Supreme Court and religion
I read with great surprise the unsigned editorial regarding the composition of the U.S. Supreme Court and the potential addition of another "religious Jew" to the court.
I am not a fan of the current court majority and I share your fears about potential erosion of the wall of separation between church and state. That wall simultaneously protects us from religious tyranny and protects the church from civil intrusion. On that point I agree with your assessment of the current court.
What I disagree with and, frankly, found both offensive and out of character for your editorial board is the characterization of the whole of the Catholic church as "a sect that disrespects the wall of separation." You parlay a disagreement with six paleoconservative judges into a judgment on hundreds of millions of men and women, many of whom do not necessarily agree with the pronouncements from Justice Roberts, et al.
The kind of intolerance and narrow-minded characterization in your editorial has shaken my confidence in the Arkansas Times staff and its ability to be a voice for toleration in our community. It is one thing to disagree with someone's beliefs. It is quite another to be dismissive and derisive. Your point about the court is well taken. Your characterization of the justices and their fellow Catholics is factually wrong and beneath the Times.
Rev. Dr. Robert Wm. Lowry
After reading the article about the former 3/5ths of Evanescence members' new band, We Are the Fallen, I had a bit of an issue with Ben Moody's line "we created that genre." Yes, Ben, Amy and company may have kicked in the door to let in the American copycat, female-fronted, symphonic goth metal bands, but create it? My guess is he had never heard The Gathering (established 1989), Lacuna Coil (est. 1994), or Nightwish (est. 1996). Go pick up a copy of "Mandylion," "In A Reverie," and "Oceanborn" and find out. When it comes to the heavier and less mainstream side of rock and metal, the Europeans are always 5+ years into it before the States catches on.
There are those who chose to run for office because of a need to rejuvenate aging egos or just run for power. However, we should look to candidates who have an unselfish desire to serve others, build alliances, encourage new ideas and promote community. Joyce Elliott for Congress and Terry Hollingsworth as state representative offer that opportunity.
Deborah Springer Suttlar
While driving down in Little Rock recently, I noticed an American flag at a car dealership was flying at half-staff. Other American flags around town were at full-staff.
When queried about the reason, the manager said that a family member had died and that they were flying the flag to show respect. I said I wasn't sure that was appropriate. He said that the dealership owned the flag and could fly the flag any way they wanted.
I checked with the governor's office and was told that the governor can order the American flag to be flown at half-staff if an Arkansas military member was killed in action; otherwise, the orders to lower the flag come from federal proclamation. There are no penalties for those that choose to do their own thing.
I called back the dealership and was forwarded to a manager who informed me that the American flag was being flown at half-staff to honor his grandfather's death. I expressed my sorrow about his death, and informed him that the American flag should be flown at full staff. He then told me that "even if President Obama himself told him to raise the flag, he wouldn't do it."
Sometimes the line between anarchism and patriotism blurs. I regret that the dealership chooses to ignore the proper presentation of the American flag. I know there is a program to teach "flag etiquette" to Arkansas grade schoolers. Perhaps, there should be a program to teach flag etiquette to business people, as well.
Jeffrey Short, Colonel (retired), USAFR
Why the sweet peas?
Sixty-five years later, why don't the sweet peas have a sweet odor? I realize this is not an earth-shaking problem, but it saddens my heart. Of course, I do not have a clue as to why they don't fill the room with wonderful smell, but no flowers, except the gardenia, still retain a gorgeous odor. Roses, no, and almost every lovely flower I know have "lost it." Yep, I am old, and may have lost some of my hearing and sight, but never the old nasal smell.
Have we, as the human race, so screwed up this wonderful world we have killed everything that matters?
Beverly A. Clary