Letters to the editor on gay rights, luck of birth, Kansas Watchdog, Howell, Pompeo

10/26/2012 12:00 AM

10/25/2012 5:46 PM

Denying rights is discriminatory

Religious naysayers in Hutchinson believe that being gay is a sin and a choice. I emphatically disagree on both counts, but let’s consider their argument. Would they deny the right to housing or a public restroom to a wife beater? Or the married woman who sleeps around? What about an alcoholic? Don’t forget the perennial liar or thief.

According to the naysayers’ beliefs, such people are also sinners who choose their lifestyles. Many are even open about these choices. Yet their rights are protected.

Denying rights to gays is clearly discriminatory. You can’t deny constitutional rights to people just because you are uncomfortable with them.

People have a constitutional right to live freely according to their religious beliefs. No one is forcing people to admit gays into their homes or churches, or even their lives. The Hutchinson ordinance merely guarantees that protection of these same rights be given to those whose beliefs may not coincide with the naysayers’.

Ask yourselves: What would Jesus do?



Grateful for luck

It was gratifying to read Lane Filler’s commentary “Success due largely to winning birth lottery” (Oct. 18 Opinion). He made a simple, straightforward case for what we all know and take for granted but sometimes deny. We are all a product of luck: where we were born, when we were born, to whom we were born, and to what degree of mental and physical health and ability.

I am grateful for my good luck, especially for my mother. Though she was impoverished, she empowered me to recognize the importance of education and the will to find a way to achieve it.

I respect Mitt Romney, the Koch brothers and all those fortunate ones who didn’t waste the good luck of being born to their parents, and the circumstances of their birth. I also respect the unfortunate ones who will sleep under a bridge tonight. They are all children of God, and are entitled to my respect, goodwill and help. As Ecclesiastes 9:11 says: “Time and chance happeneth to them all.”

I strongly prefer the theme of some popular music of my youth – “He Ain’t Heavy, He’s My Brother” – to the words of Dickens’ Ebenezer Scrooge – to just let them die “and decrease the surplus population.”

Happy Election Day



No activism

The Sunday Eagle included an insert detailing polling data collected by the Docking Institute of Public Affairs at Fort Hays State University, titled Kansas Speaks 2012. The insert covered the opinions of Kansas residents on a range of issues.

In the introduction to the data, Docking Institute director Gary Brinker referred to a piece of investigative reporting conducted and published by Kansas Watchdog in 2010. Specifically, Brinker mentioned how we managed to gain unauthorized access to the online polling survey. In doing so, we helped point out security flaws in the Docking Institute’s data-collection methods, something for which Brinker was very grateful.

However, based on how it was worded, it could be misinterpreted that Kansas Watchdog attempted to skew the poll results in an act of political activism. This was not the case.

We work in the interest of Kansans, and we’re proud to have furthered that cause by covering work produced by the Docking Institute.


Investigative reporter

Kansas Watchdog


Re-elect Howell

Jim Howell was elected to the Kansas House for District 82 in 2010. He served on three important committees and immediately became involved, at the floor level, by working on significant legislative issues. He created his own niche with a dozen personally sponsored bills and resolutions, including the sportsman handgun bill, HB 2491. Areas of continuing interest to Howell for the next term will include education reform, KanCare and income-tax reform.

Howell has worked hard for District 82. He has traveled throughout his district, knocking on doors and asking questions to find out what voters were most concerned about. He has proved to be a man of vision and understanding – a legislator centered in the popular thinking of the folks back home, as well as the state of Kansas overall.

I am certain, given the opportunity, he will now serve District 81 with the same fairness and distinction.



Pompeo open

I wanted to take a minute to thank U.S. Rep. Mike Pompeo, R-Wichita, for being so open and unapologetic about his beliefs, because he has inspired me to be the same way. I appreciate his honesty, his willingness to answer tough questions, and the determination he has shown in trying to get the federal government out of our way. I believe we should have a federal government that is small and a country where those who are willing to work hard are not punished for it. Pompeo believes in these things, in America, and I really believe he is working hard for the people of Kansas.



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