Letters: October 13, 2006

Religion not the issue — singling one out is

Rational discourse about the role of religion in our society cannot take place when the words of George Washington to a Jewish synagogue about the nation’s commitment to religious tolerance are dismissed as “baloney,” nor when official language in one of the country’s earliest treaties is similarly dismissed, namely explicit treaty text stating that the United States is “not a Christian nation any more than it is a Jewish or a Mohammedan nation.”

It is pure hyperbole to state that those resisting sectarian prayers or icons in governmental ceremonies or locations are “enemies of our country” and anti-religion, when in fact they are neither. Rather they are modern-day supporters of the men and women who fled religious persecution to establish a country where they could practice their diverse faiths freely and openly and be protected from government incursions favoring one religion over another.

The founders of our country understood all too well that theological differences separate the various Christian sects, just as theological differences separate Christians from Jews and Mohammedans. If each were to flourish freely, government could not be an arbiter of those differences. And heaven knows too many wars had already been fought in the name of religion.

Yes, many of our country’s founders were people of faith. Some, however, were agnostics who did not adhere to any organized religion. Yes, they even mentioned “God,” “Creator” and “Divine Providence” in the Declaration of Independence. But these are generic terms with which all religious denominations can identify. However, there is no mention of “God,” “Creator” or “Divine Providence” in the Constitution, the document that framed our government. This could not have been an oversight.

There must be a way for us to discuss, as well as foster, religion and spirituality without singling out one religion or icons for official favor. People of good faith surely can find common spiritual ground that will honor the generic beliefs of all. Doing so would truly bring us peace and, yes, even religious satisfaction.

Mary K. Ryan

Reader envisions an odd scene in the future

In the 2015, the last two supporters of George W. Bush meet in a bar in Dewey Beach. Their names are Charles (C) and Thomas (T). As they sit in a corner, drinking some Kentucky whiskey, the following conversation was overheard.

C: “Who knew that the Democrats would hold hearings and that all those Generals would testify under oath that Bush never listened to their advise on the war plans in Iraq?”

T: “Yeah, how could the American people believe four-star generals over the commander in chief?”

T: “Who would have thought that the entire scientific community would embrace the concept of global warming after all the snow melted in Greenland?”

C: “Rush Limbaugh maintains that liberals shoveled all the snow at night and used it to chill white wine.”

C: “Well, we built that fence between Arizona and Mexico, didn’t we?”

T: “Sure did, and if it had not been for all those Mexican construction workers who went on strike we would have finished it too!”

T: “I sure am glad that Bin Laden is gone.”

C: “Yea, he died in a brothel in Texas where he had been living for 10 years. They say it was an overdose of Viagra.”

T: “Same as Cheney!”

T: “Whatever happened to Rumsfeld?”

C: “Not sure. After he left office, there was talk of him looking for a few ‘dead enders’ to play poker with.”

T: “I got into a few of those games, but Wolfowitz kept trying to use Iraqi money to pay for his losses and I stopped going.”

C: “Well, the nation really benefited from the Bush tax cuts.”

T: “We sure did, and all those new jobs Abramhoff created really helped the Indians make real progress.”

C: “Which tribe?”

T: “Don’t know for sure, but all the women had red dots on their foreheads.”

C: “Whatever happened to Ann Coulter?”

T: “They say she works as a fortuneteller in Atlantic City.”

C: “Really? We will have to go up there some weekend. She was a good-looker, and anyone who thought highly of Joe McCarthy, Nixon and George W. deserves our support.”

C: “Did they ever find the leaker in the preacher-gate scandal?”

T: “No, but I never felt there was any problem with the White House sending out talking points to fundamentalist pastors every Sunday.”

C: “Nor did I, but when several million churchgoers learned of it they stopped going to church. “

T: “Well, at least Laura and George are back in Texas. Except for Karl Rove, he does not get many visitors.”

C: “What do you expect? Cindy Sheehan was elected mayor of Crawford and she changed the name of the town to Clueless.”

C: “Do you remember how the Bush administration ended?”

T: “Who can forget the National Spelling Bee? That fifth-grader who was asked to spell Republican and answered I- N- C- 0- M- P- E- T- E- N- T…”

C: “Too bad he won.”

T: “Bartender... two more, and make them doubles.”

Dennis P. Cleary
Bethany Beach

Addy left a legacy on the story of Bethany

Bethany Beach lost one of its most senior citizens on Oct. 7 with the passing of Martha Jean Addy. She was 93 and had been in failing health for several years.

Most permanent residents of BB would see her on a daily basis walking from her home on Kent Avenue to the post office, newspaper stand and, of course, on the boardwalk for endless walks and talks. She enjoyed the off-season, when the crowds thinned out.

Active in historical matters, museum docent, civic clubs and the beautification of BB in years past, perhaps her fondest memories were years 1959-1973 while “running” the family owned Addy Sea.

When she wasn’t cooking breakfasts, making lunches for 40 guests or greeting new arrivals, she was on the beach riding waves with the best of them. Many of the guests were families with children who would return each year. She continued to correspond with many of those families for years, even after the Addy Sea changed ownership.

Then her eyesight began to fail and reading and writing letters became more difficult and finally impossible. The walks became shorter and slower, and the light began to dim within her.

The light finally flickered and faded out as she peacefully made the transition to be with her husband, Ed, who passed away in 1985. Perhaps they are together on the boardwalk now, just as they were in the past.

William D. Addy
Preston, Md.

Reader: Spivack is a good change for all

It’s time for a change. It’s time to elect someone who cares. It’s time to vote for Dennis Spivack. Why?

Delaware’s lone congressman is a Republican who has steadfastly voted for the Bush initiatives that have brought the country to the brink of bankruptcy. He has been a member of Congress for 14 years without any evidence of influencing his party to be moderate and can certainly take no pride in the fact that this past Congress was in session the fewest number of days since the ’40s.

Finally, the Republican Congress has thrown away its prerogative to be a check on the administration’s policies, instead only rubberstamping them.

He has voted for draconian cuts in Medicaid, food programs for children, increased interest on student loans, and cutbacks in Pell grants that help bright needy children get to college. The agenda of his so-called “moral values” party is only to retain power and protect its monopoly control of Congress.

That is not good enough for Delaware. We need someone who cares about children and families; about elderly and decent medical care.

We have an excellent choice in Dennis Spivack. He is a lawyer who has experienced firsthand the problems of a broken health care system, caring for his wife through three bouts of cancer, almost going bankrupt in the process. He is energetic, passionate about putting people first, and independent. He promises not to move in lock step with his party when he believes it is wrong.

Electing Dennis Spivack will indeed be a referendum on the Republican agenda of legislating for the rich and disenfranchising the poor. Elect Dennis and let him represent all of Delaware.

Lois F. Lipsett
Bethany Beach

Walshes thankful for local emergency teams

A heartfelt thank you to our fire departments.

On the morning of Oct. 5, my wife, Jeri, and I were awakened by our smoke detector, at 2:13 a.m. Our house was engulfed in black smoke (the dishwasher was on fire).

We quickly called 911 and shortly thereafter, fire companies from Millville and Bethany Beach arrived on the scene. They were quick to respond, helpful in getting everything under control and showed great compassion.

We also want to thank the EMT’s for their special attention, making sure that we were both in good health, and free of smoke inhalation.

Sincere thanks.

Jack and Jeri Walsh
Bethany Beach

Millsboro fire company behind Atkins

The Millsboro Fire Company would like to recognize and thank Rep. John Atkins for his support of our organization and the Town of Millsboro. Rep. Atkins has continually shown willingness to assist in any way possible. This is evident in his efforts in securing funds for the paving of the public parking lots on the corner of Morris and State streets in Millsboro, adjacent to the Fire Hall.

We recognize that Rep. Atkins is committed to helping our community, its businesses and organizations such as the fire company, and we are very fortunate to have him as our hometown representative. Again, we thank you John for helping make this improvement to our community possible.

Ron O’Neal, Secretary
Millsboro Fire Company Inc.

Life Chain got a lot of local support

Thank you to all who participated in the Life Chain on Respect Life Sunday, Oct. 1.

It was the second Life Chain held in South Bethany and the numbers attending doubled.

Over 1,400 cities and towns took part in The Life Chains across America.

A big thank you to Father Darcy of St. Ann’s. Both Protestants and Catholics participated.

It was organized by the Delaware Family Foundation in cooperation with the Delaware Right to Life.

Carolyn Marcello
South Bethany