The argument against invocations
Carolyn Winn writes forthrightly (Jan. 14 Eagle) about her condition: “I fail to see how prayer in meetings constitutes a religion.... ” I would like to help her understand that without religion (the belief in a supernatural controlling power), there would be no prayer (a solemn request or thanksgiving to God).
Invoking such intercession at the beginning of a civil function of government seems to imply privilege to a certain portion of the constituency, leaving out others (agnostics, atheists, and others) who are not included in the request for privilege or intercession.
Future reference to such matters would include material from Americans United for the Separation of Church and State. It will help you see more clearly the rationale for eliminating invocations (prayers) during governmental proceedings. I hope this helps.
Cathie Hay, Wichita
Punishing children and women
The well-being of children and women will be harmed by the Trump administration’s decision to withhold $65 million from the U.N. Relief and Works Agency for Palestinians in the Near East.
Three years of working in Jordan for a non-profit North American organization which provided kindergartens, as well as training centers for young women, in several Palestinian camps gave me an inside look at those who will be hurt by this act of U.S. retribution against Palestinian political leaders. It will be children and women.
According to a recent New York Times report, more than 50 percent of UNRWA’s budget provides educational opportunities for 500,000 children, and 17 percent of the annual budget goes to health care facilities with 1 million patient visits per year.
The timing of this withholding the $65 million appears to be a vindictive effort by the Trump administration for the Palestinian political leaders’ initiative to bring a resolution to the U.N. in response to Trump’s decision to move the U.S. embassy from Tel Aviv to Jerusalem.
But it’s children and women whose well-being we harm.
Dave Osborne, Hesston
The list of tax districts
I found it humorous and ironic that readers (”Capitalism is better than CIDs,” Jan. 13) are just now becoming aware of Wichita’s back door sales tax adjustments to enable developers to “redevelop communities” and grow their greed at taxpayer expense. It’s humorous because the practice has been going on most of the 37 years I’ve lived in Wichita, and ironic because Valley Center will soon be swallowed within the Wichita corporate city limits.
The writer asked The Eagle to provide a Map outlining add-on sales tax districts so citizens would know where prices were inflated and which districts to avoid spending their money. Here’s a quick List: Nearly everywhere “downtown” where you see construction, Old Town from Williams Street north to 2nd Street and Broadway to Washington; Naftzger Park, Water Walk, the West bank of the Arkansas River, The Delano project, 13th and Greenwich Road (Chicken and Pickleball Place), and Union Station.
You don’t need a map, You just need to read the Eagle’s City Council coverage. You’ll get on to it.
Chuck Glover, Wichita
Shutdown or shut out?
As shutdowns routinely hurtle toward Washington like comets, most of us don’t really care if one of them eventually scores a direct hit, even though this would present real hardship to many citizens, including us. It’s a waste of time to worry about something you can’t change.
We go about our daily lives resigned to the fact that we have no practical ability to affect the various levels of government which are supposed to be “ours.” We are alienated, angry and/or apathetic about government. We have been shut out by a system that is rigged by central banks to enrich crony capitalists who purchase power in a permanent bureaucracy run by remote representatives from two corrupt political parties. And then we are asked to be politically active and do our duty as citizens.
But it’s also a waste of time to complain about something we can change. And the way we conduct democracy in America can and must be changed.
It is time for the people to utilize the technology that brings us together in order to take back our republics from the usurpers and govern ourselves more directly. We can do this and we can do it better than they are doing it.
Bob Love, Wichita
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