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The Readers’ Forum

The Readers' Forum: Sunday letters

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EPA limits

The Supreme Court ruling limiting the power of the Environmental Protection Agency to curb greenhouse gases was not a huge shock (“Authority scaled back,” July 1). It is certainly a setback to our environmental health in America.

Climate change requires us to do everything we can to clean our atmosphere from greenhouse gases. Luckily there is some legislation that can do just that without relying on the EPA. That bill is the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. By putting a fee on carbon where it is extracted and where it enters America, then dispensing those fees to American families, we can improve the lives of families, create jobs and fight climate change all without relying on the EPA for help. I’m very proud that my U.S. representative, Kathy Manning, is a cosponsor of the bill. Here’s to hoping that Sens. Richard Burr and Thom Tillis will help us combat climate and support the EICDA.

Debra Demske


Bible verses

I am a Christian, but grow weary of seeing The Readers’ Forum letters from writers using Bible verses to validate their social and political views/beliefs. To use the Bible as absolute certainty relating to specific social issues is a slippery slope. The Book of Genesis defines creation taking place in seven days. That alone should be evidence that God may have used some “literary license.”

There are countless Bible translations and interpretations and more than 200 Christian denominations in the U.S. alone. Each has its own biblical perspective, which makes me hesitant to quote any one verse or passage in a nonsectarian newspaper. The one exception might be Mathew 22:36-40: “‘Teacher, what is the greatest commandment in the Law?’ Jesus replied: ‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and soul, and mind. This is the first and greatest commandment. And this second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.’ All the Law and the Prophets hang on these two commandments.”

We are fortunate to live in a county with freedom of religion as well as freedom from religion, if one so chooses. If you’re one of the more than 10% of Americans estimated to be agnostics or atheists, you get a pass on loving God. However, “loving your neighbor as yourself” would go a long way to solving most, if not all, of our social problems regardless of religious beliefs.

Ken Burkel


Life and liberty

When a pro-choice person makes the “my body, my choice” argument and never mentions that at some point prior to birth, a separate human’s body must be considered, I discount their argument as unserious.

When a pro-life person makes the “human from conception” argument and never considers how invasive the government must be to insert itself at the moment of conception, I discount their argument as unrealistic.

Abortion is a uniquely difficult issue because the high values of life and liberty (privacy) collide when two people reside in the same body. To balance those high values, the best way forward seems to be offering a “period of privacy” (perhaps 13 weeks) during which issues such as rape, incest, failed birth control, etc., can be remedied as a private matter.

After that generous timeframe, when multiple ovulation cycles should have left no doubt as to the existence of a second human growing inside, society has an obligation to protect that baby’s right to life by restricting abortion. Of course, severe medical reasons could necessitate a later abortion, but the baby’s interests should be independently represented at those later stages.

Now that the issue of abortion has clearly been reserved to the states, I would ask all who value life and liberty to lobby our General Assembly to properly balance these high values with a decent period of privacy, and thereafter a vigilant defense of emerging life.

Robert Watson



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