Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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December 26, 2007 - MidWeek
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Privilege to give

Thanks to Jade Moon for her thoughtful column about pan-handlers. Thanks also to HPD Capt. Frank Fujii for his comments. HPD officers do a good job trying to protect all of us, and while I respect the captain’s point of view, I understand that his job doesn’t include moral guidance. Yes, to stay absolutely safe, give strangers a wide berth.

But I have a different view on the matter. I have given something, including a smile or kind word, to many panhandlers over the years. No one appointed me the judge of others. I don’t assess the worthiness of the one asking. On the contrary, scripture tells us that if someone asks us to go a mile, that we should willingly go two. Every person desperate enough to ask for alms presents me with an opportunity to give, to do a good deed. If can, can; if cannot, cannot.

Having been involved with the nonprofit/charity “industry,” I have seen lots of “big oven, small loaf” where lots of money does shamefully little ultimately for those in need. So I prefer to share directly with others. Please listen to your own conscience. If you prefer to write a check and/or volunteer, I say bless you, but no one need feel guilty for the choice they make - including mine to reach out to “the least of these” in an immediate, direct way. I consider it a privilege, not intimidation.

Cloudia Charters

Waikiki


Christian canard

Dorothy Farmer’s letter last week repeats Rick Hamada’s canard that “we are a Christian nation.”

No, the fact is that our Founders came here to escape religious pressure and established freedom of religion. Since the 1800s, people of all religions have come here from all parts of the world and made this the great nation that it is. We are of many, many religions and also humanists and atheists. The current dictate that we should not say “Happy Holidays” (including other religions) but must say “Merry Christmas” smacks of religious fundamentalism and not America.

Nancy Bey Little

Makiki


Christian nation

Thank you, Dorothy Farmer, for the letter reminding everyone that America is a Christian nation, founded on Christian principles. That is why, especially after reading Bob Jones’ column on Mormons, I could never vote for Mitt Romney.

Esther Wong

Honolulu

Boylan and boards

Dan Boylan, a pundit with whom I rarely see eye to eye, is essentially correct when he asserts that the hot-button social and political issues of our time are complex and nuanced. However, I must take exception with his inclusion of Gov. Lingle’s scuttled proposal to create more localized school boards. The submarining of that initiative serves as a classic (read: egregious) example of political gamesmanship, and although her modest proposal might not have constituted a simple and complete “salvation” of our troubled public school system, it may well have been a significant step in the right direction. In all likelihood we will never know - the smoke-and-mirrors counterfeit known as the “Reinventing Education Act” has quietly but effectively preserved the status quo and forestalled any meaningful reform in our “it’s-broke-but-we-don’t-have-the-will-to-truly-fix-it” system.

Rubbing salt in the wound, Mr. Boylan inappropriately speaks for me (and others) when he claims that Hawaii’s voters knew Lingle’s proposal was unworkable. I don’t recall having the opportunity to cast a straight-up referendum vote for the administration’s proposal on one side of the ledger and the legislature’s alternative on the other side. Perhaps that’s just another manifestation of the early-onset Alzheimer’s my wife thinks is setting in?

David Kammerer

Laie

There’s a first

Dan Boylan’s moderate criticism of Hawaii’s Democratic party shocked me. His normal obsequious pandering to the people who so poorly run this state is usually by rote.

Thomas Tribble

Ewa Beach

Send your letters to MidWeek Letters, 500 Ala Moana Blvd., Suite 500, Honolulu, HI. 96813; by fax to 585-6324, or by email to dchapman@midweek.com. Please include your name, address and daytime and evening phone numbers. We print only the letters that include this information, but only your name and area of residence will appear in print. Letters may be edited for clarity and space.
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