The greatest thing that the devil could ever do is convince the world he did not exist.
A solution to Kansas City’s budget problems might be to ask all the churches to pay their fair share of property taxes for the actual space they occupy.
Churches own a lot of land in the U.S. One main cause of our present economic problem is the shrinking of the tax base due to thousands of home foreclosures caused by the subprime mortgage mess. Surely it would be only fair and patriotic for churches to fulfill their function as charities, which gives them tax-exempt status in the first place, to pay taxes for the public good.
Food pantries and homeless shelters are worthwhile enterprises, but helping to maintain infrastructure and services such as the police, ambulances and firefighters, which benefit us all, is surely as important.
Church taxation would not threaten the First Amendment, either, as all religions would be united in their support of the state, not the other way around.
To paraphrase the words of Woody Guthrie, this land is our land. The churches should pay their share.
Elizabeth M. Gerber
Greg Epstein, the humanist chaplain of Harvard University, wants to build a God-free community (3/21, Faith, “Humanists plan God-free congregations”). Someone with Mr. Epstein’s extensive education should be aware that this experiment has already been tried in Lenin’s and Stalin’s Russia, Mao’s China and Pol Pot’s Cambodia, and the result has been found wanting.
Secular humanism is based solidly on moral relativism which, when applied to the larger society, has been an unmitigated disaster for humanity. Perhaps Mr. Epstein and his covey of non-believers can find a little island somewhere and live out their own little “Lord of the Flies” moment, leaving the rest of us alone.
As we have taken God out of just about everything else, why not the church?
I offer this bit of information to the movement founder, Greg Epstein. Several thousand years ago, God-inspired individuals wrote the Bible, which states that in the end times there will be a turning away from God.
So I submit that Mr. Epstein is merely an instrument to help fulfill that prophecy. Since it was preordained to occur, there is nothing he or his followers can do to stop it even if they were so minded.
Several hundred years ago, Nostradamus penned some rambling thoughts that the world at large has accepted as true accounts of future happenings. So-called experts have tied many catastrophic events to his predictions, yet the one tried-and-true forecaster of coming events, the Holy Bible, is dismissed as irrelevant to today’s world.
I say to Mr. Epstein, good luck with your endeavor. You are a part of destiny that was set in motion long before you were even thought of.
Mary Sanchez (3/10, Opinion, "Abortion foes disrespect church-state separation") profoundly states "I agree with (Archbishop Joseph Naumann) that abortion is abhorrent and morally wrong." If she truly believes this, then the rest of the article makes no sense.
Abortion is morally wrong only if the fetus is a human person. Otherwise it is no different than a mole or gallbladder removal. If so, what's the fuss all about? And if the fetus is a person, then abortion stops the life of a person.
Shouldn't stopping a human life trump all other values? Sadly, in our society it does not. There are more important values and agendas such as the economy, the war and unemployment. This attitude of apathy toward the vulnerable translates into atrocities elsewhere. Articles supporting abortion, however disguised or rationalized, only further this agenda.
I watch what I do to see what I believe.
Is it me that's nuts or Major League Baseball? The Royals' home opener is at 3:10 p.m. Friday, April 10. Not just any Friday - Good Friday. Now, I realize that there are a lot of people who wouldn't think twice about that, but, then again, there are millions of people for whom that is a special day, and a baseball game probably isn't in their plans.
Shouldn't Major League Baseball take special circumstances like this into consideration when it is forming the schedules?
An ethics complaint was filed against Sen. Sam Brownback to determine whether he violated Senate rules when a fund-raising letter, allegedly signed by him, questioned the religious commitment of several Catholic Democrats who support abortion rights, including House Speaker Nancy Pelosi and Sen. Edward Kennedy (2/26, A-2, “Ethics complaint filed over letter”).
Am I missing something here? Seems like an ethics complaint should be filed against Pelosi and Kennedy for purporting to be Catholics while openly rejecting the Catholic teaching on abortion.
I doubt that our founding fathers had Phelps and his crew in mind when they secured our freedom of speech. Apparently, their twisted application of the First Amendment does not travel well beyond our borders.
It’s unfortunate that we can’t allow them to leave the United States and lock the door behind them.
Dean D. Garland
Rep. Emanuel Cleaver seems to believe that all the problems in the 64130 ZIP code can be solved by investing in churches and ministers (2/1, Opinion, “How to close ’Murder Factory’; Churches: Key players”).
Rep. Cleaver, I have news for you. Nothing will ever change in the “Murder Factory” unless and until the kids who grow up there are given the opportunity to receive an education.
There are many churches and an abundance of ministers and reverends in the neighborhood. There are no good public schools. Why? Because the Kansas City school board is an abysmal failure and has been for 30 years. You need only to look at their record.
What these kids so desperately need is a real leader to stand up and lead. Abolish this incompetent and dysfunctional board. Replace board members with individuals who actually care about teaching the kids.
Stephen G. Spruill
Three cheers and many more for the students, teachers, principal and parents at Shawnee Mission East High School for standing up to Fred Phelps and his disturbed, despicable, ragtag band of losers (2/6, Local, “A protest sparks a counterprotest”).
They will know better than to ever return to Shawnee Mission East. What a great example the school showed the rest of us.
Laura R. Hockaday
Dear Rev. Phelps,
Thank you for having your church members visit Shawnee Mission East (2/6, Local, “A protest sparks a counterprotest; Hundreds outside Shawnee Mission East High School rally against an anti-gay message”). I believe it was hugely successful in awakening the community’s need to support its own. It was wonderful to see students, parents and members of the community rally to support their views of tolerance for others.
While we live comfortably in our insulated slice of suburbia, we are reminded that the only requirement for evil to flourish is for good people to stand by and do nothing.
Watching the highlights, I was drawn to pictures of some of your supporters stepping on the American flag and signs to the effect that we should pray for the death of soldiers in Afghanistan. It’s rather ironic that you would call for the demise of the people who have fought, suffered and died to grant you the freedom to express your views.
Again, thank you for helping us realize that we need to be vigilant and vocal when others are being persecuted because they are different. Call me for lunch. My former Marine friends would love to join us.
Daniel S. Slosburg