Readers comments 7.7.12
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I have just returned from a concert performed by the Pomona First Baptist Church held at the Depot. This was billed as an evening of patriotic songs to honor America. In fact, it turned out to be 15 minutes of patriotic song, and 45 minutes of preaching about the teachings of Jesus, many biblical references and how we are living in a Christian world.
The performance was basically an extension of a Sunday church service, not a historical or patriotic program. As a non-Christian, I felt offended for anyone in attendance who didn’t agree with the views being thrown to us with every song.
If the church truly wanted to honor America, there are many patriotic themes available both musically and in historical reference. I would hope the church would keep its religious teaching in the appropriate spot, and not take advantage of a crowd who came to be entertained.
Slow traffic: stay to the right
I received the summer issue of the Claremont City Letter this week. The cover article was about the Claremont Wilderness Park and a bulleted list of 14 park regulations was provided. Yes, the Wilderness Park is well-used, especially on weekends, and thus traffic flow is often a problem.
The regulations specify that “cyclists and hikers must yield to horses, and cyclists must yield to hikers.” However, few people understand what this means. I suggest a simpler rule that, in fact, applies on all other thoroughfares: Slow traffic, stay to the right.
If all hikers walked on the right side of the Wilderness trail, cyclists could easily pass around them. Most problems occur when hikers—many wearing iPods making them oblivious of others—cover the whole width of the road so there is no place for cyclists to pass.
I suggest a couple of signs on the Wilderness Loop clarifying, “Hikers: stay on the right side of the trail.” This common-sense rule will help us all enjoy the Wilderness Park and make it a safer place.
Church and state
During this week of the Fourth of July, I thought it would be appropriate to review the relationship between our government and religion. The following information is from Americans United for Separation of Church and State.
Four myths about separation of church and state:
1. Separation of church and state is not in the Constitution. This would come as a surprise to James Madison, the “father of the Constitution” and author of the First Amendment. He observed, “Strongly guarded is the separation between religion and government in the Constitution of the United Sates.” This is the genesis of separation of church and state.
2. The United States was founded to be a Christian nation. Not according to the Founders. In fact, the Constitution contains no references to the Christian religion, Jesus Christ or even God in the body of the document. It is a secular document for a nation with a secular government. (Some people confuse the Constitution with the earlier Declaration of Independence).
3. The American people do not support separation of church and state. Not so. A 2004 poll, for example, found that 78 percent of Americans agreed that maintaining separation of church and state is important. The separation principle is the foundation upon which religious freedom rests.
4. American religious leaders oppose separation of church and state. Not true. Only a narrow segment of ultra-conservative clergy claim a right to preach politics or endorse candidates from the pulpit. Most others realize that church-state separation has permitted faith to flourish in America. It keeps the government from meddling in internal church affairs and protects the right of all Americans to believe (or not believe) as they see fit.
My son was a 2012 graduate of Claremont High School. This class has a lot to be proud of, and I want to thank the COURIER for your recent coverage of the graduation celebration for Claremont High School, San Antonio High School and also Claremont Adult School.
My concern is regarding the recognition of the many colleges our students will be attending. I believe we have outstanding students going on to major universities and colleges, however, other students who will be attending trade schools, going to other countries to study and those entering our military were not recognized.
I feel this is unfair to those students who have chosen a not-so-traditional path in their life. These students deserve to have their trade school or their military service recognized as well.
I have written to the board of education, and also to Dr. [Brett] O’Connor at Claremont High School regarding this lack of recognition for the other students. I do not fault the COURIER for this; it is a concern because these other institutions were not included in the Claremont High School graduation program, so my assumption is that you printed this information from there.
Since my communication written to both the principal and the board of education, they have had an opportunity to correct this by adding it to the marquee, or updating the COURIER as to where other students will be going. However, this did not happen, thus my letter to the newspaper.
Why am I concerned? Because I am a parent of a student who will be entering the Marine Corps. My son chose this path because he truly wants to make a difference in this world. He has had a very good education, has done very well, yet his choice of going into the Marines was not recognized in the graduation program, and now the COURIER. I am not just speaking for my son, I am also speaking for my friends children who are going into the military and trade school programs, or one is going to study in the Netherlands.
Please remember, all students have worked to get their diploma, and to be mentioned for their career or academic choice should be done so out of respect for their time at CHS or SAHS.
I appreciate your time in reading this and paying respect to all students.
Proud parent of aUnited States Marine
For the upcoming Presidential election the choices are so clear that this should be the easiest vote most of us will ever make.
One candidate that tells us we are just one more tax cut to the wealthy away from trickle-down economics working, and wants to continue to provide tax breaks for the largest corporations who offshore American jobs. The other candidate wants to have all Americans pay their fair share and eliminate loopholes in the tax code that gives billions of dollars to highly profitable corporations.
One candidate tells us that teachers, firefighters and police officers aren’t real jobs, and that we don’t need them, that they are a burden to tax payers. The other candidate wants to improve our education and safety, while at the same time helping the economy by hiring more teachers, firefighters and police officers.
One candidate tells us that the problem is too much regulation, that we don’t need the EPA, or rules for financial institutions, or restrictions on energy, etc. The other candidate wants a sensible approach to oversight, one that allows for growth and innovation while at the same time having basic rules of the road to make the economy fair and protect the American people from corruption and greed.
One candidate wants unlimited secret spending on political campaigns by the super wealthy and corporations. The other candidate wants to restrict spending, and would require that groups disclose who donated the money.
One candidate wants to eliminate Social Security, unemployment insurance, and Medicare, waffles on increasing the minimum wage, is (at least currently) anti-abortion rights and opposes a change in medical insurance that he once advocated in favor of. The other candidate supports all of these issues.
One candidate is for the super-wealthy and the largest corporations. The other candidate is for the 99 percent and helping all businesses compete fairly.