The civil unions bill and Catholics, fracking facts, and a stormwater embarrassment 


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A question of motive

Father Bill Carmody wrote a letter ("Adoptions on the line," March 27) in which he denounced the recent civil unions bill, which he said will end "religious liberty" due to 1) the enhanced rights afforded to gay citizens by the bill and 2) the likely demise of Catholic Charities' adoption services due to their inability to continue discriminating against gay couples.

I would like to point out something to the good Father about religious liberty: Oliver Wendell Holmes Jr. famously said, "The right to swing my fist ends where the other man's nose begins." In the same way, one's right to religious liberty extends only to the point where it infringes on others' rights. Religious liberty gives one the freedom to believe as one chooses, not a license to dictate to everyone else how to conduct their lives.

If all people are afforded the same rights and protections, in what way is the Catholic Church's religious liberty infringed? Their disapproval of same-sex unions can continue, if they wish, and they won't be forced to perform any ceremonies against their will. So what's the problem?

And if Catholic Charities terminates their adoption services due to the civil unions bill, as Father Carmody predicts, I can't help but wonder what the purpose of their adoption service is: to find loving homes for children who need them, or to ensure that as many children as possible are indoctrinated with Catholic dogma? Is their aim to assist children and families, or to fill their pews — and overflow their coffers? I guess we'll find out.

— Fred Kormos

Colorado Springs

What's the problem?

Wow, Fr. Bill. I commend you on your ability to jump to conclusions. Please enlighten me: How does giving adoption rights to same-sex couples in a civil union ultimately lead to taking away your right to practice your faith? If Catholic Charities decides to dissolve its adoption services in order not to "violate their conscience," that's their decision. To suggest that they're being coerced into it because of the passage of the civil union bill is absurd.

Thank God (pun intended) that we have separation of church and state. People like you would drag us kicking and screaming back to the 15th century — when men were men and women were burned at the stake. Instead of trying to sniff out this supposed conspiracy against your right to worship, why not transfer those same skills and sniff out the child molesters among your priests?

— Christopher Curcio

Colorado Springs

Peggy, please

An open letter to El Paso County Commissioner Peggy Littleton:

At a screening of FrackNation at the Broadmoor, you said, "It would make sense for the city to have and adopt the exact same regulations as the county has. What we see often, however, is the people who don't work, but who are environmentalists who are concerned about their water but have no factual basis, are the ones who show up to the City Council meetings ... Sometimes these meetings get dominated by very large voices of people who know nothing, and it could sound to the people who are coming to the meeting that that is the dominant voice or the prevailing opinion.

"Be the one out there with the posters that say, 'Frack here, frack now.'"

I was a small-business owner for 11 years in Woodland Park and am still the sitting vice president for The Fire Fighters Fund. I currently work at a local small business eight to nine hours a day, four days a week, and am honored to be the 38-year-old mother of a 2-year-old son. For the record I have been involved in the "fracking" fight for only 18 months. This is the first "environmental" activism that I have engaged in, and you bet I'm concerned.

I have gone on field trips to drilling operations. I have watched countless films, pro- and anti-. I have read countless news reports and interviews of those impacted, good and bad. I have pored over scientific studies and field data. I recently sent all the commissioners, as well as City Council, three spill reports that confirmed groundwater contamination which had occurred in the last six months by a single operator, only to receive no reply.

I have factual data for you in abundance if you would only allow me to share it. In fact, you don't need it from me. Visit cogcc.state.co.us. Go to Database in the list to the left. Choose Inspection/Incident. In fact, why don't you put Hilcorp Energy in under Operator and click Inspection at the top to see what you find?

— Lorena Townsend

Colorado Springs


It's embarrassing

The snows of winter and the rains of summer will go on for centuries.

Politicians come and go. The memory of all they did not accomplish will last for weeks.

That such a prestigious and accomplished firm as Summit Economics would recognize the need to withdraw from the stormwater control planning process due to political division among local elected officials and the Mayor should be a source of embarrassment to us all. The matter of stormwater was a golden opportunity served up on a silver platter for local leaders to re-invent how "regionalism-cooperation-collaboration" might work to better the lives of all in the community.

Can we pick up the dropped ball and resume play and just work around the Mayor during a time of need? And get past a time of no leadership on his part? The rains will be here far longer than the Mayor; one just as damaging as the other.

The fact that organizations with impressive names: "Regional Business Alliance" and "Regional Leadership Forum" failed to step up to the plate and exercise real leadership and marshal this process to a successful conclusion is equally embarrassing.

This entire affair indicates a need for there to be crafted that one group within the community who can guide the development of beneficial policy planning through the morass of political infighting.

This could be the greatest challenge facing a new City Council: Create unity.

Unlike the RBA-RLF — do the work and earn the title. Leadership is action, not logos.

— Rick Wehner

Colorado Springs

Déjà vu in Korea

It feels like 1950-52 redux. North Korea's action to cancel the peace treaty which ended the conflict 60 years ago and other recent threats have triggered U.S. response. Our government agreed to come militarily to South Korea's aid from the get-go if North Korea should take hostile action against the South.

The Korean "police action" began the month I was receiving my college degree. Several of my graduating classmates who served one to four years in World War II were called back to military service. These were men of the "Greatest Generation" who had returned to obtain an education on the GI Bill. They did not hesitate to answer their country's second call.

Those were tumultuous years. Thirty-eighth parallel, Yalu River and DMZ became familiar words. Commanding Gen. Douglas MacArthur vowed, "There is no substitute for victory," and wanted to bomb North of the Yalu. That action would likely have caused China to come in full force supporting North Korea. President Truman flew out and fired Gen. MacArthur.

On the battlefield, the conflict became pretty much a stalemate. Back in the U.S., a presidential election would take place in 1952. Dwight Eisenhower's pledge of "I will go to Korea" was certainly a factor contributing to his election. It is fair to say the truce which followed the conflict left the Korean Peninsula in a permanent standoff.

At present, we have 30,000 troops in South Korea, compared with an estimated North Korean force of 1 million. And North Korea is more dangerously unpredictable than ever, experimenting with missiles and weapons of mass destruction.

It behooves the U.S. to convince China to rein in the loose-cannon moves of North Korea. Let us not leave the lives of millions of people in the two Koreas in the hands of Dennis Rodman diplomacy.

— John A. Daly

Colorado Springs

Good stewardship

After attending the March 26 City Council meeting, I wanted to voice my support for the Stage 2B watering restrictions implemented at the meeting (see here). I was encouraged by CSU's thoroughness in assessing the need for Stage 2B and their articulate explanation of how it will affect water reserves.

I encourage everyone to read the CSU presentations appended to the online City Council meeting agenda. As a volunteer with the CSU Xeriscape Demonstration Garden, I've had the opportunity to meet some of the folks who manage our utilities, and now that I've seen them at work I am even more impressed.

I'm also pleased that City Council voted to initiate Stage 2B to protect the water supply for the entire community. As a District 2 resident, I'm disappointed that my representative, City Councilwoman Angela Dougan, was the only member to vote against Stage 2B, deeming it an unreasonable overextension of government. Individuals, she suggested, should simply be trusted to comply.

While I believe in the basic goodness of my fellow citizens, we need every tool at our disposal to help us conserve water, including enforcement of landscape watering restrictions. This important shared resource requires careful and collective stewardship, and the need is urgent.

— Christine Hubbell

Colorado Springs


Last week's Reverb included an incorrect deadline for Independent Music on Tour grant applications. The 2013 deadline and guidelines are still being determined, after which they'll be announced at imtour.org and on the Western States Arts Federation's Facebook page. Further questions can be sent to andy.thomas@westaf.org. We regret the error.


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