It's not about tolerance, but doing right thing
I would hope that a philosophy student would receive an "F" if he or she turned in a paper as poorly written as retired Prof. Richard Berquist's recent commentary ("Gay marriage would actually discriminate," Nov. 1)
He argues that society shouldn't recognize gay marriage because homosexuals can't procreate. But for heterosexual relationships with no potential for procreation -- either by choice or circumstance -- he says, "the law can only go so far," and any "attempt to ascertain the capabilities and motivation of individual couples would be impractical and an intolerable invasion of privacy."
The complete lack of logic to arrive at such a conclusion can only lead me to believe Berquist writes from a completely discriminatory thought process. As if that isn't bad enough, he fails to acknowledge that homosexuals do procreate either by insemination or surrogate and are raising their children without the benefits and protections of marriage.
STEVE MILLIKAN, MINNEAPOLIS
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Much has been said about Republicans not caring about the rights of minorities. Most recently, some say that they are intolerant of homosexuals. The proposed amendment to limit marriage between a man and a woman isn't about intolerance, but rather about doing things according to God's plan, as explained in the Bible.
In Mark 10:6-8, Jesus tells the Pharisees, "But at the beginning of creation, God made them male and female. For this reason, a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh." With marriage, the Bible makes the connection between a man and a woman. The proposed amendment isn't about lack of tolerance or hatred, but about striving to do the right thing.
PETE GILLQUIST, ARDEN HILLS
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Future generations are being crippled by credit
It's our responsibility to make sure that the education we wanted for our children and grandchildren doesn't cost them their future. This lifetime of payments has to stop. How can they contribute to the economy, their futures and that of their children if they are forced to live in or near poverty to pay off a debt that continues to grow. The ease of filing for bankruptcy and living off credit cards is part of the problem. I need help for grandchildren who are working everyday to become responsible citizens but are depressed over mountains of debt that they cannot pay off until they are senior citizens.
BARBARA VALENCOUR, BLOOMINGTON
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Lots to give thanks for in storm's aftermath
Along with millions of people, I've been watching the coverage of the disaster wrought by Hurricane Sandy and worrying about family members out East. I'm thankful for the quick and effective response by the government. While I don't want to politicize the disaster, I do have to wonder what would have happened if Mitt Romney were president and had acted on his 2011 promise to dismantle the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and leave the states to provide their own disaster relief.
THERESA NELSON, ST. PAUL
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Drive defensively and avoid tailgating
There has been much attention paid to the driver who ran out of gas on Interstate 494, which triggered a pileup that resulted in the death of a Minneapolis cab driver ("Cabbie killed in crash on I-494," Oct. 30). Granted, the driver who caused the tragedy was using a revoked license and sounds far from being a good role model.
At the same time, let us be reminded by this tragedy to drive carefully and to avoid tailgating. It's not uncommon to drive up upon vehicles stopped ahead on the freeway. Pay attention and keep your mind on the driving. Keep a safe distance from the car ahead, as it might have to slam on the brakes for one reason or another.
DAVID STACK, MINNEAPOLIS
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Reactions to paper's legislative selections
I have voted in every election for the past 52 years. My right to vote carries with it the responsibility to choose a candidate who understands the issues, who strives to serve the community and who represents the people of the area.
Peter Fischer is such a candidate. He's been a resident of this area for his entire life; he understands the issues facing his district; he is an advocate for social justice, human rights and environmental concerns, and he has repeatedly demonstrated his commitment to service in the community.
In endorsing his opponent ("A mix of old, new in legislative picks," Nov. 1), the Star Tribune Editorial Board admits that she is less qualified and has less understanding of the issues affecting our community. And yet, it supports her so that she can have a training ground for a career in politics?
Wait until she has lived here for a while; wait until her children have attended our public schools, wait until she has been active in the community. I will be voting for Peter Fischer, a community leader who is qualified to represent House District 43A.
JUDITH JOHANNESSEN, MAPLEWOOD
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After reading that my opponent for state Senate District 57 "easily" won endorsement because I had declined the request for an Editorial Board interview ("Pragmatists emerge in legislative races," Oct. 31), I called the editors -- and appreciate the chance to clarify. Lessons learned as a business owner, college educator, insurance agent, bank vice president and inner-city pastor taught me there is more to every story than meets the eye.
It was my pastoral duties that caused me to miss the interview that day; I had been called to assist a family whose son had tragically committed suicide. As a police chaplain in both Burnsville and Ramsey County, I've had similar calls in every conceivable circumstance over the years -- including being one of the first responders to the Interstate 35W bridge collapse.
I've got a business background but understand compassion and the need for government to lend a helping -- but limited -- hand to those in need. I respect my opponent, but I'll keep a lid on his party's out-of-control spending that is dragging down middle-class families. When it comes to compassion, I'll see my own face in each and every one those who are in need.
PAT HALL, APPLE VALLEY