Letters for Wednesday, Nov. 27, 2013

Religious beliefs don’t belong in politicsLove one anotherPoliticians hurting Kauai’s reputationNadine’s career move nothing like Palin’s

Religious beliefs don’t belong in politics

With regard to the marriage equality bill debate, I simply offer one thing: The U.S. government and the state government were founded on the principle of separation of church and state. When any citizen runs for office serving the public, that representative needs to vote in fairness of all concerned, regardless of any personal religious view, whether they’re Christian, Jewish, Buddhist, Muslim, Hindu, etc. I clearly offer this request directly to Sen. Kouchi and Rep. Tokioka.

There is a specific place for decisions based on one’s religious beliefs and that’s why people gravitate to churches that align to their beliefs. Please use your well-meaning beliefs within your own private church structure. Become a pastor, a deacon, attract more willing members. But do not run for public office, which represents all people, and use your personal religious creed to affect us all.

Once the separation is honored, the issue only becomes one of civic equality of all beings in the eyes of the state, which again is constitutionally protected as separate from any one’s religion.

John Tyler Cragg

Kapaa

Love one another

In America, everyone is entitled to his or her opinion.

Likewise, everyone is entitled to the exact same social advantages and civil rights, benefits, protections, and responsibilities afforded by governmental laws regardless of race, creed, gender, sexual orientation or any other determinant.

With passage of SB1 legalizing same-sex marriage in Hawaii, our state’s long and regrettably divisive struggle over marriage equality has been settled through landmark legislation. This new law rectifies past injustices that denied a minority of our population full legal recognition without depriving the majority of a single right they have long enjoyed.

We’re all in this together. As a just society, our task now is to find common ground and heal by uniting in basic human decency. We must strive to respect every individual’s dignity and right to hold their personal beliefs, values, and opinions, no matter how much they differ from our own. Doing so brings out our better angels and makes our community stronger. As goodness begets goodness, we’ve nothing to fear but our judgments.

Once we drop our judgments, accepting and respecting others despite our differences isn’t hard to do. On the contrary, as the master counselor instructed, we need simply “love one another,” exactly as we are without trying to change anybody. Love is about accepting people and not judging them.

The socially intelligent approach to getting along well with people in this wondrously diverse world is to cultivate a mindset firmly anchored in unconditional positive regard and love. In the end, love is all that really matters, anyway.

Michael Ra Bouchard

Hilo

Politicians hurting Kauai’s reputation

I received a call today from a friend’s daughter who is attending university in upstate Michigan. She is a poly sci major and her professor assigned a paper on ethics. He suggested they look into Hooser and the Kauai County Council. How come the only time we make national news is because of junk cars, corrupt police or unethical politicians? This island is the most beautiful place in the world but it’s inhabited by people who vote people like Hooser into office.

Alexander Hamilton was correct when he said the greater populace is too stupid to vote. How many times has that been proven.

Joseph Lavery

Kapaa

Nadine’s career move nothing like Palin’s

To compare Nadine Nakamura to Sarah Palin is slanderous. Palin just quit as governor of Alaska. No one called her to higher office. A better comparison might be to Hillary Clinton who gave up her Senate seat to answer the call to become Secretary of State. Nakamura ranked near the top in votes in both of her County Council races. That indicates that she was highly thought of before she was ever elected to the council and that the citizens of Kauai approved of her job performance by handily re-electing her.

To be selected from a legislative body to become an integral part of the county administration is nothing but a compliment and the people of the island are fortunate to have someone with Nadine Nakamura’s ability in that position.

I always wonder about the ethics of people who are so quick to question the ethics of other people.

Linda Estes

Koloa

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