It was admirable of President Obama to urge University of Michigan graduates to maintain strongand informed civic involvement ("President condemns 'poisonous' rhetoric," May 2). But he went too far in warning that anti-government rhetoric is poisoning the political environment and encouraging violence.
That comment sounds suspiciously like a veiled attempt to silence and discredit his critics, by implying that those who challenge his policies and motivations are the handmaidens of the supposedly violence-proneanti-government militias. The President's rhetoric about anti-government discourse mimics the reaction of King George and his prime ministers to criticism of the crown by the likes of American colonials Sam Adams, John Hancock, and Patrick Henry.
What is next for the President? Will heberate the media for fomenting violence by reporting what these anti-government critics have to say? Any anti-government rhetoric short of calling for the violent or illegal overthrow of the government should be tolerated.
For the President of theUnited States to use his office to discouragepoliticalrhetoric, no matter how coarse, sets a dangerous precedent. It starts the nation down the slippery slope toward censorship and violation of our constitutional rights to freedom of speech.
John M. Stewart
I am appalled that President Obama labeled the use of the word "socialism" as poisonous in his address at the University of Michigan.
When the federal government rams through laws contrary to the wishes of a majority of the American public - such as the massive takeover of the health-care system - there is no other word to call it but socialism. When government nationalizes a large segment of the automobile manufacturing industry, and attempts to pass laws limiting and controlling energy sources, there is no other word to call it but socialism. The same is true of the nation's financial sector.
Socialism will kill the free exercise of our rights and will mean the end of our freedom, prosperity, and greatness as a nation.
The only poison is Mr. Obama's rhetoric.
A few winters back, Ernie Harwell was interviewed on ESPN Radio ("Legend touched many with voice, character," May 6). Just hearing his voice made it seem as though it was July.
I couldn't help but roll down my truck's windows to smell the fresh air.
Rest in peace, Ernie. Thank you for making the radio a great place to catch a baseball game.
The Tea Party, theWall Street titans,and most Republicans in Congress condemn government regulation as ruination of the American way of life.
But after the collapse of our financial giants, the Toyota debacle, and the recent Gulf Coast oil spill, governmentregulation should really beviewed as greed control.
I applaud the people of St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Maumee for their stand against sin ("Maumee church votes to quit denomination; Recognition of same-sex unions at issue," April 26).When we come to church, we are not to remain inour sin.
We are to turn from sin and put our faith in Jesus Christ. You cannot remain in sin and be a Christian.
I was saddened about St. Paul's Lutheran leaving the Evangelical Lutheran Church in America. My sadness comes from the negative and poor witness this gives to Lutheran Christians and to the gospel.
The congregation's actions play right into the hands of those who already think that Christians are narrow-minded and judgmental.
How many Lutherans have even read the Lutheran Confessions or studied the many scholarly interpretations of scripture?
We talk about love, but it seems that only our lack of love is newsworthy. This is not the Lutheran Church that I have known and loved. It's sad.
Rev. Jon Bell
Bethel Lutheran Church
The letter extolling the so-called virtues of atheism - an oxymoron if there ever was one - made me chuckle ("Atheism exhibits moral superiority," May 1).
No one can deny that immeasurable evil has been committed and cloaked in the guise of the world's religions. There's something about the reality of eternity, and the dread of falling into the hands of a living God for judgment, that makes people loopy.
According to the writer's twisted logic, atheism trumps religion. Let me introduce him to the granddaddy of unbelievers: an odd little fellow known as Adolf Hitler, who represents the moral destiny of all agnostics.
Adolf Hitler said that he was a Christian, but he made a lot of anti-Christian statements as he rose to power and declared Nazism the state religion of Germany.
Mein Kampf replaced the Bible in schools. He only used the label of Christianity to gain support. He also practiced Social Darwinism, which is atheist by definition.
The May 4 letter "No wonder city has problems" concerned the city's response to a constituent who required repairs to his refuse container.
On April 29, I received an e-mail from the writer thanking me for my assistance.The record is clear that upon being notified of the resident's issue, I followed up and did the best I could in bringing this matter to a positive resolution.
D. Michael Collins
Toledo City Council
In July, 2004, the city replaced my sidewalk and drive apron.Two months later, city workers trimmed the tree in front of my house, and in the process broke the sidewalk and apron.
I notified the city's legal department and was told that my issue would be addressed. In 2008, I contacted my councilman. I called numerous times, and when an assistant finally responded after two weeks, he said that the forestry and sidewalks divisions were trying to decide which budget the funds would come from to pay for repairs.
The sidewalk remains untouched.
Alan R. Pruss
After reading numerous glowing reports ("Lyle makes a good start," editorial, May 3) about Julie Lyle, the new Lucas County dog warden, there is only one thing left for The Blade to do: Call the Pope anddemand Ms. Lyle be declared a saint. God help her if she ever crosses One of America's Great Newspapers.
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