I read with interest Jean Hopfensperger's article ("Where do young adults find meaning?" Oct. 19) on the trend of young adults leaving organized religion. The major reason behind this trend, according to a survey taken last year, was that young adults "disagree with/don't accept church teachings."
In my view, this is not surprising at all. Young people are much more open than those of previous generations to relating with other people in an open, nonjudgmental and nondiscriminatory manner. Many organized religions are imbued with attitudes, norms or restrictions that do not support this need for today's young people to interact with others in a nonracist, nonsexist and nonjudgmental way.
Young people also strive to live ethical lives. They understand that the Earth is the only home we have and that greed and corruption will make this home unlivable if current trends are not stopped — and reversed. They see the current administration in Washington as the enabler of the oil, mining, timber and other extractive industries that are laying waste to the environment. And it is clear to anybody who cares to look that the main political support for this administration is the organized, evangelical Christian community.
Secular and humanist values of inclusion, social justice and environmentalism are an alternative to the political and economic forces today that are dividing this nation and despoiling the planet. We see more and more young people today coming to the conclusion that these are the values that they want to adopt.
Harlan Garbell, Minneapolis
The writer is president of HumanistsMN.
What exactly is his strategy?
In regard to abandoning the Kurds, President Donald Trump said, "It's not our border — we shouldn't be losing lives over it."
Mr. Trump, just to let you know, we have a border here in this country where lives are being lost because of your policy. And inside our borders we are losing people every day — to the opioid crisis, to guns, to corporations shilling tobacco products to our children in any form, to the racism in this country that doesn't seem to bother you, to the sexism killing and threatening the LGBTQ community, to people dying from lack of affordable health care, to people losing family and home to bigger and more devastating natural disasters because you and your party for years have denied climate change and its inevitable effects.
So really, borders mean nothing to you, anyway, regarding losing lives. What is your real excuse in pulling out of Syria? Trump Tower in Turkey? Trump Tower in Russia? For that matter, Trump Tower in Ukraine? In North Korea?
Elizabeth Rosenwinkel, Minneapolis
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A substantial number of Americans seem to enjoy entertainment over serious inquiry. We have a president who appeals to them. This is not surprising as the former is easier and more fun. The latter is harder and requires thought and dialogue. This man is not a leader because leaders have a vision of a better America and articulate this in an inspirational and compelling manner, and then appoint talented people to execute it. Nor is he even a good politician, for he insults those with whom he needs to work. He is, however, a very good entertainer, but that is not in the position description for our presidency.
Trump recently said, "It's much easier being presidential. All you have to do is act like a stiff" ("Trump Show is losing the capacity to surprise," Oct. 19). I'm afraid he seriously underestimates the job.
His term passed 1,000 days last week. That's a good run for a reality show. We've seen enough. It is time to cancel the show and get someone with a worldview that transcends the latest Twitter posting. There seems to be a rising tide of opinion that supports this.
Tom Thiss, Excelsior
OK, moderates, open your wallets
I am a supporter of Sen. Amy Klobuchar, not affiliated with the campaign in any way except as a frequent donor. I agree most wholeheartedly with the Star Tribune Editorial Board's position that "voters should give Klobuchar a look" (Oct. 20). The editorial goes on: "We hope the rest of the country will get a chance to see the candidate" and to hear what one legislator called her "common-sense solutions to our problems that bring people together and not divide them." This may not be "the flashiest message on the trail, but it is one that deserves to be heard and carefully weighed."
However, this can happen only if Klobuchar has enough money to spread her message nationwide. If you hold middle-of-the-road views, can't see Medicare for All as the only solution to our health care problems, want reasoned tax policy to benefit everyone, not just the rich or big business, etc., please help promote her moderate message with a donation of any size. It would be devastating for the Democratic selection process if Klobuchar were not on the debate stage in November. She can get there if she can advertise.
Elaine Frankowski, Minneapolis
Wanted: Men who listen, own up
I am not happy that former Sen. Al Franken resigned. I am also not happy about how he is so defensive when confronted by evidence of putting his own interests above women and girls ("Still angry, but getting happier," Oct. 20).
His spouse, friends and staff knew who he was, Franken says. So is an admission and apology no longer necessary? Feeling bad that he "must have been doing something" to make women uncomfortable does not portray understanding, nor is it an apology.
Because I think highly of him, I waited for Franken to set an example for others. He disappointed me.
The notion of removing men from positions for any and all transgressions just isn't an effective, satisfying or realistic solution. We need good men, and most of them are good. But to move past the abuse, good men must see what has been done and stop long enough to listen. They must be curious. Feel the tragedy. Apologize with a soft heart for actions and inaction. Check their egos. Good men make mistakes, and admitting that doesn't make them bad.
To do less harm: Apologize, dedicate oneself to repair and prevention. But lacking perfection, know that against one's best efforts, one will need to apologize again and again for the ingrained effects of sexism. A good man like Franken will need to rededicate himself again and again to repairing and eliminating all the hurt that has been, and is still, carried by women and girls.
Marynia Wronski, Minneapolis
While we're at it, let's beautify more
More public restrooms, while desperately needed, are likely to be eyesores. So I applaud an Oct. 19 letter writer's suggestion to double the public benefit by turning the exteriors into sites for public art ("Let's make this an occasion for art").
I'd also like to offer up the unfortunately abundant supply of ugly stairwells at parking ramps and within buildings as additional sites for public art.
If these stairwells were beautified, this might encourage more people to take the stairs instead of the elevators and help improve both mental health as well as physical fitness.
Nahid Khan, Brooklyn Center
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