Should religion be in control of our lives
Christianity is the most identified religious affiliation in the United States.
Within Christianity, the most prevalent affiliation is Evangelical Protestant, and these people tend to be white, working and middle class and married; 78% have some college or less.
I looked this up after hearing a news story about churches increasingly utilizing the pulpit for political messaging, and specifically, far right politics.
Then, there are states passing laws limiting history teaching, or any subject for that matter, because it makes people uncomfortable to hear, like that the United States has been structurally racist for its history to date.
Racism is codified in the Constitution, and there continue to be major income, wealth, health and education disparities. Instead of focusing on better ways to rectify the problem, why not just pretend; good policy.
Women are being stripped of the right to control their own bodies and their own futures, and there’s no other way to say it. It is really that simple.
Families are being told it is illegal for them to honor the gender identity of their children, as if feeling so different from accepted norms was not difficult enough.
Perhaps someone can explain to me the difference between these churches and schools and the madrasas that have been so maligned over the decades.
Do we really think it is best for white, modestly educated, religiously indoctrinated people, the America against Americans movement, to control how the rest of us live?
Who are the real elitists in America?
This is not a response to the full letter to the editor by Art Pagano (“Elite leftists want to destroy America”) in the May 18 Gazette. I wouldn’t know where to begin to respond to that ramble.
I do like the writer’s statement that Democrats are trying to make America a “utopia.”
Also, saying leftists are “elite” sounds like a compliment, but, apparently, he didn’t mean it that way. He probably meant “elitist” meaning, according to Merriam-Webster, “one whose attitudes and beliefs are biased in favor of a socially elite class of people.”
Democrats are often called elitist by the Party of Trump, which is part of a ploy often used by Trump and his supporters — accuse the opposition of your own actions and positions.
It is true that, on the whole, Democrats are better educated and earn more than Trump supporters, but many Democrats have low incomes and many Trumpsters are well off.
The biggest disparity is that many more non-whites are Democrats, and that upsets Trumpsters to no end.
In general, Democrats support better health care, higher wages and better housing for low and middle income workers, universal voting rights, protecting worker rights to unionize, reducing student debt, increasing affordable child and elder care, etc., etc.
These are not elitist goals. Trumpsters oppose these changes or, at best, give lip-service to more equity in America but act to increase disparity, for instance, giving more tax breaks to the rich.
Democrats haven’t generally accused Trumpsters of being elitist, but perhaps we should.
It’s time to update Second Amendment
How many more innocent men, women and children will die before we as a country demand an update to the Second Amendment which would reflect modern realities?
Ratified when a single shot was necessary to put food on the table, it was never intended to cover the proliferation of guns whose sole purpose is to kill human beings as quickly and efficiently as possible.
The gun manufacturers and their lobbyists, the NRA, must be held accountable for the slaughter and bend to the will of the vast majority of citizens who have had enough of domestic terrorism.
An update should include outlawing sale and possession of automatic weapons, as well as thorough background checks that include social media.
A revision of the Second Amendment is tragically long overdue and should be voted upon by all eligible citizens of every state, not the partisan puppets in Washington.
Irony in naming of Nisky library branch
The article in the Your Niskayuna section of the April 8 Gazette (“Nisky library branch was long time coming”) regarding the Schenectady County Library System and in particular the Niskayuna branch, a beautiful building located on Nott Street East — the Elizabeth [Betty] H. Bean Public Library.
There is great irony here. Betty Bean was a private individual living in Niskayuna and believing in the character of Niskayuna as she saw it.
As such a private individual, she became involved in opposition to a project. She wasn’t a politician, not a public servant, but simply a private individual/citizen.
She opposed the project known as “The Nott Street Expansion.” She saw this diminishing the rural character of Niskayuna and a project which would bring tremendous commercial development, which in fact it did.
Betty got involved and became the leader of the opposition to the expansion of Nott Street East. Ultimately, of course, she was unsuccessful. But Betty recognized the importance of private citizen involvement in the politics of a town or county. So Betty undertook the engagement in a political career — a career at which she was very successful. A career involving the promotion of the good of our society. The taking into account the opinions of all members of our society and gentleness in accepting or rejecting contrary opinions.
Because of her endeavors the Niskayuna Branch Library is named after her.
The irony of course is that if Betty had been successful originally, there would be no Nott Street East and no library, no “Elizabeth H. Bean Public Library.”
Peter V. Coffey
Clifton Park needs to unite in leadership
I have never been honored to be a friend of one of the most reliable and supportive town supervisors.
Mr. Phil Barrett has continuously led this town into success for over two decades. As a moderate Republican, Mr. Barrett demonstrates favored leadership, clear vision, and consistent results.
The recent attempt to defame and remove Mr. Barrett is disgraceful and imperceptible. Unseen to the public eye is the political and mental battle several members of the town board are playing.
As a young adult, thoroughly committed to a future path in politics and public service, I demand our town grow to be once again united in leadership.
In the end, this is what will ultimately bring us out of COVID-19, overcome local issues, and embrace a more positive background.
We should have used the power of Jesus
Thank you for Barbara McBride’s May 19 letter (“What’s the point if we’re dying anyway?”) in The Gazette.
Her statement, “We better … get … in touch with a Higher Power!” has been confirmed, especially in recent years. And, that “Higher Power” is Jesus.
Starting in 2020, a tiny virus managed to kill millions of people. Defending against it trashed the economies of the world. The power of the Lord Jesus was present to heal not only those millions, but the many more millions just infected with it as well. Had we allowed Jesus to heal people, we would have avoided both the deaths and the economic disruptions, such as millions losing their jobs.
The year 2022 started out with a European war that has lasted three months so far, thrashing one country and making refugees of millions of its people. It also has caused high prices and shortages of food and oil for the rest of the world. Had we turned to the Prince of Peace, Jesus, for supernatural wisdom, we would have avoided that war and its bad effects.
But I guess Jesus isn’t cool enough for the great majority of us.
However, there is still time for us to turn to Jesus. We need to listen to what that gray T-shirt says: “Y’all need Jesus.”
Walsh doesn’t just talk; she takes action
This letter is quite a bit different from what I usually read in The Daily Gazette’s letters to the editor.
I am not a Republican complaining about the Democrats or a Democrat complaining about the Republicans. I am writing to compliment a politician doing something, not just talking about it! That politician is Mary Beth Walsh.
She sponsored an electronic recycling event on May 14 at the Milton Town Hall parking lot for her constituents to drop off electronic devices they no longer needed.
I took advantage of this great service as did many of my neighbors that Mary Beth represents. Thank you, Mary Beth Walsh! I wish we had more people like you in Albany.
State, church should split pension costs
I really have no skin in the game, so to speak, never having been a St. Clare’s Hospital employee.
However, no one with a heart can help but be absolutely appalled by the St. Clare’s pension debacle.
It seems to me that the solution should be quite simple, and the fact that it has dragged on this long is despicable.
The government and the diocese should each contribute 50% of the amount needed to resurrect the pension fund. As I see it, they share equally in the responsibility — the government for allowing religious affiliated organizations to opt out of ERISA (the Employee Retirement Income Security Act of 1974) in the first place, and the diocese for readily choosing that option with little regard for the potential impact of that choice on the people who dedicated their lives to their Catholic mission.
Had those choices not been made, the pension plan would have been fully insured and the participants would have had some protection when the fund went belly-up.
Both the state and diocese seem to find money for the things that really matter to them. This would be small potatoes in comparison and would go a very long way toward exhibiting good will.
Disappointed at lack of news on Ukraine
So in your Wednesday, May 25, edition I read that the Yankees’ Giancarlo Stanton came down with right calf tightness, and a local restaurant has no striped parking spaces by their ice cream window.
However, I searched in vain for any news about the Ukraine conflict but found no coverage.
Has a shortage of newsprint caused you to limit stories about international events, or did you think that it was no longer important to update your readers about happenings which could result in a nuclear Armageddon.
Grateful for a leader like Santabarbara
These last few years have been hard, and it’s easy to feel uncertain looking toward the future.
But through these trying times, representatives like Assemblyman Angelo Santabarbara are truly a blessing.
With Angelo’s help, this year’s state budget has continued to fully fund our schools. He’s delivered important funding to invest in roads and bridges; replace old pipes and water mains; and passed legislation to ensure we have better access to quality health care and more nurses in hospitals and nursing homes.
After the shutdown happened, Angelo jumped into action to help Schenectady businesses reopen their doors, stay afloat and keep workers employed.
When it comes to helping those with disabilities, Angelo is a champion, always ensuring kids with special needs and people with disabilities are never left behind. And, as a trustee of the Schenectady County Public Library, I’ve seen firsthand Angelo’s advocacy for libraries and literacy.
He’s also delivered funding to help Schenectady nonprofits like the Hamilton Hill Arts Center, COCOA House, and Family & Child Service of Schenectady that serve our community.
I’m thankful to have a strong leader like Angelo Santabarbara in the state Assembly who has the knowledge and experience to deliver for our families.
The writer is a Schenectady City Councilwoman.
Letter praising Putin a display of ignorance
If ignorance is bliss, then Kristen Christman is very blissful.
Her May 17 letter in The Gazette (“Putin victimized by U.S. propaganda”) regards what she claims Putin has said, his actions speak louder than words.
His crocodile tears conceal his true goal of re-establishing the old Soviet Union and subjugating the people of each republic to his authoritarian rule.
Her claim that Putin’s concerns over neo-Nazi Ukrainian violence and danger are real, has no validity in fact. She says that the catastrophe could have been avoided had the United States truthfully communicated and addressed his fears.
What catastrophe is she speaking of? Is it the catastrophe of the war crimes and destruction his incursion has wrought? Is it the catastrophe of a re-energized Western unity against Putin’s expansion threat? Is it the catastrophe of the world seeing Russian military might as being a paper tiger?
The absurdity of her letter is consistent with the conspiratorial nature of radical politics. Throw everything against the wall and hope that some of it sticks. Unfortunately, Putin’s propaganda machine will sell what she has said to the Russian people.
The heroic Ukrainians aren’t fighting to uphold a dictatorship; they are fighting for their freedom.
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