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Letters to the Editor, July 10

Finding the right place

As I was marching in the Fourth of July parade as part of a Returned Peace Corps Volunteer group, looking at the folks from Ashland and many other places, all seated or standing in their selected places, I admired how so many people could be together and supporting each other in their own way, supporting a diversity of “ways” demonstrated in the parade. It was a celebration of independence in many ways.

People found their right spots held by a tattered ground cloth or spiffy lawn chair to watch their fellow citizens. People found their right spots in line as they negotiated their locations and found their groups to express their opinions or ways of life. All in the right places, symbolic of how people came to be citizens through the years from 1776 until 2018. Quite a feat!

Then, consider groups of people who have come into this country recently to find a right place and are summarily subject to deportation on July 5. One particular group is made up of 1,200 folks from Yemen, who had found a right place in the USA, until now. They could be sent back, sent back to a country with no access to security, food or health care. Even the U.S. Embassy staff with its huge fortified walls and carefully trained Marine guard has had to leave and operate from Saudi Arabia. Humanitarian aid groups have had to vacate their projects due to severe danger of bombings and lack of any security. How can we celebrate our country with so much “right place” for some in a particular situation, yet allow no “right place” for those who have no chance or choice for any in their home country?

I ask anyone who considers this a mismatch of ideas of our American tradition, of the human condition, to write to the president, to contact Sen. Ron Wyden, to speak out and act on this issue of allowing other human beings to find and keep their “right places.”

Barb Settles


How I really feel

As in “The Wizard of Oz,” we see, and not for the first time, the evangelical curtain parting to reveal the truth about their moral family values. It seems that some actually think this POTUS imposter is a Christian. Unfathomable, but if true, it would be consistent with the genocide committed on African American slaves and Native Americans under that same guise. Those gleeful, fun-loving Christians that proudly wore white sheets expressing devotion to their vengeful God exemplified this.

You would think religion, and one can only hope that translates to honest spirituality, should calm the soul and give comfort, inner strength, peace and security.

The right-wing distortion of Christianity teaches a vindictive discipline based on guilt and divisiveness that causes anxiety, creates fear and consequently hatred. Naturally they are Hell-bent to “take the country back,” at least as far as the McCarthy era and, gee, maybe we can start burning witches at the stake again. This time with coal, of course.

Steve Sutfin


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