Your destiny is yours; Uncle Sam won’t help
Thank you for the inspiring story about David Spragg, age 43, who has cerebral palsy and recently became an Eagle Scout (“Against the odds,” Feb. 27.)
Spragg’s achievement should serve to teach all young people that only one person can control their destiny — themselves. Only desire, determination and discipline can decide if one reaches one’s goals. This used to be called fire in the belly.
President Obama believes that government is the answer to your dreams. Don’t fall for it. I am still waiting for Uncle Sam to bestow on me the rank of Eagle Scout and admittance to the millionaire class.
If you need help stoking that fire in the belly, I’d suggest taping Spragg’s story to your refrigerator and reading it each morning. I particularly like what his first scoutmaster said: “You can find a way if you have the will. I think that is David’s motto.”
Geoff Dodd, Deephaven
Bill’s introduction is the subject of hope, debate
I have never been made so happy listening to the radio as I was hearing that a same-sex marriage bill made its way to the state Senate. I am a gay Army reservist, proudly and openly serving our nation, and will soon depart for five months of active duty training. The liberty to marry would be the best gift when I return to Minnesota this August.
Alex Legeros, Edina
After completing undergraduate studies in Minnesota, we both left the state for further education and employment opportunities in New York City. We returned to Minnesota two years ago, fully aware that Minnesota is the only place that will ever truly be home to us. That return to our home eventually led to our engagement at the State Fair in September.
We returned to New York on Feb. 15 for our wedding. Surrounded by family and friends, we made a promise to love, support and cherish one another as long as we both shall live. We made this promise for the same reasons that everyone chooses to get married: We fell deeply in love and wanted to commit the rest of our lives to the other.
On Feb. 19, we took off from LaGuardia Airport in New York City as husbands. Three hours later, we landed in Minneapolis as legal strangers. The law of our home state cannot make us love each other any less, but it can provide our new family the recognition, responsibilities and protections available to other Minnesotans through civil marriage.
Please, when faced with the question of whether to extend the freedom to marry to all Minnesotans, think of how your decision will affect our family and families like ours. This decision is not about politics; it is not about the party line; it is not about religion; it is about real Minnesota families living their lives.
Steven Lewandowski and Andrew Minck, Minneapolis
Steve Sack’s cartoon on Feb. 27, showing history’s “Hall of Shame” was off-base. God never said being black was a sin. Those who were against the end of slavery and against civil rights were in the wrong. God never said being a woman was a sin. Those who were against women’s voting rights were in the wrong. However, God did say homosexuality is a sin, an abomination. It’s in the Bible. Thus, those who are against gay marriage are in the right.
Those of us who are against gay marriage are so for a reason: It is wrong in the eyes of the Lord. It is not because we do not love our neighbor, and it is not because we are bigots and homophobes. We are simply following the laws passed down to us from God, and we simply want a society that values and follows these laws. We pray that those who have gone astray change course before it’s too late.
Ed Kashmarek, St. Louis Park
Conservatives rail against big government, yet are OK with having marriage codified in our laws and tax codes. Progressives tout tolerance and acceptance, yet are OK with labeling those who hold opposite beliefs about same-sex marriage as bigots and as being intolerant.
Marriage is a personal decision. Instead of introducing legislation to define it, remove government from the equation. This will give all Minnesotans the freedom of choice — and isn’t that what we all want?
Chris Lund, Hamburg
IDEOLOGY AND DENIAL
The difference between science and application
I would submit that Glenn Garvin (“Science denial is the province of the right wing. Right? Wrong,” Feb. 28) is confusing “science” with its derivative, technology.
Science is the pure study of natural phenomena, i.e., biology, ecology, physics, chemistry, astronomy and mathematics. Technology is the practical application of the data acquired by scientific study. Its applications, as noted by Garvin, include nuclear power generation and genetic modification of biological materials used in human nutrition. These technological applications of scientific knowledge are used by the private sector in the marketplace to create wealth for executives and stockholders. At the same time, they can be beneficial to segments of human society. An example is nuclear power, which is considered to be a “clean” source of electrical energy for society.
We rarely hear the other side of the story, where pure science does come into play. The waste products of the nuclear reactors are to be put underground somewhere in the American Southwest, with little regard for what the long-term effects, a province of physics, will be.
Harry M. Johnson, Redwood Falls, Minn.
The Opinion section is produced by the Editorial Department to foster discussion about key issues. The Editorial Board represents the institutional voice of the Star Tribune and operates independently of the newsroom.