Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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April 30, 2008 - MidWeek
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The bear facts

What a fantastic cover story on Tom Ocasek and his photographs of polar bears. His comments about climate change and the need to conserve were right on the mark. Hopefully, more big-time business leaders will also get the message.

Arlene Watanabe

Funny kine judging

Bob Jones is absolutely right about Merrie Monarch judging. Crowd favorites are often not judges’ favorites. If boxing, as crooked as it can be, can post judges’ scores, couldn’t our biggest hula competition do the same?

Kuulei Chang
Ewa Beach

Not too Christian

Thank you for Rick Hamada’s commentary about “Making Christianity The Criminal.” I would like to add that Christianity has been shunned in independent schools as well as in government schools.

I experienced this while teaching at Iolani School last year. On the first day of school, there was an assembly where the whole school gathered in the gym to pray and to receive blessings.

After we returned to our classroom I told my students that since we just prayed for the whole school I would also like to pray for our class. So I did.

Two days later, I was called to the administration office and was told by the Assistant Headmaster/Dean of Faculty and the Director of Studies that praying in the classroom is not appropriate.

According to the mission statement on the school website, Iolani School is “founded upon Christian values” and “develops liberally educated, well-rounded individuals who are well-prepared for college and ready to assume their responsibilities as active, moral citizens.” This is good. So when I heard students use the word “hate” whenever talking about a rival school, I put the following quote on the weekly assignment sheet to promote more healthy competition: ” ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.‘Matthew 19:19.” I quote different people every week for different topics.

Then my supervisor came to my classroom representing the Assistant Headmaster/Dean of Faculty and the Director of Studies to tell me that I cannot quote Jesus. She also gave me a very long lecture on how I should not live out my Christian faith at Iolani. To make a long story short, I was later informed that I was “not a fit with Iolani School” and they didn’t want to keep me.

Ironically, it seemed that other religions were more welcome. There are many classrooms at Iolani decorated with pictures of the Dalai Lama, Buddha, Hindu deities, and some classes even have banners of Buddhist sutras prominently displayed in the classroom. While on one hand I was told that “We (at Iolani School) don’t want you to have a reputation as a teacher with a Christian agenda,” on the other, Iolani was very proud to promote, sponsor and publicize a trip of students and teachers to Maui to see the Dalai Lama.

This is the school that claims to provide “an education which reflects its Episcopal Church heritage and provides a spiritual foundation for the development of personal values and moral integrity.”

Li Schoolland

100/442 legacy

What a wonderful cover photo of the WWII vets from the 100/442 Regimental Combat team along with young members of that unit. Those young men are carrying on a great and heroic tradition, the old-timers can know that others are carrying on in their footsteps. Long may the 100/442 live!

Robert Masunaga

Next-door nukes

Jerry Coffee may or may not be right about nuclear energy - I’ve personally become accustomed to seeing nuclear plants while traveling in countries as diverse as South Korea and England - but if we have verbal battles here on Oahu over H-Power, wait until you try to build a nuclear plant in somebody’s back yard!

Ed Leong

Newsy stories

I was impressed with the Newsmaker features on Fereidun Fesharaki, an energy expert, and Stephen Schneider, who shared the Nobel Prize with Al Gore for his work on climate change. These intelligent, thoughtful pieces are worthy of a national publication like Time or Newsweek.

Rita Lee

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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