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Published: Sunday, 7/3/2005

Schiavo died of atrophy of compassion

A recent Blade editorial, "A grim postmortem," stated among other things that "special-interest groups shamelessly seized the Schiavo saga to promote the culture of life at any cost." Also, that Terri Schiavo's feeding tube was "prolonging the inevitable for a patient with no hope of recovery."

I have a few problems with the latter as Terri was not actively dying but needed nourishment and water as we all do. Your moral evaluation of the worth of a human life is appalling.

Terri did not die from atrophy of the brain. She died of an atrophy of compassion. Compassion for those of us who are profoundly injured and disabled; compassion for persons who are weak and need extra help. (Good grief, she was denied hydration/nutrition for a period of two weeks.)

Even if Terri was five times more damaged than what she was, our moral obligation to respect and protect her life would remain intact. We don't have to pass a test to qualify for our human rights.

The Blade editorial suggested that Terri was beyond repair or rehabilitation. That does not give us the right to throw her away like we might throw away a useless automobile (i.e. she's not worth the money we are pumping into her).

Whatever she experienced, to whatever extent she was damaged and even if she was totally unresponsive, she was a living human being. Productive or not she was a child of God and fully in possession of her human rights. Nothing can ever justify what was done to her.

The Declaration of Independence states that everyone has the right to life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. If we don't uphold a person's right to live, first and foremost, the other two freedoms don't mean a thing.

ANGELA H. KINSEY

Waterville

I found it interesting that you referred to Scientology as a religion instead of a cult in your June 26 article, and disturbing that the article seemed to have a pro-Scientology view. According to your article, Sylvia Stanard says "Scientologists work so hard on improving the societies, environment, and countries in which we live." Perhaps she could explain the May 6, 1991 cover article of Time magazine titled "Scientology: The Cult of Greed" which states "In reality the church is a hugely profitable global racket that survives by intimidating members and critics in a Mafia-like manner" and "They take the best and the brightest people and destroy them." Your article makes me think that other cults would be treated better in the news if they too would have some sort of celebrity endorsement.

CHRIS BAXTER

Risingsun, Ohio

Are they kidding? Your June 26 article, "Cruise-Holmes romance puts Scientology in the spotlight," stated "scientology is all-denominational because it has an open-ended view of God," that "scientology does not contradict any other religious tradition," and that "people of all faiths can practice Scientology."

A Christian, Jew, or Muslim who believes that the soul after death does not reincarnate or "live innumerable times" cannot also believe that it does, or that one body contains many spirits, as the scientologists claim to believe. That would be a contradiction of their faith.

Mike Delaware, executive secretary of the Church of Scientology in Battle Creek, Mich., states that there is no reason Katie Holmes could not continue being a Roman Catholic and still join the Church of Scientology.

Not true!

If Katie truly believes in all that Jesus Christ teaches, she could not believe what Scientology teaches, or vice versa. They contradict one another in many areas. Scientologists cannot recognize Jesus Christ as the Son of God or savior of all mankind. To renounce this core belief and all the Catholic Church teaches is to renounce her faith as well.

She would no longer be Roman Catholic.

VIRGINIA CHAUDHARY

Sturbridge Road

I wish to correct the misinformed letter writer who thinks the emerald ash borer proves evolution to be true. It is neither the "intelligent designer" nor evolution that is responsible for the destruction of trees. All death and destruction are a result of diabolical sin. You can read all about it in the book of Genesis in the Bible. As for the Devonian period of the Paleozoic Era, that is a figment of the imagination of those who want to escape responsibility for their personal sin.

TERRY HUBERT

Holland

After listening to President Bush's Fort Bragg speech, I think he either lives in a fantasy world or hopes we are all idiots. Specifically, he told the nation "the only way terrorists can win is to forget Sept.11." Unfortunately, Mr. Bush is contradicted by the facts and his own words.

The stated objective to invade Iraq was to remove Saddam's WMD threat, not to remove a terrorist threat. No weapons of mass destruction were ever found. What's more, American and European intelligence have proven that al-Qaeda was never in Iraq, and that Saddam had no part in planning or executing the Sept. 11 attacks. Even President Bush has acknowledged this.

The world sees our presence as nothing more than a long-standing continuation of American corporate intervention in search of cheap oil. It was Mr. Bush's decision to violate international law and invade a sovereign Muslim country that motivates and gives credence to these terrorists.

No amount of public support can change that we triggered a violent civil war that can only be solved by the Iraqi people. Do not buy the President's rationale that criticism at home is the only way the terrorists can win. That is not what fuels these terrorists.

JOSEPH P. SCHUCH

Boydson Drive

President Bush's speech did not convince me. It is clear that 9/11 had nothing to do with Iraq. It had to do with Osama bin Laden and his terrorists, and they were in Afghanistan.

The President is not winning anything for us. We have no money for schools or health care or for rebuilding America. What is so good about spending all that money to rebuild Iraq? Let them spend their own money. If the President really wants to help our servicemen, he should raise the budget for the Veterans Administration and other service-related measures. It is time to bring our troops home, and let the Iraqis fend for themselves.

LOUIS J. HATTNER

Wicklow Road

Gov. Bob Taft's third Frontier initiative is an attempt "to create high-paying jobs for generations of Ohioans." The Toledo-Lucas County Port Authority's mission is to bring investment and promote job growth in our area. There are several "economic development offices" throughout the state for the purpose of fostering job growth. Most of these are supported by tax dollars.

As a taxpayer I pay a lot of bureaucrats a lot of money to make the state of Ohio and my immediate area look more attractive to investors.

Strange, isn't it, that the politicians and bureaucrats charged with investing our tax dollars would rather spend our money on rare coins, Bermuda-based hedge funds, and other investments mostly outside our state? These investments create no Ohio jobs!

WILLIAM POZNANSKI

Melvin Drive

I must reply to a June 26 Forum writer who lamented "Why was a Republican appointed as the chairman of the Corporation for Public Broadcasting and soon after a 45 percent funding cut proposed?"

It is amazing how the liberals blame everything they disagree with on Republicans. The CPB chairman, Ken Tomlinson, was appointed to its board by none other than their fearless leader, Bill Clinton, and he has been chairman for nearly two years, long before this proposed budget cut.

Liberals need to get over the 2000 and 2004 elections.

RALPH RUSSO

Findlay



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