I recently was awakened by gunshots in Wilkes-Barre for the third time in four days. Mr. Mayor, can you hear the gunshots in Barney Farms?
Shhh … it's a secret! Don't post or file police reports.
I have heard comments such as these from friends, neighbors and co-workers:
I am afraid to walk my dog anymore.
I don't shop in Wilkes-Barre anymore.
I won't travel through Wilkes-Barre anymore.
More troubling is the apparent disregard of our mayor and police chief to the continued degradation of our neighborhoods and crimes in our streets.
Citizens, good tenants and businesses are leaving our city; the tax base is eroding. Now the administration is proposing city layoffs at a time when most personnel are desperately needed.
Shameful and unacceptable! We are not being served.
Recently, many religious organizations distributed material containing some teachings about a voter's responsibility to his or her faith, and the writers try to compel members to vote for a particular political party.
The message in the material takes three important religious issues and puts them on a pedestal above all others. The three issues are the right to practice birth control, the right of a woman to have an abortion in some cases and whether those who are against these rights because of their religious beliefs are being denied their liberty and freedom of conscience if they have to allow others to have these two rights.
On the third issue, ask yourself this: Is someone really being denied their freedom to practice their religion if they have to allow others in a free society to do things they are allowed by law to do?
The writers list about 45 matters important to Christian voters – such as care for hungry, sick and poor people, education, the environment, etc. Democrats strongly support about 40 and Republicans strongly support only about five, but these five include not allowing women to ever have an abortion or to practice birth control. With this information, the voting advice is that all issues set out are not equal, that all abortions are evil and that candidates who don't oppose all abortions should not be supported – so vote accordingly.
With such advice, perhaps we have to ask (1) whether we want our country to be like countries where religious leaders rule the government and where they don't believe in science or equal rights for women, and (2) does the New Testament teach us more about living in peace and helping starving, sick and poor people, or more about the evils of birth control and the exact time a human life begins.
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