Letters to the editor

Letter 1

From Alan Christopherson,

Junior, English major:

Once again, Lori Moreth has shown her blatant disregard for facts and research in her opinion column, "Liberals Crowd Out God With PC."

Lori, I get it. You’re a conservative who loves Christianity and hates Islam. That is no reason for you to forgo basic fact checking. You’re in college. Researching our positions is part of how and what we learn.

Take your subhead, for example. "Separation of Church, State, no reason to deny Christian history." I agree. That’s true. You bring up the phrase In God We Trust on United States currency, but the words were not added to the coins until 1866. The Oath in the nation’s courtrooms was added in 1789. And as for the Pledge of Allegiance, the words "Under God" were not officially added until 1954.

One thing I find truly ridiculous is talking about the footbaths being installed in airports and colleges "Would they do the same for Christians?" you asked. I don’t know. Do Christians wash their feet before praying? I get what you were trying to say, but it really was a sloppy comparison. You say the liberals are the ones taking away our rights, but keep in mind it was the Conservatives that pushed the Patriot Act through Congress. Just please, do your research. Understand what you’re talking about. I’ll even settle for Wikipedia.

Letter 2

From Matthew Harmer,

President of Secular Student Alliance:

It was with great reluctance that, after hearing that Atheists and Secularism had been cast as the villains in one of Lori Moreth’s columns, I sat down and read her opinion piece. This article contained no new ideas, only old ones I’d heard many times before. The only positive reaction this article elicited from me was a nostalgic remembrance of my halcyon youth in the early 1990s, as most of Moreth’s arguments were merely rehashes of the early flame wars on Usenet. In fact, Moreth’s first two words–"Political Correctness" (which Polly Toynbee correctly described as "an empty right-wing smear designed only to elevate its user"), once again harken back to the early 1990s, rather than contain any real meaning today. As nice as the trip down memory lane has been, I’d prefer to focus on her supposedly evidential assertions.

As a life-long Atheist who has served in the military, worked for the Federal government twice, served on a jury and has even been sworn-in in court, I have never seen anyone swear an oath on the Bible. In every instance where I’ve been required to make an oath, I was given the option to affirm rather than swear, and never required to add "so help me God" at any point. Every time I’ve been in a courtroom, whether as a witness or a juror, not once did anyone place his or her hand on a Bible, nor swear to God.

Letter 3

From Susan and Tom Van Wert,

Niskayuna, N.Y.

The Oswego State community is most likely unaware of the extraordinary compassion displayed by the Sigma Gamma fraternity this past spring. Our family suffered a terrible loss when our youngest daughter passed away unexpectedly on May 7. Our eldest son, who is a brother in the fraternity, was driven the nearly three-hour trip home by a fellow student and friend. Our entire family was deeply touched when a group of four fraternity brothers arrived at the funeral home on the eve of May 10 carrying a beautiful basket of flowers.

The following day a different group of nine brothers came to town for the mass and waited in line to pay their sympathy to our family. What was especially commendable was the fact that all these students had finals to study for and unselfishly made the long trip to pay their respects. They then returned to Oswego for their exams. This group of young men deserve a lot of credit for showing such upstanding character by supporting their grieving friend. We are proud our son is associated with such kind individuals, who bonded together in a time of crisis.