Letters to the Editor

June 15, 2014

Letters to the editor on library, savers, Brownback cronyism, Kansas Lincolns, gay Christians

More than just warehouses of books, libraries play multiple critical roles within the city and surrounding areas. One is battling functional illiteracy. The Wichita Public Library offers a host of programs that aim to increase literacy in all age groups – including Baby Bookworms, targeting infants and toddlers.

Libraries play key roles in society

More than just warehouses of books, libraries play multiple critical roles within the city and surrounding areas. One is battling functional illiteracy. The Wichita Public Library offers a host of programs that aim to increase literacy in all age groups – including Baby Bookworms, targeting infants and toddlers.

Libraries also provide access and connectivity for free. Though we are in a digital age, not everyone has access to the necessary technology. It is here that libraries step in as an equalizer in society. They give people a chance to access the same information as everyone else.

Libraries also provide a place outside of school, work and home where people can spend time. People from all backgrounds find comfort within a library.

Despite changes in society, libraries have always evolved to meet the needs of the communities they serve. The business of libraries may be changing, but their importance to society remains steadfast.



War on savers

Savers used to be model citizens. They worked hard, lived frugally, put something aside along the way and were entitled to earn a reasonable interest rate (for retirement) on their savings, which were in demand by corporations and governments needing to borrow. No more. Savers have become public enemies against which central bankers are waging open war.

This month the European Central Bank took a new step. It set the nominal rate of interest for its depositors at minus 0.1 percent – a negative rate. To understand it, think what you would say if your bank told you it was going to charge you 1 percent for any deposit you made. Absurd? Yes, but even worse, it is financial thuggery.

Central banks are literally declaring war on anyone who tries to save. They want to force you to spend your money buying something – a government bond, a stock, a new car, anything. Well, you might ask, how will the banks get deposits if private savers do not make them? The answer is central banks. The central banks are flooding the banks with newly printed money.

But it gets even worse when you consider that the same central banks are doing everything in their power to stoke the fires of inflation. So not only do you pay them for the privilege of depositing your money in their banks, but they assure you that when you withdraw what is left sometime in the future, the remaining purchasing power will be eroded over and above what they charged you to deposit it.



Cronyism shocks

Cronyism has been around forever. Who doesn’t want to help his buddy? It is standard operating procedure in both political parties. However, the cavalier appointment of a totally unqualified individual to such an important position was shocking (“Ex-lawmaker Hermanson resigns from KanCare post,” June 7 Eagle). That the Brownback administration apparently also tried to circumvent the rules and had Phil Hermanson in Topeka “learning his job” was equally disturbing. Perhaps that is why there was no announcement of his appointment.

Every day it seems more problems come out of Topeka. Who is running this state?

This kind of incompetence is not defensible. It also shows the lack of importance placed on the KanCare program and the people it serves. That is no surprise, but this appointment really magnified it.



Kansas Lincolns

At the start of the Civil War, a special session of the Congress was convened. In his message to that session, President Lincoln described the role of a government:

“That form, and substance of government, whose leading objective is, to elevate the condition of men – to lift artificial weights from all shoulders – to clear the paths of laudable pursuit for all – to afford all, an unfettered start, and a fair chance, in the race of life.”

Kansas’ Republican Legislature and governor have enacted laws that put down the citizens of this state. They have enacted tax cuts greater for the wealthy than for all other taxpaying citizens, denied opportunity for health care for the low-income citizens (no expansion of Medicaid), rolled back support for the education of Kansas children and youths that would afford them opportunity for life, and so it has gone. They repudiate Lincoln’s principles.

Some of these have been adopted into law without a mandate from the electorate and without giving citizens an opportunity to debate the issues. Others are enacted to elude authority of a democracy.

Let’s restore moderates into the elected government of Kansas – for all citizens of Kansas. Come forth, you Kansas Lincolns.



Love, be loved

Regarding “Christian father of gay son shares impact on faith, family” (June 8 Eagle): My son was very bright and assertive in elementary school. Middle school started out well, but in high school he fell apart. He even quit going to church when in the past he had been very active. He went to college but did not do well and went through an extended time of turmoil.

He finally told me about his sexual identity. At first I had a lot of trouble dealing with the fact that he is gay. I distanced myself, thinking that I couldn’t deal with it. I prayed and cried for months.

Then one day I was sitting on my bed praying and crying when I had a thought that God put into my mind: “It is my job to judge him; it is your job to be his mom.” A huge weight was lifted from my shoulders. I no longer had to approve or be responsible for his behavior. The issue is between my son and God. Our relationship is now better than ever, and I am very proud of him for his accomplishments.

Many families and communities have been torn apart by the issue of homosexuality. Can anyone still think that sexual identity is a choice and not biological?

With commandments like “love thy neighbor,” Jesus demonstrated for us how to treat our fellow man. We have been commanded to live our lives according to His teachings. We have been taught that God alone has the power and right to judge. We are charged with the benefits of just loving and being loved.



Gay and Christian?

I read with interest the article about the Vines family and Matthew Vines’ new book, “God and the Gay Christian” (June 8 Eagle). For a serious person questioning his or her sexuality and desires, as well as others who are interested in this subject, I would also recommend another book, “Can You Be Gay and Christian?” by Michael L. Brown.

Interestingly, the Vines book came out in April and the Brown book in May, and they have similar titles. Just a coincidence, or something else?



Courageous task

I would like to thank Matthew Vines for postponing his dream to study at Harvard University to take on the courageous task of sharing his story as a gay Christian (June 8 Eagle). I don’t know him, but I think his mission to share his own experience and enter into conversations about same-sex orientation and relationships is an admirable one.

Clearly, homosexuality is a major issue of our day and a source of tragic divisiveness within our churches. Not only is Vines making himself vulnerable, but he is initiating dialogue with many Christians who sincerely believe he is wrong. We have much to learn about this issue, but I do believe that people are created differently and that God wants everyone to be able to enjoy long-term, loving relationships.

Vines has been granted the sharp intellect and communication skills to be a spokesman for so many others who are gay and wish to be a part of the Christian community. I truly believe that what he is doing will make a difference.



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