Obama takes on abortion uproar | May 18, story
Dialogue is needed on abortion
As a lifelong abortion foe and a devout Roman Catholic, I praise the decision of Notre Dame University to invite President Barack Obama to give the commencement speech.
We live in a democracy, a privileged condition that allows us to address our differences in an open forum. The lack of this dialogue has been the worst hindrance to solve the abortion issue, in my opinion. Only by understanding each other and exercising mutual respect we can reach a consensus. More important, I believe that the fight for life should be framed in a philosophy of life that considers any form of human life sacred. As long as the champions of life are the same politicians responsible for unemployment, war, lack of access to health care by indigent mothers and by the working poor, inadequate family time for working parents, treatment of drug addiction with prison time rather than medical care, and the lust for capital punishment, our fight to protect human life won’t have any credibility.
Lodovico Balducci, Tampa
Obama takes on abortion uproar | May 18
Government shouldn’t be involved in the decision
How many children die every day from untreated or inadequate treatment of illnesses because parents can’t afford costs or medical insurance? How many children are in state or foster homes waiting for adoption? How many unwanted children are suffering today because they were born from mothers who were raped or abandoned by fathers who won’t take the responsibility of care and support? How many abortion opponents out there who call abortion murder or baby killing or chant "Stop killing our children" contribute to the welfare of the living neglected children?
However anyone feels about abortion, it should not be open for the public to support or protest and definitely not be a government issue to base law on. The individual, the family and the doctor should be the only ones involved in an abortion decision.
An abortion to some people may seem like a cruel and unjustified act, but to me allowing a child to be born starting to realize life and then begin suffering through it is much more cruel than allowing the child not to realize life at all.
Jack Burlakos, Kenneth City
An illogical idea
I’m sorry, but all these "life begins at conception" arguments are sheer nonsense. Killing a cluster of cells that has the potential of becoming human life is not the same as killing a human being. Here is a reductio ad absurdum argument for all the extreme prolifers. With modern cloning technology, a simple skin cell is a potential baby. Where do prolife people stand on removing a wart or a mole? Are dermatologists the latest in the long list of baby killers?
As a private institution of higher learning, Notre Dame has a right to invite whomever it pleases, and the public has a right to approve or disapprove of Notre Dame’s decision to invite President Barack Obama to make a speech. However, if Notre Dame had buckled under the objections of the prolifers, the university would have backed itself into a logical corner from which there is no escape and would have marked itself as an institution doomed to increasing irrelevancy by its illogical ideology.
Robert Austin, Seminole
Stealing the spotlight
Both the University of Notre Dame leaders and President Barack Obama have lost sight of the reason for a graduation ceremony: to celebrate the commencement of the graduates as they transition to their careers or to graduate school. The focus should be on the students and their accomplishments.
The Notre Dame leaders were remiss in choosing a speaker who took the spotlight off of the students and indeed may have caused students consternation because the speaker holds beliefs contrary to those they have learned in their church and university.
President Obama was remiss in making a commencement service into a political statement — totally inappropriate for that setting. Had he taken the high road of declining the invitation, he would have been a wiser man and certainly would have made it clear that this was not a time for him to challenge students’ beliefs. Rather this was an event to celebrate with students.
Esther Oliver, Clearwater
GOP says gay marriage costs | May 17
Admittedly, I feel a little silly responding to a quote from Republican National Committee Chairman Michael Steele, but his recent one regarding gay marriage and how it will cost employers struck me as being unusually "dumb." Is Steele actually recommending that people should not get married because if they do this will cause an additional expense to an employer’s health care plan? I guess he is also recommending people not have children because this will be an added burden to employer health care plans. And for sure, adoption must also be out because this will add another "financial responsibility" to an employer?
Richard Feigel, Clearwater
Out-of-wedlock births soaring | May 14, story
Parents should be married
Some 40 percent of babies born in the United States in 2007 were born to unmarried mothers. In 1960 the rate was about 5 percent. Yet your story does not regard this with particular alarm although outcomes for such children, as a group, tend to be far worse than for children of parents who remain married until the children are grown.
But liberal views about unmarried mothers are like conservative views on gun control. Both focus on the concerns of political activists and the damage done to society is ignored. In both instances the affluent tend to be unharmed by the situation while the brunt of the problem afflicts impoverished minorities. Marriage has become concerned primarily with the welfare of adults, rather than being about raising families. We must change the legal rules so that couples having children are strongly encouraged to be married, while married couples are encouraged to stay married. Not being married after couples have children must be legally regarded as a serious flaw in at least one of the two partners.
Arthur Volbert, St. Petersburg