Letters to the Editor - Feb. 22

February 22, 2011

Keep your religion out of my government

To the editor:

I was appalled by Allan Windle’s letter on Feb. 11 in The Herald-Mail. He claims the same-sex marriage bill now in front of the Maryland Legislature is an exercise in “political correctness” and an affront to Christians and those of other faiths.

First, this is no trivial gesture to appease a disgruntled minority group. This is about protecting equality and upholding the rights unmistakably guaranteed to every citizen under the U.S. Constitution — not just those whose private lifestyle gets your stamp of approval.

Personally, I have yet to hear any evidence to suggest how allowing two loving adults to marry would in any way devalue the union I now have with my wife. You have done nothing to advance the argument.  

Clearly, faith influences your stance, as it does for many of the bill’s opponents. You are entitled to your beliefs and your opinions (thank the Constitution for that). And your church has every right not to perform same-sex marriages. However, if you believe Christian doctrine should in any way influence state or federal legislation, you are grossly misinformed.

You claimed America is “still” a Christian nation, “founded on Christian principles, which did not include same-sex marriage.”

And you are wrong. Truth is, many founders of this great country — Thomas Jefferson, James Madison, Benjamin Franklin and Thomas Paine, to name a few — were deists. They rejected the ideas of divine revelations and biblical miracles. In 1797, the U.S. Senate approved Article 11 of the Treaty with Tripoli, which declared “the government of the United States is not in any sense founded on the Christian religion...”

Put simply, your religion and your intolerance have no place in my government. Your dogma does not belong in my courthouse. If you do not approve of same-sex marriage, then don’t get one. And please, check your history.
Steve Herndon
Frederick, Md.

Seniors have earned their Social Security

To the editor:

I care about the future of Social Security, not only for myself, but for my children, grandchildren and 37 great-grandchildren.

Right now, a new Congress is debating the future of this program. Right now, many of the new lawmakers they have elected will support proposals to cut Social Security benefits, raise the retirement age, reduce the COLA and even privatize the program.

There is a lot of misinformation about Social Security these days. Social Security is not going bankrupt. Some politicians and opponents of entitlement programs want us to believe it is.

Social Security takes in more money than it pays out in benefits. The total surplus is in the trillions of dollars. Social Security is able to pay benefits for almost another three decades. Radical changes are not necessary to save Social Security.

Some in Washington continue to push harmful changes in the name of deficit reduction. The Bush Administration’s tax breaks for wealthy Americans were a major reason behind our historic national debt. Spending cuts on Social Security are an unfair approach to deficit reduction. People don’t get enough now to afford food, energy, and health care costs.

We have earned and are counting on Social Security and Medicare benefits.

Anna Lee Burker

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