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Letters to the editor

October 13, 2003

It's all a big land grab


To the editor:

The Committee to Save our Rural Areas can spin with a lot of pretty sounding words about saving this county, but their ultimate goal is the same as all of the environmentalists or "greenies." This bunch wants to take away all of our property rights and control what we can do with our property.

They want to create high-density developments located in and around cities. Property owners have little control now on the use of our property. Some government agency, whether federal, state or local, can tell us what to do, when to do it and how high to jump while doing it.

This paper's editorial staff continually writes about saving our farming heritage, but as liberals are supportive of more rules and regulations with little or no understanding of the cost of implementing them. More rules and regulations always create a demand for another government bureaucracy to oversee their implementation while passing the cost on to the taxpayers.

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If this stupid rezoning is approved, property taxes will have to be raised because of the lowering of property values to compensate for lost revenues. Is that desirable? Shouldn't property owners get a prorated refund of the taxes they have paid over the years? Some have paid those taxes over many generations. Next will come raising our local income taxes to raise revenues.

A new slogan should be, "Here a tax, there a tax, everywhere a tax." The only recourse will be for property owners to take the matter to court as has been done in other states. Insight Magazine had a splendid story on this very issue some months ago. Get ready for a battle, because this bunch will never give up or recognize the rights of the rest of us.

E. J. Hamilton
Gapland, Md.




Would Rutledge support Hindu prayer in school?


To the editor:

When I read the letter by Jeanette Rutledge in the Sept. 23 Morning Herald, I was struck by her position. She claims that the loss of respect in public schools is due to the prohibition of the reciting of Christian prayers and Bible verses. Since when has religious indoctrination stressed respect, particularly for people of other cultures and other religions?

The consequence of most religious instruction is that people come to believe that their religion is better than other religions. This is, of course, a ridiculous notion because all religions are based on supernatural beings and events that cannot be verified.

Nevertheless, throughout history, billions of people have accepted this notion with disastrous consequences for mankind. Think of the historical and present world conflicts, most of which were/are religious in nature. Think of how many aboriginal cultures, languages and religions have been destroyed by the influences of, or the coercion by missionaries from the major world religions.

How would Jeannette Rutledge feel if an Islamic, or a Hindu, or a Buddhist prayer were recited in some public institution of which she was a part? She would feel ostracized, discriminated against and made to feel that her religion wasn't as accepted, or wasn't as good as the one the state sanctioned.

But that is precisely what she wants to subject non-Christians to. This is why the wall between church and state is good; it protects religious liberty and diversity. I may disagree with some of the positions the ACLU takes, but I wholeheartedly support it in this cause.

Bernard F. Murphy
Hedgesville, W.Va.

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