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Letters to the Editor - July 11

July 11, 2013

Prejudice of the few should not penalize pursuits of others

To the editor:

More than 40 years after having explosively fought its way to the forefront of American consciousness with the Stonewall Riots, the war for equality and acceptance of the LGBTQ community is still being waged. So many of the great minds and important voices of our time have been shut down and silenced due to their “abnormality.” Lives have been shattered, like glass houses into which stones from the hands of sinners have been cast.

I have noticed recently a number of opinions published in The Herald-Mail concerning, and mainly opposing, the subject of same-sex marriage. So many of these voices are speaking from behind the religious doctrine with which they have hidden their eyes from the suffering they have inflicted upon their own brothers and sisters whom they have condemned with ostracism. Please, let us not allow our community to continue to steep in the cesspool of ignorance emanating from a handful of some of its least informed, yet absurdly most outspoken, members.

I am not one to impugn the function of religion on the micro and individualist levels. However, the neosecularization paradigm emphasizes the importance of institutional differentiation on the societal and organizational levels. Same-sex marriage is just as “unnatural” as heterosexually “normative” marriage. Marriage is a social institution, not a component of the “natural order” of the world. So please, to all the outspoken opponents of same-sex marriage, quit seeking out passages in the Bible to justify your own discomfiture with homosexuality. The prejudice of the few should not penalize the pursuits and prospects of others.

The freedom to take a stand on and have a voice concerning that which matters to us most is one of the most beautiful aspects of being blessed with those basic human rights of which much of the world is deprived.  Please, let us not perversely use this blessing to denigrate an entire group of people, to strip them of their basic right to equality. Targeting and hurting someone because of whom they love, the color of their skin or where they are from is wrong. Standing by and watching someone being bullied for the lot they have been given in life, or the path which they have chosen to pursue, is wrong. Giving someone a hand to hold when they are suffering or scared is not wrong. Giving someone a heart to which they can come home at the end of the day when the world has turned its back, when the world has been cruel and unforgiving, is not wrong.

Kitty Hoffman
Funkstown


Politicians should admit speed cameras are about profits

To the editor:

I’m now a member of an exclusive club whose membership prerequisites oblige only a seething antipathy toward those conspicuously placed white rectangular boxes — vexingly referred to as speed cameras by the general public — within the City of Hagerstown’s public school zones. The Safe Speed for Students Program permits the implementation of speed-monitoring devices in the form of an illusionary public safety measure. It’s easy for politicians to advocate for speed cameras under the pretense of public safety, using Washington County students as a subterfuge. But what politicians conveniently forget to inform the public is that speed cameras collect hundreds of thousands of dollars in revenue each year without actually stopping dangerous drivers who speed in our school zones.

Politicians insultingly dupe the public with heart-wrenching PR campaigns, cleverly deceiving motorists with duplicitous traffic studies and concluding that speed cameras are the only resolution to halting speeders. Yet numerous traffic studies have been conducted that categorically destroy the pro-speed camera lobby’s argument and expose the truth behind the use of speed cameras: easy r-e-v-e-n-u-e.

If politicians were genuinely fretful about the safety of students, traffic-control devices such as speed bumps and radar speed signs combined with physical police presence would be implemented to stop speeders instantaneously. Speed cameras do not stop motorists from speeding.

Unattended and automated, speed cameras deprive motorists of their basic constitutional right to face their accuser. The presumption of innocence is gone. How does a motorist face a robot accuser in a court of law? Sounds far-fetched, doesn’t it? Sadly, it’s reality.

It’s time our politicians stop hiding behind Washington County students and start addressing school-zone safety with intellectual candor. If it’s about the money, politicians should at least have the gumption to admit it.

Ryan Miner
Hagerstown


Singing at nursing home brought me great joy

To the editor:

What a beautiful day. Many people have been made very happy. You don’t really realize what you are doing in this world to make people happy, but today I really felt it.

Standing up there and singing for a room full of people really went through me. As I looked at their faces, I realized how happy we were making them in that home. We sing in many homes, but today it hit me pretty hard, and these people were getting a program like they were downtown in some theater or something.

Today, we went to Julia Manor, and we were very glad we did. I think my wife felt it also. We sing in many homes around town, but today was very special. I think it did as much for us as it did for them.

I thank God that he still gives us the strength he does to put on these programs.

Ellis Duffey
Hagerstown

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