Letters to the editor on church and state, God, electronic tolling, British monarchy, stupid commercials

08/03/2013 12:00 AM

08/02/2013 5:18 PM

Get tough separating church and state

As we draw nearer to our next campaign for governor, politicians will be doing their usual spiel about getting tough on issues such as immigration and crime. I have a new proposal: Let’s get tough on separation of church (and synagogue and mosque) and state.

Right-wing churches have helped shape laws to persecute people they hate, while liberal religion rationalizes that since its rhetoric is more benign, it is free to bend the rules to suit itself. Based on what I’ve seen living in Wichita, the results have been disastrous. Is it any wonder that the rest of the country has been laughing at Kansas?



Wrong path to goal

The Sunday Eagle carried a review of the book “On Love: A Philosophy for the Twenty-First Century” by Luc Ferry (Aug. 28 Books). Ferry contends that the answer to a troubled and violent world is love – not nationalism, democracy, religion or economy. He recommends switching from eros (self-serving love) to agape (other-centered love).

But how do you do that without God? Agape love is divine love that comes only from God, according to Christian teaching. The Apostle Paul wrote, “The love of God has been poured out within our hearts through the Holy Spirit who was given to us” (Romans 5:5). That kind of love cannot be whomped up by ourselves.

Jesus describes this kind of love when he says, “Greater love (agape) has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends” (John 15:13). That is what Jesus did when He went to the cross. This is much more than just being kind to your neighbor.

The writer has the right goal but the wrong path for reaching it.



Made by God

A thing cannot make itself, because it would have to be before it was. It would need to exist before it existed. Not even God could make Himself.

If we did not make ourselves, then something else had to make us in order for us to be here. If we did not make ourselves, nor did we always exist, something had to always be here in order to make us.

The first words of the Bible say: “In the beginning, God created the heavens and the earth.” This tells us that God was always here. God always existed. We did not make ourselves; God did.

Why did God make us, and do so in His image? To share in His glory forever in heaven.



Use electronic tolling

The solution to the Kellogg and Webb interchange (July 3 Eagle) – and the state’s budgetary woes – can be summed up in three words: pure electronic tolling.

While the Kansas Turnpike, with K-Tag, has left the 1950s, its hybrid toll system is still stuck in the ’90s.

If the turnpike were to move to pure electronic tolling, then I-35 and U.S. 400 could easily be made concurrent from 127th Street East to Webb Road. Westbound Kellogg would simply become the turnpike, and the current westbound turnpike would combine with eastbound Kellogg to become a frontage road. Awkward slow, looping turnpike entrances would be replaced with simple diamond interchanges. Drivers would save time; taxpayers would save money.

Commuters from Butler County would face 2 miles of turnpike, of course. Though this could be addressed by setting the toll to zero, it is worth remembering that Sedgwick County shoppers have been mostly paying for Kellogg improvements.

Nationwide, our highways now cost nearly twice as much to maintain as they collect in gasoline taxes. The per-gallon gasoline tax is broken. Any tax that can be diverted will be diverted, because that’s how politicians roll.

It’s time to replace the gasoline tax. It’s time to start building highways because they make economic sense, not so politicians can buy votes. It’s time for turnpikes and pure electronic tolling.


Bel Aire

Unearned privilege

It sickened me to see the citizens of this country obsessively follow the news about the royal infant, his birth and his naming. We engaged in two wars and spent a large amount of blood and treasure to cast off the shackles of the king; it’s nauseating that we engage in such slavish devotion to his descendants.

The problem is that the institution of the British monarchy is merely a wretched remnant of the dark ages. Stripped long ago of any rationale or power, it now exists only as validation for a class hierarchy based on unearned privilege. The royal family members yacht, play polo and breed corgis and horses off the British taxpayer dime. The media frenzy merely served to encourage them.



Stupid commercials

Regarding an Opinion Line comment about Cox commercials being obnoxious: They are not only obnoxious but stupid. I think Cox and AT&T (whose commercials have a grown man asking small children stupid questions) are engaged in a battle for stupidity.



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