Letters to the Editor

7/07 letters: Cherry-picked quotes from self-appointed moral arbiter Hobby Lobby

Misquoting Jefferson

Being a self-appointed moral arbiter is a tricky business, but cherry picking partial quotations does not help.

In Hobby Lobby’s full-page July 4 ad Thomas Jefferson is among those quoted to imply that this nation must follow their, particular God in all things to be a good nation.

Jefferson’s quote is taken from a section of Notes on the State of Virginia on the moral stain and rot of slavery on the nation. Jefferson is certainly an extremely problematic messenger, but seemed to be doing some honest soul searching here though he ultimately failed the test.

Jefferson also wrote in an 1802 letter to the Baptists of Danbury, Conn. of “…building a wall of separation between church and state.”

Hobby Lobby takes this quote out of context and changes the punctuation to imply it is complete and in support their agenda.

This is particularly egregious when the ad faces an article on Fredrick Douglass’ July 5, 1852 speech on the meaning of the Fourth of July to the American slave.

Charlie Gunn, Creedmoor

Spend on US first

Regarding “Foreign aid,” (July 2 Forum):

Although 1 percent of our GDP may sound reasonable, you need to put a number on it.

Last year’s GDP was $21.1 trillion, so 1 percent would be $210 billion.

All things considered, as much as we love to help other nations, that could go a long way to help our homeless veterans, veterans needing medical care, and many other issues here in our nation.

I’m not saying we reduce foreign aid to nothing, I just think that “charity begins at home.”

Russell Catania, Apex

Inhumane treatment

Our nation has once again fallen to that tragic old manipulation of fear and hatred that has been the basis for its darkest chapters.

Most recently it was Japanese “internment camps” during WWII. Now, it’s the barbaric and inhumane way our government is treating refugees and immigrants at the southern border.

I suspect most of us, when we think about what happened to Japanese Americans in WWII, generally conclude it was a different era and “we” would never let anything like that happen again. Well, we’re wrong.

It is happening again — and “we” are “letting” it happen again. To deny or minimize it is to help perpetuate it.

Sens. Thom Tillis and Richard Burr have staffs ready to take your calls, emails and letters. By telling them to get on the right side of history, you’re putting yourself on the right side of history.

Keith Feather, Hillsborough

In praise of Trump

It’s incredible that Democrats again trash our president when he tries to bring North Korea to the peace table. They conveniently choose to forget the Obama “World Forgive Us Tour” that accomplished nothing but embolden our enemies.

Steven Metzler, Raleigh

Twisted priorities

So, money was available — no need for an act of Congress — to fund Trump’s dictator-style Independence Day military parade.

Meanwhile, asylum seekers are warehoused in inhumane, squalid conditions due, in part, to a lack of funding. We also learned that our president believes homelessness began two years ago and his main concern about it seems to be optics for foreign visitors.

The twisted priorities and lack of compassion in this administration are astounding.

Candidates I’ll support in 2020 must believe that all people — people of color, gays, Trump supporters, unemployed coal miners, farmers, migrants, professors., etc, — matter, and align their policies to reflect that.

Carol Klein, Chapel Hill

Rigged districts

A narrow majority of the U.S. Supreme Court recently refused to correct a violation of citizens’ constitutional rights because they deemed the task beyond judicial capabilities.

This was a weak reason to ignore partisan gerrymandering, depriving voters of their fundamental right to choose their representatives.

Justice Elena Kagan was right in her dissent that partisan gerrymanders debase and dishonor our democracy. Gerrymandering turns upside down the American ideal that power comes from the people. Chief Justice John Roberts pointed to state courts and legislatures as paths to end gerrymandering.

Common Cause NC is doing both. Our state court challenge against partisan gerrymandering goes to trial July 15.

We’re also working with a broad, bipartisan coalition of voters and lawmakers to enact lasting redistricting reform.

There are a half-dozen bills awaiting action in the legislature that would establish nonpartisan redistricting, but legislative leaders have not allowed any of them to get the hearing they deserve. We urge North Carolinians to contact their legislators and demand fair districts now.

Dennis Burns, Raleigh

Chair, State Advisory Board of Common Cause North Carolina