The issues raised by the July 17 article “Many in state GOP face test of faith” were addressed very well in the editorial cartoon in the same day’s newspaper. I’m hoping the Minnesota delegates have “faith” that the GOP will not continue in its bigoted, homophobic, masochistic, anti-science, anti-worker ways. Perhaps delegates and voters are ignorant of what the Republican Party platform says or are rejecting the evidence of the words in the platform.

I was a staunch Republican until the party was taken over by the dominionists, fundamentalists, Tea Party and pro-birthers (who don’t seem the least interested in life after birth). I am somewhat pro-life — use sex education and birth control to prevent unwanted pregnancies. On the other hand, Congress stalls on Zika funding by adding poison pills (defunding birth control and health care for women). There is no talk of funds to support families with a Zika-deformed child. Pro-life supporters all seem strangely silent on the issue of birth control and abortion for Zika women.

So, I would ask Minnesota Republicans to look at the evidence. Look at actions, not necessarily words. What do the GOP nominees both national and local really believe? What is the evidence of their beliefs and their actions? Instead of faith, I would ask you to look at all of the evidence, not just some divisive or fearmongering words. Don’t let faith get in the way of reason and evidence.

Bob Skrentner, Edina

• • •

For several years, Donald Trump made a reputation by demanding that President Obama produce his birth certificate so he could prove he was qualified to be in the Oval Office. Trump also states that he is a successful businessman, a multibillionaire, and that he gives millions of dollars to charities. This is what makes him qualified to be president, he says. But he refuses to make public his tax returns to prove it.

Now that he is being anointed the Republican nominee for the presidency, it is time he produces his tax returns, so we, the American public, can know for sure that he is who he says he is and that he fits the qualifications he has laid out for himself.

What was good for the goose then is good for the gander now.

Irving Kellman, Plymouth

• • •

The “60 Minutes” interview of Donald Trump and his new running mate, Mike Pence, by Lesley Stahl was very interesting. Here are my two impressions: First, Pence is a suck-up. He agreed with Trump on everything, even issues he had previously disagreed with, for example, trade agreements. Now Trump is “this great man,” the “next president of the United States.” Remember brownie points? Pence is really working to get his!

Second, Trump interrupted several times to answer questions that Stahl directly asked Pence. Trump didn’t trust him to answer correctly, he didn’t listen, he talked way too much and he never thoughtfully considered the questions. He ran his mouth.

How will this duo listen to world leaders? How will they consider all of the sides of the serious questions? Trump had pat answers, and when asked if he really wanted to be president, he said he wanted to keep Americans safe and be great again, but never said how.

Mary Lu Jackson, Bloomington

• • •

When considering who among the candidates is best suited to become our next president, I believe everyone’s first point of assessment should be which one is best qualified to have his/her finger on the nuclear trigger. That said, Turner Classic Movies will be showing, at 12:45 p.m. Saturday, the 1964 film “Dr. Strangelove or: How I Learned to Stop Worrying and Love The Bomb.” The capsule description of this film is: “A mad general orders an airstrike against Russia.” General or president, I don’t want to mention any names or point fingers, but …

Willard B. Shapira, Roseville


Whatever the weapon or mode, changes can be made

Why wasn’t I surprised that a letter writer (July 16) would write in after the attack in Nice, France, to defend the Second Amendment with the paraphrased standard argument: “Trucks don’t kill people. People kill people”?

Would he have used the 9/11 attacks to make a similar flippant remark about airplanes and box-cutters?

Changes have been made that make it less likely that many people will die as a result of an airplane being used as a weapon.

Changes can be made to make it less likely that a truck will be allowed access to large crowds in order to kill.

Changes can be made to make it less likely that a gun can be used to kill dozens of people in a single setting.

No law-abiding citizen is losing his/her Second Amendment rights as the result of the terrible slaughter in Nice.

James M. Halvorson, Farmington


Service-minded people may be less likely to pursue this career

I’m curious how the recent shootings of police officers might affect the number of qualified candidates going forward. A quick search reveals that an average salary for a cop is around $50,000. Starting salary is closer to $40,000. To me, that’s not worth the madness of such a high-stress job. And good luck saving money or staying out of debt with that income.

In 1991, when I was 17, I was committed to following my parents’ path of service by joining the Air Force until I saw the tracers being fired from the tops of buildings in Baghdad. The reality didn’t meet my fantasy, and I immediately changed my mind with no regrets. It’s possible that service-driven young people who want to become police officers potentially may be having a similar experience.

Chris Schneider, Minneapolis

• • •

Well before Matthew Gerald joined the Baton Rouge Police Department, he served in the Marine Corps and then in the Army. In the Army, he was a Black Hawk crew chief in my old unit: Stetson Troop, Fourth Squadron, Third Armored Cavalry Regiment. He deployed multiple times, and like all crew chiefs, he did the work of two soldiers. He worked long hours maintaining the helicopter, then took a seat behind the machine gun for more long hours of missions. But he survived all of that only to be senselessly gunned down wearing a different uniform in America. He was one of the three police officers killed on Sunday in Baton Rouge.

I remember the joy and excitement in his eyes as we drove along one day and he was telling us about his home state of Louisiana. Through his thick Cajun accent, he insisted that we’d all get together on the lake and enjoy the ride, since he would serve as our captain. I could almost see the sun glistening along the water as he talked. I’ll think of him the next time I’m on the water.

If you’re wondering what you can do, or if you’re sadly concluding there’s little you can do, I have an idea. What people like Matthew Gerald do for a living is work to safeguard their communities. So I challenge you to do something for your community. Make it better. Make it happier. Maybe you’ll help someone less fortunate. Maybe you’ll help organize a fun and unifying event. Maybe you’ll find your own way to get involved. But do something. Step out of your home and engage your community. You matter. You reflect Matthew Gerald.

Amir Gharbi, Edina