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Tuesday letters: Atheists seem intent on causing disruption

Dispute is over "One nation under …" | March 5, story

There's an intention to disrupt

It is incomprehensible to me that the "sensibilities" of nonbelievers could be offended over and over again by the mention of an entity in which they do not believe. It's ludicrous!

If, indeed, it is not the intention of this group of atheists to disrupt, then why can't they be silent for the fraction of a sec- ond that it takes others to intone the words "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance to the flag? They have the right to decline participation in both prayer and pledge.

The reported fact that the Atheists of Florida have plans to target Pinellas Park, Clearwater and other Pinellas County cities in addition to Tampa and Lakeland tells me it is their intention to disrupt and to try to force their unbelief on the majority.

Sally Martin, Tampa

Bad examples

In regard to the atheists trying to block out "under God" in the Pledge of Allegiance: Is that all they have to worry about?

What about our right to leave it in the pledge. They have no right to block us. What's wrong with people today! No wonder there is unrest in our schools. They see and hear the adults.

Dorathy Spall, St. Petersburg

Dispute is over "One nation under …" March 5, story

The pledge is divisive; we should let it fade away

Controversy has often erupted at pledge recitations since the infamous phrase "under God" was inserted into the Pledge of Allegiance by Congress in response to lobbying by a Catholic pressure group. Since that 1954 action, the pledge has divided, not united, Americans. It has also exposed our phony religiosity.

My view is similar to Carl Sagan's: The pledge was bad before 1954; "under God" only made it worse. It would be better if citizens did not pledge to a flag at all. If we must pledge to any symbol (and I don't think it's necessary or helpful), how about to the Bill of Rights and the Constitution? The best course of all is to assume that everyone is loyal.

Does a pledge prove or promote loyalty? Of course not. Does anyone believe a spy, for example, would not cheerfully blend in at city council or other meetings by reciting the words (including "under God") while nonetheless planning whatever acts of nonallegiance he might have in mind?

Suggestion: If you find the pledge inappropriate, do not take part in it. If over time enough citizens opt out, it will fade away. If you agree, do your part and let the fading begin.

Donald B. Ardell, St. Petersburg

Dispute is over "One nation under …" March 5, story

Simple rules

I read this article and immediately thought: What would I say to my children to help them solve this problem? Here's what I came up with:

If you attend a city council meeting and you wish to say the pledge, say it. If you don't, don't. And if you want to leave out the reference to God, then do so quietly. Leave an appropriate pause, and maintain respect to the pledge. Quite simple, really.

My kids got it. I wish those folks could.

Jill Pearson, Tampa

Beware of dog | March 4, commentary

Learn to be responsible

Lenore Skenazy was right on the mark with her article about the dangers of childhood choking. You have to wonder how any of us ever grew up. What has this world come to!

Doesn't anyone have enough common sense to judge what to be careful of on their own? There are dangers in your home, stepping out of the door, getting in your car. I could go on and on. I can't believe that we have to be warned about every little thing. If a child chokes (an adult can as well) it can be on something other than a hot dog. It isn't anyone's fault. Things happen.

Common sense should rule! We need to go back to being responsible for our own lives. Can we not know of a danger without a company first warning us? We have a choice of using a product or not. If we choose to use it, the responsibility should be ours.

Jan Lefko, Clearwater

Beware of dog | March 4, commentary

A system we have created

Lenore Skenazy says that the government is the one responsible for the warning labels. She is wrong. We, the public, are responsible.

When we award massive money for incidents like the McDonald's coffee spill or when Juan Alejandro Soto tried to out run a New York City subway train and failed, we say that people have no responsibility for their actions. We treat the court system like a state lottery. Then we say that it is only the insurance companies who are paying and they can afford it. Well, for the most part, it is not the insurance companies paying the bill. Rather it is we, the premium payers, who are footing the bill.

More important, we should start being accountable as adults for our decisions, and juries need to treat the plaintiffs as adults and hold them responsible for their actions.

Christopher Radulich, Apollo Beach

TIA chief resigns

A community's loss

What a travesty that Louis Miller, one of the most dedicated and respected leaders in the Tampa Bay area, has resigned. As someone who travels around the world, I believe Tampa International Airport is not just one of the best mid-sized airports, it's the best in the country.

Miller is extremely well regarded by his peers in the industry as well as by the airport's employees.

The actions of the two new Hillsborough County Aviation Authority board members were reckless and uncalled for. It would appear Miller had simply determined he doesn't need to put up with the nonsense and decided to move on.

We are the ones who ultimately lose. Leaders are called upon to make decisions that result in development and improvements. Too often minutiae and red tape get in the way of progress, particularly in government. In a city mostly known for its strip clubs and steakhouses, our airport has made an impression on anyone who has ever flown in or out.

By running off leaders like Louis Miller, Tampa may just be known as a city of "Strip-Steaks." This is truly a shame.

David Alexander, Tampa

Tuesday letters: Atheists seem intent on causing disruption 03/08/10 [Last modified: Monday, March 8, 2010 6:42pm]
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