Letters: Vail Daily editorial has me confused
Vail CO, Colorado
Boycott won’t work
Dear Editorial Board,
I’m confused. The Vail Daily is advocating (“Funding Zillionaires”) that we “cut down on the money we’re sending to the bad guys in the war on Islamic terrorism.”
In the previous paragraph, we’re supposed to “stop buying Citgo gas because the company is a wholly owned arm of the Venezuelan government.” Which is worse, sending money to terrorist-funding-Middle Eastern countries, or sending money to a democratically elected (though definitely not Bush-friendly) government in South America? I’m no fan of Chavez, but most Citgo stations are owned by independent American operators, not the government of Venezuela, so a boycott hurts American families, too.
I also read that Citgo is distributing 112 million gallons of discounted home heating oil to 224,000 low-income households and 250 social service providers this winter, according to their Web site. That doesn’t sound like a terrorist act to me. By the way, is there even a Citgo station to boycott within 500 miles of Vail?
I then see that the Editorial Board of the Vail Daily is actually advocating drilling in the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge “to bolster domestic supplies.” Are you kidding me? Even if the wildest predictions of oil reserves put forth by the petroleum industry turn out to be true, it would be no more than a six-month supply for our oil-thirsty nation. And can you please tell me what guarantees you have that any oil produced would end up being consumed in the United States? Oil is sold on the world market, and companies like Exxon-Mobil will make a bigger profit shipping it from Alaska to China or Japan, than all the way through the Panama Canal to east-coast refineries. Where is the push for legislation requiring all oil produced on American soil, or even just on federal land, be sold in America?
There are no simple answers like boycotting one brand, or drilling our way to self sufficiency. “Big Oil” has too many vested interests in the status quo. We’re addicted to cheap oil, and they are the pushers. The truth is that oil is a finite resource, our use of it is changing our climate for the worse, and the longer we put off finding real alternatives in renewable energy, the harder it will be.
Religious expression protected
David Le Vine, in his letter “No religion test'” of December 9, is trying to turn the Constitution on its head into a de facto government “atheist test.”
Although I am not a supporter of Mitt Romney, he still has the right to express what his beliefs are. Nothing in the Constitution restricts nor outlaws that.
It is not in Article VI referred to by David Le Vine. Nor is it in the First Amendment that protects Mr. Romney’s free speech.
Article VI restricts government (Congress) from putting up such a test. It does not restrict individuals from doing so. (Be it those who are voters or those who are running for office). This is where David Le Vine is confused.
Amendment 1 of the U.S. Constitution says (and for this sake of argument I only state the one line in it that opponents love to leave out): “Congress shall make no law… prohibiting the free exercise thereof” (of religion).
Historic backdrop: Combined and taken separately, Article VI reflected the Church of England’s role before U.S. independence as the only allowed and recognized church with the King of England at its head. The First Amendment in particular shows how Congress had no right to pass a law establishing a “national” (and only) church, like the Church of England was. A “Church of America” if you will.
Yes, in his speech last week Mr. Romney tried to reassure those in the Republican Party what his religious beliefs are. So what? It is the Republican primaries, after all.
If David Le Vine, who from his letter one can gather is not a Republican, finds Romney’s statements in his words “repugnant” and even felt “disgust” then I am sure he will not become a Republican nor will he vote for Mitt Romney.
As a candidate, letting the voters know your religious beliefs is a clarification of one’s identity, what makes one tick. It is perfectly all right and allowed by law.
It shows again that we live in a time where attempts are made to curtail everything that refers to religious beliefs from public life. This is caused by inadequate, politically correct and deliberately misleading education on the subject. Thanks to organizations like the ACLU (Anti-Christian Litigation Union) the mythical “separation of Church and State” is so often referred to. But this is nowhere in the Constitution nor in any amendments, and only is a lazy and shallow interpretation of the aforementioned Article VI and the First Amendment. In reality, however, both protect religious organizations and protect personal beliefs from the state. Not the other way around.
It is important to note that a study of the personal writings of the Founding Fathers and their inaugural speeches such as by George Washington, further underscore their deep religious faith. In the words of one of them, Patrick Henry, it was because of the very Christian principles of the Founding Fathers that the freedoms of ALL beliefs (Christian, otherwise, or a-religious) are safeguarded. Considering all this, in what “spirit” do you think, should the Constitution, in particular Article VI and Amendment 1, really be read?
Mitt Romney’s speech was not a violation of anything.