Readers Write (May 9): Death penalty, abortion, public prayer, Vikings stadium, diversity and 'micro' aggression

  • Updated: May 8, 2014 - 7:29 PM

It’s possible to find a consistent ethic on human life.

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‘DONE IN YOUR NAME’

Against death penalty, abortion? Consistency

I was pleasantly surprised to see the two May 7 commentaries on the death penalty and abortion, respectively (“What’s being done in your name”). Both did an excellent job of explaining both the ineffectiveness and the injustice of these very pivotal issues. Add to that the very frightening escalation of violent crimes involving guns, and any reasonable person would have cause for alarm.

I once had the pleasure of working on a project with the late U.S. Rep. Jim Oberstar that covered several life issues. Some may express surprise that one with the liberal views he had could be so pro-life. The answer is simple: Abortion is not a liberal/conservative issue, but a human-rights issue. Oberstar was Consistent Life Ethic — just like me.

Kay Kemper, Crystal

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Mike Farrell, author of the May 7 commentary about the death penalty, seems to think that by executing a murderer, the state is also committing murder, but that is not true. There is a world of difference between depriving an innocent person of his life and punishing a murderer by taking his life.

There are some people for whom no other penalty makes sense. People who have committed heinous, premeditated murders and about whose guilt there is no doubt. One such person is Dzhokhar Tsarnaev, who killed four people and injured 264 at the Boston Marathon in 2013.

Timothy McVeigh was another person who deserved capital punishment. He killed 168 people and injured more than 600 in Oklahoma City in 1995. There was no doubt about his guilt.

In such egregious cases, capital punishment should be an option.

James Brandt, New Brighton

 

‘IN THE NAME OF GOD’

Prayers have no place in U.S. government

At more than 75 years of age, I didn’t think I’d see a day when the United States could go backward in time while going forward toward a theocracy (“Green light on prayer gets ‘amen’ from cities,” May 8). Without credible evidence of higher deities, we now have officials of all ranks claiming they need prayer for guidance. I’d question their capability to do their jobs in the first place. And I cannot see that this was a case worthy of Supreme Court consideration.

The Supreme Court has just moved us toward countries where supreme religious leaders are the rulers. This kind of mythological mentality doesn’t belong in this country, forefathers notwithstanding.

Richard Segers, Savage

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