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Living the faith

Hear, hear Patrick Dean Kirby! Well said in "What it means to be an American" (Your Turn, May 1-7).

We are seemingly headed toward the end of our freedom to think differently and live peacefully together in this beautiful city, state and even country. What has happened to our respect toward others? To disagree with those in political office appears to make one un-American these days. I wonder when our leaders will set an example for us? When will they stop the name-calling and persecution of others?

I could wonder what country am I living in when I think about how our city handles peace protestors as criminals and employee services under religious tenets. How long until some citizens find themselves living in constant fear from those in power? There is a basis of reasoning and experience behind the separation of church and state that frames our freedoms.

Thank you Mr. Kirby for showing that at least one Christian can live his faith and understand the foundation of this great free country.

-- Bob Henderson

Colorado Springs

Not so free

I would like to comment on the "Your Turn" letter by Patrick Dean Kirby.

Given his background, he deserves our utmost praise for speaking out. However, I have to strongly disagree with him on this being the freest country in the world. This certainly is not true anymore since 9/11 and the passing of the USA PATRIOT Act (wonderfully misnamed).

This act allows the government to break into our homes while we are away, conduct a search and never tell us a warrant was issued, and it criminally charges librarians if they tell us that the government obtained records about which books we borrowed at the local library.

Freedom of the press has become a cruel joke and please go to page 10 of last week's Independent to see what has happened to our right of free assembly (the police are spying on us if we demonstrate for peace, that's what). The passage of such laws is the result of -- you guessed it -- Republican majorities in both chambers of Congress and a Republican in the White House. Voters of Colo Schmolo -- are you getting my drift??? Wake up, folks, this is getting deadly serious!

-- Peter Brebach

Manitou Springs

A load of tripe

I keep waiting for the Independent to stop whining about how their position on most issues is not accepted by the majority of the residents of Colorado Springs and the surrounding communities. And lo and behold here is another whining perspective in the May 1-7 Public Eye column by Ms. DeGette.

Her last statement in this otherwise very forgetful treatise implies that this community is disjointed with "No common glue that binds." What a load of tripe. Here is my glue:

1. I pay my taxes no matter what U.S. state or country I happen to be living in.

2. I vote Republican, Democratic or Independent depending on the views of the candidates. No one tells me what to think or believe in.

3. I donate my time to events and organizations that I believe are important to me and my family.

3. I support my right to keep and bear arms as stated in the Bill of Rights.

4. I believe that being "politically correct' is immoral and a coward's way out.

5. I believe in the sovereignty of the United States of America and NOT the United Nations.

6. Whether on a personal level or on a national level, I believe that John Wayne summed it up best when he said, "I won't be wronged, I won't be insulted, and I won't be laid a hand on. I don't do these things to other people and I expect the same from them."

It is extremely insulting of the Independent and Ms. DeGette to insinuate that just because she could not articulate to a Ms. magazine journalist what "pulls Colorado Springs together" that we are NOT together and are somehow "less than." Gee -- perhaps it could just be as simple that the Independent and Ms. DeGette are out of step with the rest of the community.

-- Lynn Feldmann

Monument

Closest thing we've got

Re: Cara DeGette's May 1-7 Public Eye: Now you folks at the Indy better be nice to good ol' Ed Bircham -- he's the closest thing we got to Strom Thurmond.

-- Mike Adams

Colorado Springs

Junk for Jesus

I wanted to compliment you on your article on Christian merchandise in the May 1-7 issue. You were fair and had several good points. For a publication that normally is attacking traditional values in its articles and its advertising, it was refreshing for the article's author, Adam Krefting, to take a neutral position. I admit a lot of this stuff is Jesus "junk," but it was a good point that so are rosary beads and other little totems like rabbits feet. Thank you for a good article.

So as not to be entirely complimentary, dump those idiots on page 9 "the so-called Freethinkers." I have read the Independent since I moved to this area five years ago, and I have yet to have one freethinking person express even a semblance of free thought in this space. Talk about close-minded! These people make Saddam Hussein seem like he was open-minded! What cult were all these people brainwashed in?

Other than the not freethinking Freethinkers, I enjoy the articles and especially the cartoons that lampoon people who take themselves too seriously. I am a born-again Christian and I don't take offense too easily at the slams on the right. I used to believe a lot of the same stuff your staff believes, but then I grew up, cut my hair and got a real job. Reality is a great teacher when we let it be.

Keep up the good work in this conservative little place. It needs a little balance now and then.

-- Tom Foster

Colorado Springs

Editor's note: Thanks for your feedback, Tom. Just to clarify, the Freethinkers is a paid advertisement that appears weekly. It is not an editorial product of the Independent.

Laws of nature

I'm a regular guy. I'm happily married to a woman, and I've never slept with the opposite sex for purposes of romance. I was attracted to a Don Higgerson once. We were in junior high together. He was a sports god, blessed with early puberty and sideburns, and I was a sports-nut wanna-be who wouldn't see facial hair until junior year.

Am I gay? I don't know. Do I care? No. To me, gay is just another way of being, not right and not wrong. It is what it is, as natural an inclination as Don Higgerson, and no more shameful than my crush on Debbie Sue Feeney during kindergarten nap time. Heterosexual, homosexual, they're just words. I'm betting Eve's Adam had his Don Higgerson, if truth be known, meaning ... oh, I don't know, meaning sexual preference ambiguity has been around for a long, long, long time.

I'm disappointed to live in an area where being gay is a determining factor in health-care benefits for city employees. Further, it deeply saddens me when we write off a parallel culture as unnatural and wrong. I'm sure there are plenty in San Francisco and Key West, and those undercover in our own narrow-minded town, who would argue that everyone isn't naturally attracted to the opposite sex, and that heterosexuals have historical precedence. For them, the laws of nature haven't swung that way.

I know, I know, expressions like mine should move to San Francisco then, and perhaps the moral majority is right to offer me the door if I'm not happy here. I wonder, though, what disgusts traditional Colorado Springs more -- a gay neighbor, or a harmonious Third Reich?

-- Malcolm Allyn

Fountain

Dirty rotten mess

The picture on the front page of the April 24-30 issue was excellent, and the article about veterans' benefits was right with the real truth. I honor your courage for publishing this because so many don't have the courage to do so.

The irony of this dirty rotten mess is that others who have spoken out about it have been either ignored or ridiculed for doing this, and are labeled as unpatriotic. It's the government's actions and intentions in this matter that are unpatriotic. I'd call the way our federal government acts toward the medical and other problems of veterans as being very unpatriotic.

What our government does best is to act in a very hypocritical pious way, which means that they are not serving us as duly elected representatives; rather they treat all us underlings, especially the veterans who have served this country in this most honorable way. It's a real shame that those in politics, who have not served this country, treat us in the same manner.

-- Bob Bock

Colorado Springs

No time for debate

For reasons hard to understand, my friend Angelo Christopher chose to invite me to join LULAC through a letter to The Independent in the April 24-30 issue rather than simply picking up the telephone and calling. LULAC's mission is important to support, so my application and check have already been submitted.

But, in the same envelope, Christopher received information about Parents Challenge, a privately funded program that presently provides grants and scholarships to 120 poor youngsters who need and want educational help. If LULAC will assist in the distribution of that information, more low-income students, many of them Latino, will be introduced to the opportunity to take advantage of the resources provided by Parents Challenge. Yes, I'm glad to join LULAC -- will LULAC join with Parents Challenge?

While Christopher may oppose vouchers, it is difficult to imagine why he would object to more low-income Hispanic families taking advantage of a privately funded $500 grant for supplemental educational assistance to poor children who remain in their public school or a $2,500 scholarship to poor children whose parents decide on an alternative education provider.

Kids who are consigned to the poorest performing schools in Colorado Springs, most of whom are minority and low income, need help and they need it now. They don't have time for ideological or political debates. When 50 percent of black and brown children who entered ninth grade do not graduate, we have a crisis and we all need to pull together to solve it.

So, let me invite my friends at LULAC to work together on behalf of the kids. They are counting on us. Between newly passed House Bill 1160, the Federal No Child Left Behind Act, Parents Challenge, and other legislation now being debated, there are resources and empowerment available to improve the lives of our neediest children. Our differences are not important -- their future is.

-- Steve Schuck

Colorado Springs

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