Letters to the Editor: February 27, 2022
The warnings are there: has the common sense concerning the movement of trains disappeared?
I have read and heard of accidents and deaths on the tracks of these trains. First, I was against the whole project and expressed my opinions many times with letters to this publication and meetings.
However, this is now a reality and I wonder if common sense has disappeared. The majority of these “accidents” are self-caused. I don’t know what the thrill is of driving around closed doors with flashing red lights and warning sounds. I don’t like the fact that the trains rush through the neighborhoods either, but it seems stupid to risk your life to try to gain (what?) two minutes.
Ellen Luz Ramil, Stuart
The early years of our nation were a mixture of different cultural traditions
In our Declaration of Independence, Jefferson repeatedly cites a higher authority, the God of Nature, to justify the settlers’ rejection of King, God, and Country. The God of nature, superior to the inferior gods of religious sects, is a deistic concept where the intentions of God are elucidated by reason. By reason, Jefferson divined the wishes of the God of Nature and found that they perfectly combined his rhetorical needs. After the revolution, we formed a republic based on Athenian democracy. The structure of our government was modeled on that of the Iroquois Confederacy. In its early days, America was an amalgam of Deist, Greek, and Native American influences.
Perhaps frightened by their new freedoms, the period of the Second Great Awakening began soon after the revolution and the influence of traditional religious sects flourished. This period also gave rise to white America’s divine blessing, Manifest Destiny. In the mid-1800s, religious beliefs divided Americans into two camps, one favoring emancipation (equality), the other slavery (inequality or white supremacy). Despite fierce battles, both traditions remain viable today.
Historically deadly enemies, certain fundamentalist Christian, Catholic and Jewish sects, have coalesced into a cohesive political force. Their Messiah seeks to return America to its imagined glory days by shamelessly repackaging and resurrecting the lost cause.
Their lawyers use originalism to recast the law. Their theologians study the Bible like well-paid defense lawyers, looking for magic phrases to sanctify their wickedness. Their historians claim Christianity as the foundation of America seemingly without noticing the neoclassical Greco-Roman architecture of our capital.
Religion has always been a driving force in human events. But for too many people, religion is nothing more than alchemy, turning divine ideas into justifications for their heart’s desire. The message of their God is: “Blessed art thou! For me, divine insight transforms us through love into someone more caring and compassionate and less needy.
Ric StangeFort Pierce
The return of imperialism
Yes, history always seems to repeat itself. Imperialism returns with the invasion of Ukraine by Vladimir Putin. For those of you who were alive or read world history, World War II began the same way with Hitler invading neighboring nations and World War I with the Kaiser’s desire for an empire.
More recently, Barack Obama allowed Putin to have Crimea, so naturally Putin wants the rest of Ukraine. Donald Trump did nothing; and Joe Biden said from the start that he would not commit troops. Of course, many Americans had never heard of Ukraine before the takeover of Crimea. So what’s the next step?
Obviously, Putin wants all the Baltic states back in his empire. We will see, not immediately, the same thing that happened in Crimea in another country bordering Russia.
We think about canceling student loans, massive social projects, caring about fairness in everything, being politically correct, etc. We better spend our money improving our nuclear power and our weapons, because at some point we may need them. It’s obvious to everyone except the politicians that sanctions don’t do much.
Edward Marasi, Port Saint Lucie
Legislators must be prepared to answer questions about the education laws they pass
The Florida House recently passed two bills dealing with education, titled Individual Liberty and Parental Rights. These are HB 7, dealing with teaching about race and gender, and HB 1557, dealing with gender identity and sexual orientation in elementary school.
These bills may have passed as you read this letter. So I have two questions that our legislators should answer for those who teach our children. First, does HB 1557 prohibit a kindergarten or first grade teacher from reading a book about a family with two mothers or two fathers if there is a child from such a family in the class? If not, why not? and if so, how is the teacher supposed to answer questions children may have without breaking the law?
Second, can a high school civics or history teacher explore American history through the development of the right to vote or lack thereof, from white male landowners in the 1700s to the Right to Right Act of 1965? to vote? Or will it embarrass students who will learn that for most of this country’s history, women and black people have been excluded from voting and, in many cases, actively prevented from voting by legislation and violence ? See, for example, the story of Harry T. Moore, who blew up on Christmas Day with his wife after working to register black voters in what is now Brevard County.
Current events would be best served by researching and debating the history of the vote and the implications of recent election legislation in Florida and other states, with students delving into arguments for and against. Critical thinking is the most important outcome of a good upbringing and it is only through fact-based learning and discussion that this skill can be developed.
Mary-Win OBrien, Stuart