Readers Write: (July 4): Totino-Grace, banking industry, Obama's record, surveillance, third parties

  • Updated: July 3, 2013 - 6:33 PM
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TOTINO-GRACE

Gay leader’s departure makes church look bad

The Catholic Church’s fear and dread of exposing students to a healthy and loving gay family lifestyle has moved the leadership of Totino-Grace High School to accept the resignation of administrator Bill Hudson (“Gay president quits at Totino,” July 3). School leaders certainly would have a right to remove him from office, though he chose to resign rather than force their hand.

This must be a difficult time for Catholic priests who are asked in their sermons to expound on the radically inclusive and forgiving Jesus so clearly portrayed in the gospels. When Jesus was judgmental, it was in his criticism of a rigid and intolerant church establishment. Hudson’s gracious and peaceful demeanor in this mess seems far more Christ-like than his church’s “holier-than-thou” stance.

CURT OLIVER, Brooklyn Park

• • •

As a former cochair of the Totino-Grace board, and as parent and supporter of the school, I am angry and deeply disappointed in losing Hudson. This is a learning opportunity for students. In this case, it is an unfortunate lesson: Being president with “an excellent record of accomplishment” and earning “the utmost respect” of the community doesn’t matter if you are also gay and in a committed relationship for 18 years. But there is another lesson I hope they don’t overlook: the courage and grace shown by Hudson in speaking the truth, despite the consequences. His action puts to shame the actions of the board members and the institutional church behind them.

LARRY VOELLER, Roseville

• • •

It’s pretty simple: Totino’s loss is potentially another school district’s gain. I hope 50 school districts in Minnesota will open up the bidding for a worthy administrator. There is no lack of irony here: Hudson would have fared much better at Totino-Grace if he had been a misbehaving priest.

STEVE WATSON, Minneapolis

BANKING INDUSTRY

Treat customers badly, face boomerang effect

The July 1 article “5-year battle ends in homelessness” got my blood boiling — again. After 30 years of being a high-value client at Wells Fargo and other well-known financial services companies, my husband had a heart attack in 2008 and could not find work. Eventually, we lost our house. I had many conversations with financial services companies; the responses ranged from arrogant to rude — even at the highest levels. I used to work for what is now Ameriprise, and was appalled at how we were treated.

Five years later, my husband is now the department manager of a large grocery store, and my business is still going strong. We’ve gone out of our way to not do business with the companies that showed no compassion for our short-term lapse in an otherwise stellar credit history. And we’ll remain ever loyal to the ones that treated us with respect.

Client acquisition costs are very high in the financial services arena. It’s far cheaper to keep a good client than to capture a new one. Given how many of us have experienced financial misfortune during the past recession and considering the power of social media, companies that raised our interest rates and treated us badly in other ways are likely to see a decline in profits. They can’t escape the adage: “What goes around, comes around.”

LYNN INGRID NELSON,

White Bear Lake

OBAMA’s RECORD

Too much credit in certain corners

With a few exceptions, the undisguised, pro-Obama bias of the Washington press corps is so obvious that it has been aptly described as an extension of the White House press office. Dana Milbank confirms this description in his July 2 commentary headlined “Obama scandal search: Throw at wall, see what sticks.”

Milbank makes a number of unfounded assertions in his zeal to shield the administration from the mounting weight of its scandals. He takes the Justice Department’s self-serving exoneration of Eric Holder in the “Fast and Furious” scandal at face value, and risibly claims that IRS actions harassing Tea Party groups “weren’t political.”

With regard to the Benghazi debacle, Milbank completely ignores the larger questions of administration incompetence and willful deception by focusing exclusively on the relatively minor issue of talking points.

Rumor has it that the hapless Jay Carney may be tiring of his role as White House press secretary. Judging from his latest column, Milbank appears to be angling for the job.

PETER D. ABARBANEL, Apple Valley

• • •

Sixteen “suspected” militants murdered by drone in Pakistan. Obama is a coldblooded murderer. The Nobel committee has a simple choice — leave the Peace Prize in Obama’s hands and become a sham and a farce, or rescind it forthwith and reclaim its lofty reputation for peace, justice and nonviolence.

STEVEN BOYER, St. Paul

NATIONAL POLICIES

Ask yourself today: Is this the right direction?

On Independence Day, we must think about why our ancestors (literally or figuratively) fought and what they fought for. America was founded with the people’s right to liberty and freedom at its very core. Benjamin Franklin once said: “Those who would give up essential liberty to purchase a little temporary safety deserve neither liberty nor safety.” Since 9/11, our government has put in place countless measures to protect America from terrorism, among other things. And now we must ask ourselves: Are we willing to make a change? How many more occurrences of whistleblowing and leaks will we sit by and watch? How much more liberty are we willing to give up?

GABRIEL HICKS, Eden Prairie

VOTING-RIGHTS DEFEAT

This is what support for third parties brings

To all of my cynical friends who said that “there’s no difference between the two major parties; they’ve both sold out,” I would say that your votes for the Green Party candidate brought us George W. Bush and his Supreme Court appointees, John Roberts and Samuel Alito. And those appointments caused a number of conservative victories, the latest of which is the gutting of the 1965 Voting Rights Act.

Southern states can once again devise ways to deprive African-Americans of their voting rights, with no check short of lawsuits in federal courts. Now we’ll see more voter ID requirements, shorter hours for voting in African-American neighborhoods, longer lines in those same areas and other onerous effects we haven’t even imagined.

Other conservative Supreme Court victories have occurred in business law, energy and climate change, abortion rights, environmental protection, etc. So you see, liberals: Voting for the third party is not only throwing your vote away, but it is actually concomitant with throwing it to the Republicans. Way to go.

MARY McLEOD, St. Paul

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