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Published: Wednesday, 6/17/2009

Love, don't hate, your neighbor

As a clergy person in Ohio, I work with individuals dealing with life's struggles. They struggle with economics, employment, adequate housing, and discrimination. That is why I support House Bill 176, The Equal Housing and Employment Act. This bill will add housing and employment protections for gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transgender individuals to the existing nondiscrimination law.

I've heard the arguments against this bill and quite frankly it saddens me when I hear Christians using religious reasons to justify discrimination against anyone.

I value the foundations of love and nonjudgment in the Judeo-Christian teachings.

Jesus didn't discriminate. He ate with tax collectors. He talked with widowed women. He intervened on behalf of prostitutes. He taught us to love and not to judge one another. He never said, "You are a sinner, so you deserve harsh treatment." Or "You are a sinner, so I can ignore the treatment you receive from others."

No, on the contrary, he said in Luke 10:27: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength and with all your mind," and "Love your neighbor as yourself."

"Love your neighbor" doesn't say, "agree with your neighbor;" it doesn't even say "approve of your neighbor." It says "Love your neighbor." And in my understanding, hate and discrimination fall well beyond the boundaries of loving my neighbor.

So, regardless of an individual's moral stand on sexual orientation and identity, it is time for Ohio to do the right thing, to love our neighbor and judge not.

As a Christian, a clergy person, and a human being, I fully support HB 176. I urge others to take a stand for love and nonjudgment and let's begin to build an Ohio that works for all.

Rev. Lynn O'Dell

Perrysburg

Now that the body of little Nevaeh Buchanan has been discovered, it reminds us that our children live in a very dangerous and cruel world. I hope Nevaeh's killer is caught soon and is punished to the fullest extent of the law.

Our children count on us to protect and nurture them and, make no mistake, your children are not immune from victimization. Moms, dads, and caregivers, especially those who are single, need to be vigilant 24/7 to not allow anyone time alone with your children until you are as sure as can be that your acquaintance, friend, boyfriend, or girlfriend is not an abuser.

Though we can't conduct police checks on everyone who comes in contact with our children, one valuable tool is to check the sex offender registry in your state. Lucas County residents can go to www.yelltell.org and click the Lucas County Offender's link on the left.

One last reminder about abusers: If they are not stopped and/or reported, they will go on abusing children - many, many children. To report abuse, call 911 or Lucas County Children Services at 419-213-2273. Abusers, convicted or not, should be, but are not, monitored at all times. Hence, hold your children close as child abusers and child killers are on the prowl.

Pamela Crabtree

President

Yell & Tell:

Stop Child Abuse Now

Holland

I am amused by the candidacy of Ben Konop for mayor of Toledo. He says he is not from the "old guard" of the Lucas County Democratic Party, yet everyone knows his roots are in the Marcy Kaptur/Sandy Isenberg camp.

He says he wants to improve communication and dialogue between the mayor's office and City Council, yet he can barely get along with, and is rarely on speaking terms with, Pete Gerken and Tina Skeldon Wozniak, his fellow Democrats on the county board of commissioners.

He has picked up the mantle of "new change," yet I fail to see what it is he calls experience. It appears to me that he was a professional student who went on to become a law teacher prior to entering politics.

I grew up in the Toledo Public School system and had the pleasure of attending Woodward High School, graduating in 1970. My senior year, I had the privilege of sharing classes with Michael Bell and Keith Wilkowski, both fine, outstanding people.

However, I must say that at that early age, Michael Bell stood out as having true born leadership skills. He was a leader in the classroom and on the football, wrestling, and soccer teams, and he played in the band. He was an outstanding role model and citizen leader in everything he did.

Toledo is lucky that a native son has chosen to run for mayor.

It is my opinion that if the citizens of Toledo want honesty, integrity, and somebody with born leadership skills in these challenging times, the only choice they have for mayor is to vote for Michael Bell.

Gary Spear

Erie, Mich.

I understand and share the shock and anger felt by the family, friends, and neighbors of Nevaeh Buchanan.

The despicable perpetrator of this heinous crime needs to be apprehended, prosecuted, and sentenced to the fullest extent of the law.

May God have mercy on the murderer's soul.

Jon Jay Shultz

Maumee

After denying brazenly that he or his boss had anything to do with what transpired in Abu Ghraib or at Guantanamo, former Vice President Dick Cheney has suddenly become a glib talker.

He is trying to give the deceptive but futile impression that though the Republican Party has been decimated for all practical purposes, he could still charm the reincarnation of this Phoenix from the embers of ignominy.

Living in underground bunkers can do amazing things to people. Mr. Cheney had two terms to hunker down and do nothing but conceive, design, and author the darkest chapter of America's modern history - torture.

People like the former vice president coerced some fine men and women in the U.S. armed forces into petty bounty hunters in the name of "extracting information."

Now that he has all the time in the world, he is using it to take snide and derogatory swipes at everything President Obama says or does.

His recent televised disregard for an undisputedly decorated national hero, Colin Powell, says a lot about his current state of mind. It simply highlights how much he misses being at the center of unquestioned and unchecked political power.

To gain power and remain in power, Mr. Cheney unflinchingly colluded with industrial polluters, health-care lobbyists, the NRA, and others.

He also didn't care when the national outcry to allow stem-cell research for the cure of a number of terminal diseases was silenced. Those who killed the proposition were none but the God-fearing, pro-life majority Republicans.

Today, he is also the most vocal supporter of the gay rights.

We know where the impulse for this newfound all-encompassing bear hug comes from.

Apparently he has begun writing another chapter: the new moral code for America.

He should go hunting - with Rush Limbaugh.

Abdul-Majeed Azad

Perrysburg

There are people I know who have no favorable thoughts about President Obama.

I tell them that are not alone. About 25 percent of the country agrees with them.

John A. Galbraith

Maumee



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