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Southern Baptists show love for the Earth

Southern Baptist leaders sign environment vow | March 9, story

Southern Baptists show love for the Earth
Hooray for the Southern Baptist leaders who courageously signed a declaration that said their denomination has been "too timid" on environmental issues and has a biblical duty to stop global warming. The last Southern Baptist statement on global warming in 2007 questioned the belief that humans are largely to blame for climate change. So, why did these leaders change?

Here's the rest of the story: Jonathan Merritt, a student at Southeastern Baptist Theological Seminary, said a theology class had inspired him. One of his professors had compared destroying God's creation to "tearing a page out of the Bible." "That struck me. It broke me," Merritt said. "That was the impetus that began a life change, a shift of perspective for me."

Merritt, 25, son of former Southern Baptist Convention president James Merritt, began rallying denominational leaders to take a different approach.

I hope Sen. Mel Martinez is listening. His was a pivotal vote to give our tax dollars yet again to big oil companies, rather than use those funds to develop clean energy. Now, a core part of Sen. Martinez's constituency is awakening to the moral challenge to care for, not continue to pollute, creation.

Young Jonathan Merritt's efforts are a reminder to us all to never question what just one person can do to help turn the corner on climate change.

The Rev. Warren Clark, Tampa
New smog standards

Focus on emissions first

I recently read about how new EPA standards could possibly increase gas prices 5-6 cents a gallon. The cost is for reformulated, cleaner burning gas. Why?

I certainly understand it's a step, but if our citizens and leaders really care about air quality, why not set standards for emissions? Instead of just requiring cleaner burning fuel, why not make sure it actually has an effect instead of paying more for gas and just hoping that does the trick? Why not have state inspections with required emissions testing?

Without measuring what comes out of Florida vehicles and into the air, how can we attempt to even comply with air quality standards?

Daniel Koller, Tampa

Smog added to area hit list | March 14, story

Another Bush legacy

Friday morning's story about smog being a fresh concern in the Tampa Bay area brought back memories of 1999 and Gov. Jeb Bush's first legislative session, where he stripped the state of Florida of emissions testing because it was a hassle.

Chalk this up as another ideological failing of the Bush legacy in Florida, where shortsightedness was a priority.

John Fontana, Palm Harbor

Go back to 55 mph

In the '70s we had an oil crisis. President Richard Nixon proposed a 55 mph speed limit and Congress made it law for federal highways. The country used about 20 percent less oil. It stayed that way for about 14 years.

We need to do that again. A 55 mph speed limit may seem slow to many and it will take longer to get to where you are going, but it is maybe 10 minutes out of an hour. Also, highway accidents went down with a 55 mph speed limit. We are in a crisis.

Gene Kannee, Sun City Center

Shift work hours and save

During this time of rising costs and traffic congestion, it might be good to increase the use of 10-hour work days four days per week.

Places that need to be open five days per week (or more) could still give employees an extra day off during the week.

This could result in reduced traffic congestion, and provide an advantage for companies with limited parking, as well as easing congestion on streets and highways during rush hour. This could reduce energy consumption and may reduce accidents.

This sounds like a win/win solution. 10/4?

Carl E. Graham, Largo

Selfish seniors | March 8, letter

Buying quality

A recent letter criticized Americans for owning foreign cars. The writer said it is not patriotic.

If American cars were built as well as Japanese and German vehicles, I would buy one.

The American cars have gotten better only because the need to compete with the better foreign product has forced American automakers to improve. I've sold Chevrolets and Dodges. The GM cars are better than the Chryslers, but they don't hold a candle to a Honda, Toyota or Nissan.

Many of these cars are made in American-based production plants, but to a better quality standard.

I work hard for my money and refuse to throw it away on a product that does not meet the quality standards that I have come to expect from my Honda.

Michael Mirra, Holiday

Why McCain should worry women | March 9, Robyn Blumner column

Debate will go on

I found it interesting that Robyn Blumner, in bashing Sen. John McCain's antiabortion position, referred to McCain's Web site to support contentions such as "McCain is as ideological as any Operation Rescue activist crawling around in front of an abortion clinic."

When I visited McCain's Web site and read what his beliefs are regarding abortion, I was left with the impression that McCain is not remotely the zealot Blumner would have her readers believe.

It is true that McCain advocates the overturning of Roe vs. Wade, and his Web site otherwise makes clear that he is personally opposed to abortion. However, the site also notes: "Constitutional balance would be restored by the reversal of Roe vs. Wade returning the abortion question to individual states. The difficult issue of abortion should not be decided by judicial fiat."

If McCain were aligned with the Operation Rescue activists, he would want the abortion issue to end with a reversal of Roe vs. Wade. He would not suggest that the issue then be left to the states.

Even if Roe vs. Wade were one day overturned, the abortion debate will by no means be over. Many, if not all, of the states will then take up the issue, as McCain recognizes. Too bad that notion is nowhere to be found in Blumner's column.

Bruce Barnes, Safety Harbor

Why McCain should worry women | March 9, Robyn Blumner column

Choices are there

I heartily disagree with Robyn Blumner's perspective. First, with or without Roe vs. Wade, women today do have "choice" as to whether they are to be emancipated "& from the slavery of the womb &" There are numerous contraceptive pills, foams and devices, as well as condoms, on the open market that allow a woman to "choose" not to be pregnant in the first place. Of course, it takes a certain level of planning (as in family planning) for them to have any effect at all.

Despite Blumner's contempt for abstinence as a form of birth control, it is still the only 100 percent-effective means of avoiding not only sexually transmitted diseases but also unwanted pregnancies.

Jerry Rigby, St. Petersburg

Why McCain should worry women | March 9, Robyn Blumner column

Deciding factor

I want to thank Robyn Blumner for writing this column. I was indecisive regarding the candidates, but now I know that Sen. John McCain is the only candidate I can vote for, since Blumner pointed out his support for all the unborn babies and for women in general with his prolife stand.

We need a good strong person in the White House to make serious and demanding decisions for our country. Blumner showed that McCain is the one.

Virginia Bronga, Largo

Southern Baptists show love for the Earth 03/16/08 [Last modified: Thursday, October 28, 2010 9:39am]

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