The Rev. Cheri Holdridge conveyed the important message that people who are gay, straight, transgender, and lesbian should be treated just as any other human being ("Having faith that anti-gay bias will be outlawed," op-ed column, July 12).
I had a gay brother and have a gay son. Each of them talked at length about how anyone wouldn't want to be treated badly because of race, religion, or any other reason. Each also said a person doesn't decide to be gay. People are born that way.
We need more people like Reverend Holdridge, who are loving, caring, and willing to accept everyone at face value.
Kick out plans to kick-start economy
Your July 13 guest editorial "Ideology over economics" stated: "A balanced plan…would cut spending and raise revenue equally. It would pay for programs that kick-start the economy."
How much more kick-starting by the government do we need? We've spent billions on stimulus programs that have gotten us nothing more than astronomical debt. Economies in Europe are on the verge of being toppled by government debt and high taxes.
Too many of our politicians are addicted to spending. This is bad news for our future.
Hard-working Americans cut back on their personal spending when times warrant it. Cutting government spending across the board in a reasonable manner is long overdue and the proper course to take.
Komen issue awakens debate
It was appalling to read of Toledo Catholic Bishop Leonard Blair's decision to ban parishes and parochial schools from raising funds for the Susan G. Komen Foundation on the grounds it may fund embryonic stem-cell research in the future ("Bishop of Toledo bars assistance to Komen group," July 12).
The Komen foundation has long been in the forefront of health care access and research for women with breast cancer.
The Rev. Joseph Cardone, a Toledo priest and bioethicist, was quoted in your story: "Life is present from the beginning of conception, and so embryonic stem-cell research is condemned." Not all ethicists within the Catholic community believe this to be so. Some developmental thinkers say the human embryo is worthy of respect, but should not be given personal moral status until it is sufficiently developed.
It would be helpful if the debate could be framed without financial threats and within an environment of mutual respect.
Apparently, neither Archbishop Dennis Schnurr of Cincinnati nor Bishop Blair values the work the Komen foundation has done for thousands of Ohio women.
The work of the foundation should continue to have the support of all Toledo men and women, including Catholics.
Ann Molony Desmond
Komen ban doesn't abandon women
Bishop Blair's announced ban is not an abandonment of support for women who suffer from breast cancer. He said funds that had been going to the Komen foundation should instead go to local Mercy Cancer Centers. These centers help women with breast cancer without funding embryonic stem-cell research or Planned Parenthood.
Embryonic stem-cell research, distinguished from adult stem-cell research, involves the destruction of human embryos to harvest their stem cells. The church condemns it because every human life is precious and of equal dignity.
This is why Komen's support of Planned Parenthood is unfortunate. Planned Parenthood is the nation's largest provider of abortions.
Donations to anti-cancer societies should be used to save lives, not to fund entities that end lives through abortion.
The unborn and women who suffer from cancer deserve support and respect. Bishop Blair's actions show that we can and should find ways to love them both.
Oak Hill Court
Blair should justify his Komen action
Why would Bishop Blair take on any aspect of the fight against breast cancer?
For decades, breast cancer has ravaged women, leaving families without mothers, sisters, and daughters. Most people living in the real world have had some brush with this reality.
Christians expect a leader to have compassion, wisdom, and courage. There is a need for Bishop Blair to justify his action.
Why should anybody withhold money from charity or philanthropy because there's a chance something might be done in the future that is different from the current mission?
K. S. Wikoff
Bishop's logic an embarrasment
As a breast cancer survivor and a Catholic, I am appalled at the irrationality of Bishop Blair's edict.
In condemning the Komen foundation for actions it might take in the future, the bishop has shown himself to be unthinking and reactionary.
Using his logic, why not lump all health-related charities into the same category as the foundation? Any one of them might take the same objectionable action in the future. Why pick out the one foundation dedicated to women's health?
The bishop's logic, or lack thereof, is an embarrassment to the church.
Sandra F. Langhals
West Bancroft Street
Finding church 'unacceptable'
Like Bishop Blair, I try to avoid, as he said in his announcement, "even the possibility of cooperation in morally unacceptable activities." This is why I cannot in good conscience financially support the Catholic Church.
It continues to perpetuate morally unacceptable activities, such as harboring pedophiles and practicing discrimination with mysoginistic, homophobic policies.
I thank God every day for the gift of faith. I just don't look to the church administration for my moral compass.
We need a plan to leave Afghanistan
America lacks a cohesive policy in Afghanistan. I can see events there descending into chaos and us leaving the country in haste like we did in Vietnam.
We should have had a clear exit policy before we entered Afghanistan -- for example, the elimination of Osama bin Laden as the end point. Because we killed him in May, we could have declared victory and left the country in a dignified manner.
Instead, we made eliminating the Taliban and establishing democracy our goals. These are lofty goals -- perhaps pipe dreams.
S. K. Sood
Johnson did find way to pay for war
The writer of the July 13 Readers' Forum letter "Issue calls to mind 'Against the wind' " made a factual error. He said that President Johnson committed a large army to fight a war in Vietnam without raising taxes to pay for that war.
During the Johnson administration, a Schedule T was added to the 1040 income tax return that in effect was a 10 percent surtax.
Runner mourns woman's passing
Pam Graver-Koenig was a remarkable lady ("Teacher, coach was renowned distance runner," July 8). The northwest Ohio running community held her in high regard.
Happy 50th, Rockhound club
Congratulations to the Toledo Gem and Rockhound Club on its 50th anniversary. This club offers opportunities for adults and students to participate in all aspects of gem, mineral, and fossil collecting, metal crafting, beading, and jewelry making.