Letters to the editor on Shockers, biblical policymaking, when life begins, Muslim prayers, state role in marriage

04/10/2013 12:00 AM

04/09/2013 5:46 PM

Shockers united city, rest of state

I loved shopping in Wichita on Saturday. People attired in Wichita State University black or gold would pass one another and smile, offer a word of encouragement for the night’s game, and even stop to visit momentarily with complete strangers. On this day, the Shockers united not just the city but everyone in the state. What a blessing the Shockers have been to the community.

Although the final numbers on the scoreboard declared Louisville the winner, the humility and graciousness of these young men make each a winner in our hearts. Thank you for a wonderful season.

MICKEY WASINGER

Goddard

New Shocker fan

I am a die-hard University of Louisville basketball fan. I now have a No. 2 team I will follow – the Shockers of Wichita State. Your basketball team is excellent, and the players are classy and extremely talented. Credit coach Gregg Marshall for a job well done.

LAURA STROBEL RYAN

Louisville, Ky.

Bible not policy

I appreciate The Eagle printing commentaries from both conservative- and liberal-leaning writers. We deserve to read both perspectives. However, I would prefer The Eagle run Cal Thomas in Saturday’s Faith & Values section, as he continually brings the Bible into his commentary.

Last week he bemoaned that “personal experience … is now supposed to trump Scripture.” But he insists that Scripture should trump the Constitution. It was also disingenuous for him to quote Abraham Lincoln, saying that sticking to one’s principles despite public opinion links one to God. Lincoln’s principles were granting rights to people who had been denied them, something the Constitution was designed to do.

Should public opinion have been ignored when people used Scripture to defend slavery or deny women the right to vote? Laws should be scrapped not because they’re not in lockstep with the Bible (or the Quran, Theravada or I Ching) but because they are unconstitutional. Turn to the Bible for wisdom and insight but not for policy.

RONALD WALL

Wichita

Logical policy

Politicians swear on the Bible. The Bible clearly teaches that life begins at conception, as is found in Luke 1 and 2 (God becomes man and dwells among us) among many other passages. It seems logical, therefore, for politicians to affirm that life begins at conception.

JEROME SPEXARTH

Pastor

St. Patrick Catholic Church

Wichita

Ethical quandary

The Legislature recently passed a bill stating that life begins at fertilization. Thus, a zygote is technically a protected entity.

I find this definition of life biologically and – most important – philosophically suspect. The problem is that those who are certain where life begins are unclear as to where life ends. Put simply: What is to become of the fetus that is not born and does not miscarry, yet refuses to go away?

Take the existence of parasitic twins – clumps of biological refuse with separate DNA. Indeed, these share many of the same characteristics of an undeveloped fetus: separate genetic structure, separate biological system and inextricably dependent on its host. People who rail against abortion will have no qualms about having a mass of alien tissue or clumps of foreign teeth or hair removed.

This points up a larger ethical quandary: Much bandwidth, ink and television hours have been devoted to homilies about the sacred status of the brainless zygote and the mindless embryo. Who will speak up for the autosite, the fetus in fetu or even the vestigial limb?

Until this problem is addressed, I find the “life at conception” position impossible to take seriously.

RYAN JACKSON

Wichita

Answered prayer?

Are Muslim prayers answered any more often than Christian prayers?

ROGER PEACH

Wichita

State interest?

Regarding “What are limits to redefining marriage?” (March 30 Letters to the Editor): The state has a proper, constitutional interest in marriage. It should ensure the parties are entering freely and without coercion of any form, are adults or have bona fide parental consent, and understand the terms and conditions of the contract. Other than these or other public-domain factors, marriage is a personal and private matter. How the individuals involved wish to conduct their private affairs is their business and theirs alone.

The primary state interest in the continuing affairs of each individual marriage rests upon no harm to any person. I would also suggest that such contractual relationships are conditional upon not becoming a burden on the state – in other words, the rest of us. If such need is warranted, then the state must have authority to dictate the terms of that support.

Where appropriate, the state has another very important interest in the children who may become a product of a marriage, though not all marriages involve children. The primary focus should be on setting standards or societal expectations of parental performance. More important, we must hold parents accountable for their performance and specifically the conduct of their children.

The real issue with respect to marriage is the proper state interests, not our fears, foibles and preconceptions – religious or not.

CAP PARLIER

Wichita

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