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Why housing plan is wrong for Cambridge
The letters debating whether sex offenders are human (Readers Write, Oct. 4 and 5) missed the issue. The issue is whether it is appropriate to locate sex offenders, human or not, in proximity to a residential area full of small children. The facility in Cambridge where the Department of Human Services proposes to house sex offenders is across the street from an area of single-family homes, townhouses and a small park.
When Minnesota closed the Cambridge State School and Hospital and transferred the property to the city of Cambridge, the city established an affordable-housing community on the property with green space, walking and bicycling paths. More recently the city, in cooperation with master gardeners and the Isanti County Environmental Coalition, established a large community garden where families can grow healthy food and stretch their budgets. The DHS proposal would put all of this in jeopardy and penalize the city and its residents for working hard to create a very livable, sustainable community.
I find it hard to believe that the DHS, if willing and able to think creatively, could not reconfigure existing space at either St. Peter or Moose Lake to meet the federal court mandate to offer less-restrictive treatment alternatives. DHS needs to go back to the drawing board and rethink its plans.
KAREN S. LEE, Cambridge, Minn.
The heart of the matter is still being ignored
Yet another allegation of sexual misdeeds of the Catholic clergy hits the headlines (“Under fire, archbishop scrambles to respond,” Oct. 6). There is a glaringly prominent elephant in the room that is being ignored: Did not the Lord God that made us all make us all sexual beings? Why does denying that part of one’s humanity make any of us more holy or closer to our maker? I do not intend to be flippant on this matter, but if priests, popes and other clergy members believe so fervently in the importance of a chaste life, I can see only one way to ensure that, without the strong urges and temptations that lead to scandal. One word: eunuchs. Being such would ensure that their vows would not be compromised, and although seeming severe, would also show a total commitment to their calling. In no way am I advocating this extreme measure, I am merely urging people to consider all aspects of this persistent situation and the realities that are left unsaid.
MARGARET DEHARPPORTE, Eden Prairie
Nature of defeat was misrepresented
As a former Marine infantry officer and Vietnam veteran, allow me to add an asterisk to the Oct. 5 headline “Communist leader defeated both French and Americans.” Although Gen. Vo Nguyen Giap was the architect who defeated the French militarily, he did not defeat Americans militarily. He did defeat America politically.
GARY NASH, Chanhassen
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.