Readers Write: (Oct. 12): Terrorism, homelessness, sugar policy

  • Updated: October 11, 2013 - 6:27 PM

Religion doesn’t cause terror; tyranny causes terror.


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Don’t blame religion; blame policy, tyranny

It’s difficult to know how to respond to the Oct. 4 Letter of the Day (“Let’s admit the underlying factor that motivates terrorism.” If one denies that some “bright, motivated and successful” young Muslims are turning to violence, it would be a lie. If one suggests that this behavior may be the result not of religion, as our letter writer declares, but of a foreign policy that has run amok, one is called unpatriotic — at best.

President Obama is continuing and finessing the Bush doctrine, as in “we can and will do anything for resources, anywhere in the world.” I sympathize with Muslim Americans. We’ve imploded the Middle East with our endless, quasi-legal actions. And I believe that Islam is, at heart, a religion of peace.

GRACE HEITKAMP, Lonsdale, Minn.

• • •

It is not uncommon for tyrants to invoke terrorism. Machiavelli told us that power comes from fear, which is invoked from terror. When Moses killed 200,000 Canaanites and stole their gold, silver, livestock and young women, he professed that God told him to do it. Moses co-opted his religion to advance personal gains. When the emperor Constantine conquered the Byzantine empire, and switched Byzantium to Constantinople, he co-opted Christianity to get a city named for himself. All under the banner of the cross.

We see the same thing in our own country. The Ku Klux Klan invokes protestant Christianity, places crosses on sheets and burns crosses to frighten minorities. It co-opts Christianity to further its own bigoted goals.

We even have a recent president who implied that God told him to bomb a certain country.

When Pope Innocent III encouraged the Crusades and the Inquisition, he co-opted Christianity. Under the guise of religion, extreme cruelty was performed.

When Osama bin Laden flew airplanes into our buildings, he co-opted Allah to warrant his terror.

Please do not blame religious ideology for the acts listed above. When we execute someone in an electric chair, we do not blame Edison.

Michael D. Hoy, Excelsior


Focus on the kids, and on supportive housing

As the CEO of People Serving People — the region’s largest and most comprehensive family focused homeless shelter — I see the current trends regarding homelessness first hand every day (“More are homeless, despite the recovery,” editorial, Oct. 9). Ten percent of Minneapolis public school students are considered homeless or highly mobile. While largely invisible to many of us, homeless children with families represent the fastest-growing homeless trend in the state. If we’re going to get serious about ending the cycle, we have to focus on the kids.

Last year, more than 2,000 homeless children stayed at People Serving People — an increase over the previous year, and a trend that we continue to see today. While single men are the most visible reminder to us of a growing homeless population, if you really want to see the new face of homelessness, it’s that of a 6-year-old staying at People Serving People and attending a Minneapolis public school with your kids every day.

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