Letters To The Editor
February 09, 2011 - MidWeek
Nutty gun laws
Kudos to Jerry Coffee — didn’t think he had it in him to go against the majority conservative love affair with guns, as he seems to do in his column “Crazy Gun, Mental Health Policies.”
To quote him, I could not agree more that the problem that leads over and again to violent nut jobs killing innocent people is “our dysfunctional mental health, judicial and firearms laws and policies, which combined allow seriously disturbed people to evade treatment and buy guns.”
Mr. Coffee, could you please send that message to Republican leadership in Washington?
In a letter to the editor that appeared in last week’s MidWeek, Mr. James Shorba rebuked our newly elected governor for his presumed lack of “pono,” or righteousness. Citing Gov. Abercrombie’s position on the pro-life/pro-choice issue and his position on same-sex marriages, Mr. Shorba goes so far as to assert that the governor “doesn’t know the real meaning of the word.” The governor is further denounced for his failure to close his inaugural address with the conventional phrase “God bless Hawaii.”
Having earned his Ph.D. in American Studies at UH, our governor is familiar with Article VI of our Constitution, which states that “no religious test shall ever be required as a qualification to any office or public trust under the United States.” Whether or not certain elements of his constituency are acquainted with this article ensuring our freedom of religion is less clear.
Sectarianism of this magnitude in 21st century America is somewhat alarming. It harkens back to an era of history, prior to the Age of Enlightenment, when the crime of heresy (the holding of “unorthodox” opinions) was punishable by burning.
I don’t doubt Mr. Shorba rejects such fanatical practices as vehemently as the rest of us do, but by condemning Gov. Abercrombie on the basis of narrow-minded, dogmatic theology (as evidenced by his emotionally driven closing reprimand of the governor’s impious choice of words to end a speech), Mr. Shorba’s assessment of Gov. Abercrombie’s ethics becomes manifestly invalid.
To effect positive change, we don’t need unquestioning followers of orthodoxy. We need men and women with the ability to think critically and objectively, while still maintaining the visions of equality championed by the Founding Fathers of this nation. We need men like Neil Abercrombie.
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