An unpopular move
There was a groundswell of opposition to the transportation bill, and the pressure on the six Republicans who voted to override Gov. Tim Pawlenty's veto came not just from their party caucus but also from their constituents. Many contacted the six to let their views be known. One response to a Minnesotan was a profanity-laced retort that it was none of his business since he didn't live in that representative's district. To me, that was unacceptable -- our representatives not only represent their districts, but the entire state. Their votes affect us all.
These representatives earned the party's endorsement because they pledged to subscribe to the party's platform (regardless of which party). When they do not conform to that platform, they should be held accountable.
Consequently, I approve of House Minority Leader Marty Seifert's action to sanction the six, and so do most of my friends and acquaintances.
DON DAHL, VICTORIA
His next field of play
I nominate Brett Favre for president. The pundits tell us that "toughness" is the critical characteristic a president needs -- much more than judgment and certainly more than wisdom.
Brett is tougher than Hillary Clinton, Barack Obama and John McCain. Any doubt can be removed by a simple test: Have two 300-plus-pound linemen fall on each of them, and then see who emerges from the pileup in the best shape.
Any tendency of Brett to throw errant passes can be corrected by installing "smart bomb" technology.
Run, Brett, run!
JOHN LABRECHE, FRIDLEY
'WHOSE TURN IS IT?'
No time for silly games
The March 2 Star Tribune's Opinion Exchange asks the reader: "Whose turn is it?" Our choices: "The woman's" or "The black man's."
This is, surely, a most pernicious dichotomy. The last thing a presidential campaign deserves is this line of thought.
This is not a time for taking turns. If there is an issue of fairness to consider, it is to banish any thought of gender or ethnicity for all time and concentrate on the relevant qualities of the candidates.
We have immense challenges, with this disastrous war and precarious economy. In addition, the United States is still the world's sole superpower, the country most capable of pursuing courses -- for good or ill -- on a global scale.
JOHN D. HAGEN SR., AUSTIN, MINN.The most qualified
In answer to the question "Whose turn is it?" I'd have thought the answer would be simple: "It's the turn of the one who's more qualified to be president," not "the one whose class has been the victim the longer."
I'd certainly vote for whoever I thought was the more-qualified candidate, regardless of gender or race.
DAVID HOWARD, SHOREVIEW
ST. STEPHEN'S LITURGY
They kept the faith
My heartfelt support -- emotional and spiritual -- goes to the people of St. Stephen's parish who have chosen to relocate their worship service ("The push for conformity shoves away parishioners," March 2).
I know a number of people, myself included, who choose not to support the worship dictates of the men who call themselves our leaders. We have kept our faith, but we have lost our church.
Diocese spokesman Dennis McGrath states that "they had plenty of warnings to get their act together." What a heavy-handed, thuggish way of putting it!
Apparently they did get their act together and found a place where they could celebrate their faith in a way that harmonizes with their values.
SUSAN WEYRAUCH, EDEN PRAIRIEWhose gospel is it?
Let's see if I got this right -- among other things, the parishioners of St. Stephen's Catholic Church thought they, mere mortals, could improve upon the teachings of our creator, our Lord Jesus Christ, and change the words to the prayer that Jesus himself taught us to pray ("Our Father and Mother, Who Art in Heaven"?)
Yikes! Who died and made them God?
JOE AND BECKY EIBENSTEINER,
SAUK CENTRE, MINN.
What would Jesus do? I doubt very much he would alienate devoted followers using tough-guy talk like Dennis McGrath did when he said, "They've had plenty of warning to get their act together." This is the type of intolerant leadership that drives people away from the church.
For many people, congregations such as St. Stephen's and St. Joan of Arc's are their last stop before leaving the church for good. The basic tenets of the Catholic Church are faith, hope and charity, yet for these faithful, it gives no hope or charity.
Would Jesus put more emphasis on carrying out the message of his gospels or following the rubrics?
I think he'd be leading the disenfranchised parishioners out the front door of the church down the road to where faith, hope and charity have real meaning.
JOE BOLLER, MINNEAPOLIS
Self-defense is our duty
The critics of the "Castle Doctrine" miss the obvious point that citizens are, and always have been, primarily responsible for the protection of themselves and their own homes and families ("No need to expand state self-defense laws," March 2).
Police or the government don't "protect" anyone from anyone else. They sweep up after the fact and "punish." By that time, your wife or husband or daughter or son could already be dead.
There is no magnetic force field shielding you from anyone who decides to go nuts at any given time. We need to be able to protect our homes as a first line of defense without being criminalized by our own government or sued by someone injured in the course of attempting to commit a crime.
JANET L. MARVIN, PARK FALLS, WIS.