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Us Against Them 

Letters published January 11, 2006

A pox on both their houses: The First Punch item "Barefoot and pregnant" [December 28] reported that Ohio severely limits access to "reproductive health care," which, as we all know, is code for abortion services. First Punch coyly noted at the end of the news item that Greyhound provides departures on a daily basis "to the civilized world."

Let me see if I have this right.

Scene believes easy access to procedures that result in the slaying of unborn sons and daughters meets the criteria of a "civilization." That's really funny, in an absurd sort of way.

Conversely, millions of the so-called "pro-lifers" in our society share with Scene a similarly selective respect for human life. Talk about strange bedfellows.

There are millions of anti-choicers in our midst who allege they are followers of the Prince of Peace, yet support capital punishment and the insane, totally unjustified war in Iraq. Their hypocrisy is near-palpable. (Excuse me, but didn't Christ say something to the effect of "love your enemies"? And whatever happened to the Golden Rule: "Do unto others as you would have others do unto you"?)

It has been said that a civilization is judged by how it treats the weakest in its midst. Anyone who believes the United States is a civilized nation, especially in light of the Iraq war and torture of prisoners, capital punishment, and the legalized slaying of our unborn children, needs to do some serious soul-searching. It might also be worth reflecting on the fact that 1930s Germany, with its high degree of technology for the time, also considered itself a civilization. Subsequent events in that country and its neighbors', however, indicate that such an opinion was a serious delusion.

Do we see some of that in this country today? You betcha.

A true civilization would codify respect for all human beings, regardless of whether the individuals are living in utero or ex utero. Greyhound should save its diesel fuel. There's no state in this country that's really civilized.

Louis H. Pumphrey
Shaker Heights

Reps vs. Dems
Democrat -- bad, Republican -- good:
First Punch ["Brewer, part II," January 4] says of African American Eric Brewer's support for Ken Blackwell that it's "akin to the Maltz Museum of Jewish Heritage appointing John Demjanjuk (an alleged Nazi) its ombudsman." Cute, but inaccurate. Here's why.

The Republicans freed the slaves, while the Democrats fought to the death to preserve slavery. It was the Democrats, not the Republicans, who invented Jim Crow laws to keep the freed blacks down. The Democrats filibustered to prevent passage of civil-rights legislation in the 1960s, not the Republicans. It was the Democrats who destroyed the once-intact black family with their Great Society programs and welfare policies.

Today, the Democrats fight to keep black children trapped in failed public schools, while the GOP wants to free them with vouchers. Democrats fight all initiatives to free blacks from the chains of dependency that enslave them to the plantation of Big Government. The GOP, not the Democratic Party, gives African Americans positions of responsibility (Colin Powell, Condoleezza Rice) and nominates them to high office.

When just a few more African Americans like Eric Brewer wise up to the scam being played on them, the Democratic Party will be forced to make a choice. It can either reform itself to become at least somewhat respectable, or it will go the way of the dodo bird. Either way, the nation wins.

Peter Skurkiss
Stow

My Side, Your Side
Left-minded = wrongheaded:
Your magazine is truly a great example of what a small group of left-minded individuals can do with a little information. While I enjoy your publication, I cannot help but notice certain contradictions in your attitude, most notably toward conservatives, Christians, and anyone not of your mindset. You accuse these people of being close-minded bigots who aren’t even willing to listen to another point of view. While I too have met several of these types, they appear to be in the minority. Most are open-minded people who have strong beliefs but are still willing to listen to someone else’s.

The problem as I see it is that I have never met someone of your mindset with anything positive to say about the other side. In recent years, your side has publicly proclaimed that you stand for open-mindedness when people on your side believe it's all right for schools to hand out condoms to children, but first graders aren't allowed to participate in a nativity scene. Which is more harmful?

You claim to stand for free speech and the separation of church and state, but fail to completely understand it. The fact that Christians cannot exercise their religion freely is in direct contradiction to what the First Amendment states.

Your side has made it so that a widely accepted theory of the origin of the universe cannot be discussed in public schools, while a scientific hypothesis that has been branded by most educated minds as folly is taught as fact. Neither side can be proved. Why not allow for an open debate?

You pat yourself on the back for standing up for what you believe, but if conservatives stand up for what they believe, they are branded as religious fanatics or hatemongers. Why the double standard?

Matthew Fox
Lakewood

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