “there is evidence that suggests the opposite,” whatever that means.
Even though several of their congressional representatives voted against Hurricane Sandy aid, North Carolinians deserve federal aid, which might be harder to get. President Trump recently moved almost $10 million from the Federal Emergency Management Agency budget to Immigrations and Customs Enforcement in order to incarcerate 500 children at our southern border.
Editor: In response to Clarks Summit University, formerly known as Baptist Bible College, discriminating against the lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and questioning community, the empirical research is clear.
According to the American Psychological Association, “lesbian, gay and bisexual orientations are not disorders. Research has found no inherent association between any of these sexual orientations and psychopathology. Both heterosexual behavior and homosexual behavior are normal aspects of human sexuality. Both have been documented in many different cultures and historical eras.
“Despite the persistence of stereotypes that portray lesbian, gay and bisexual people as disturbed, several decades of research and clinical experience have led all mainstream medical and mental health organizations in this country to conclude that these orientations represent normal forms of human experience. Lesbian, gay and bisexual relationships are normal forms of human bonding. Homosexuality is neither mental illness nor moral depravity.
“It is simply the way a minority of our population expresses human love and sexuality. Study after study documents the mental health of gay men, lesbians and bisexual people. Studies of judgment, stability, reliability, and social and vocational adaptiveness all show that they function every bit as well as heterosexuals.”
The intrinsic dignity of each person must always be respected in word, in action and in law.
Editor: “It was the best of times, it was the worst of times, it was the age of wisdom, it was the age of foolishness, it was the epoch of belief, it was the epoch of incredulity, it was the season of light, it was the season of darkness, it was the spring of hope, it was the winter of despair…” so begins Charles Dickens’ classic novel “A Tale of Two Cities,” which centers upon conditions that resulted in the French Revolution and the subsequent reign of terror.
How fitting these words are to the current chaos and dysfunction emanating from the executive branch of our government, chaos so disruptive to our democratic process that a “soft” or “cool” coup is underway, in violation of the principles upon which our Constitution was written.
Like it or not and unless definitive evidence shows the presidential election of 2016 was compromised by Russian interference, Donald Trump is the duly elected president. Though his opponents may find comfort, even elation, in the actions of members of his administration, they display a wanton disregard for the fundamental American principle, the rule of law. If members of his administration believe Trump so egregiously violates his oath to “faithfully execute the office of president of the United States, and to . . . preserve, protect and defend the Constitution . . . ” then it is incumbent upon them to press Congress to exercise its power of impeachment or invoke the 25th Amendment, which calls for replacing a president or vice president in the event of death, removal, resignation or incapacitation.
Whatever the case there are legal alternatives available to deal with a chief executive who will not adhere to his oath. The extra-legal actions of members of his staff are antithetical to our American democracy.