Letters To The Editor

Don Chapman
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May 27, 2009 - MidWeek
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Tax churches

Thanks to MidWeek for having the courage to publish Bob Jones’ column on taxing churches.

I am a strong supporter of separation of church and state, and firmly believe that churches should not be granted privileged tax treatment. While some churches do provide useful services, there is no reason that they should be favored over other service providers, such as doctors, psychologists and coaches.

Further, many churches profit handsomely from their followers while claiming “charitable” status, then turn around and lobby our government to restrict the rights and freedoms of our fellow citizens.

I, for one, resent being forced to subsidize (with my property and income taxes) institutions whose political activities work against my interests and values. If churches wish to compete in the arena of public policy, let them do it on a level financial field.

Mike DeWeert
Kailua


 

Burning issues

Wow, two fantastical great columns in one issue. I don’t always agree with Bob Jones but he hit two burning issues right on.

With the room tax and Islam Day issues the Legislature should watch out or they’ll wind up on Chuck Shepherd’s Weird News column. I have long advocated taxing certain church income on property not specifically a place of worship. What makes the salary of a church plenipotentiary any different than you and I? A man of God? What if one is not superstitious? And Jerry Coffee’s take on Islam is perfect. I cannot understand how for the life of me any educated or thinking woman would embrace Islam, even for love of a man. To honor this institution is despicable. Those who voted for this day should try being a non-Muslim in the Muslim world during Ramadan. They might have a different outlook.

Thank you, Mr. Coffee, for quoting the Koran to point out some of the horrors of this religion.

Bob Heidrich
Aiea


Helmets save lives

Thank you to Yu Shing Ting for the timely column “Head Trauma from Bikes, Skateboards.” I work with Dr. Ho and Sally Jones, and we see many patients - kids, young adults, middle-aged adults - who do not wear helmets when skateboarding, bicycling, riding ATVs, riding horses and riding motorcycles, and who suffer head injuries that might have been less severe had they been wearing helmets when they had their accident or collision.

We also see adolescents and adults who mix these activities with alcohol and drugs, resulting in impulsive behavior that contributes to their accidents and subsequent injuries.

By the way, we see an increase in these injuries to kids and adolescents during summer and other unstructured times such as winter and spring breaks. Today’s helmets are much lighter and “cooler” than when I was a kid. I agree, if kids get to choose their own and decorate them, this will increase their interest.

Also, parents and extended family need to model the behavior too. It may be a change or a crimp in style that some don’t like, but it makes a huge difference in the outcome of these accidents and collisions. Helmets save lives and also save quality of life.

Sara Farnham, Ph.D.
Neuropsychologist,

Trauma Service
The Queen’s Medical Center

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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