Discrimination a two-way street
Re “Indiana law ignites big outcry” (Page A1, March 28): Conservative Christians who are not willing to surrender firmly held convictions to please a small minority of the community are threatened with a new inquisition – not to be put to death, but to suffer the losses of their businesses and livelihoods.
Why do people with a multitude of choices feel justified to impose their wills on the few businesses which choose not to offer services to them? Most businesses have signs reading, “We reserve the right to refuse service to anyone.” Why should these people be an exception?
Discrimination is a two-way street. What moral authority justifies your rights trampling my rights?
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For years, this group has wrongly accused conservative Christians of attempting to impose our morals on them. They are attempting to do that to us. Utilize the many open doors instead of coercing people of faith, which is no way to gain acceptance and goodwill in the community.
The Rev. Vince Kelley, Shingle Springs
Re “Indiana governor defends new religious freedom law” (Page A10, March 30): Under Indiana’s controversial new law, a business sued for discrimination – whether based on race, age, gender orientation or whatever – may now assert as a defense that the business’s exercise of religion would be substantially burdened by having to treat all customers alike. But who determines whether or not the business’ religion would be burdened? A civil court?
If I refuse to sell groceries to a same-gender couple because of my religion, will the claimants hire an investigator to follow me to see if I attend an Evangelical Lutheran church that respects gay marriages, and then play the video in the courtroom?
Indiana judges are going to have lot of fun trying to define what various religious groups believe, and even more fun trying to determine whether or not, deep in his or her heart, the business owner actually shares those beliefs. Indianans should be careful what they wish for.
Rob Sawyer, Sacramento
Garamendi all wet on drought
Rep. John Garamendi was on MSNBC’s “Ed Show” recently discussing the drought in California. He stressed conservation, rationing of lawn watering, the need for more storage and replenishment of groundwater supplies, along with Republicans refusing to consider facts on climate change.
Where Garamendi is all wet is in his ignoring the millions of acres of our watersheds and public lands that are grazed by livestock, which compact the soil, remove the vegetation, increase erosion, causing a loss of water storage in our high-elevation national forests and public lands. Water could be stored naturally in these watersheds if we got the cows and sheep off the land. Then there is the massive use of water to irrigate alfalfa for those cattle.
When are we going to get representation in this country that supports the people, not a handful of special interests like ranchers? Of course, Garamendi is a rancher.
John G. Carter, Paris, Idaho
A solution for water hyacinth
I have read reports about the extreme problem of water hyacinth in waterways and reservoirs, and the great cost in controlling it. I remembered many years ago reading that farmers in South Africa found it to be a valuable cattle feed. I did some reading and discovered that, indeed, it is a potentially very valuable cattle feed. It can be made into silage.
It seems to me that in drought conditions this is potentially very useful. Surely equipment can be designed to extract and harvest hyacinth for potential profits. What is now a severe nuisance could be turned into a very profitable bonanza.
Gabriel Lewin, Davis
Desalination, not a bullet train
Re “Bullet train’s high cost, tiny impact” (Dan Walters, March 29): Dan Walters, among others, continues to point out how ridiculous the bullet train project is: huge sums of money for basically no benefit. If the governor wants to leave a positive legacy, he should cancel the bullet train project and fund desalination plants instead.
Water is California’s No. 1 problem. Desalination is droughtproof. It is only a piece of the solution, but it takes the coastal areas out of the equation for allocating the remaining scarce amounts of water available to the rest of the state. Let’s be smart and solve the immediate problem.
Tom Lane, Gold River
Stop the train
Dan Walters is exactly right. The destruction of our valuable farmland for the high-speed train is just not worth the small return. A much better use of the money would be the addition of separate truck lanes on Interstate 5. Also, by the time Gov. Jerry Brown’s legacy train becomes operational, self-driving cars will be in use.
Don Marker, Alta
No Sacramento Ballet review?
Re “Six-concert run opens with a joyous show” (Our Region, March 29): The Sacramento Ballet is a treasure. Why does Garth Brooks get a review and our local ballet does not? Do we only care about road shows?
The Sacramento Ballet presented four performances of the classic ballet Swan Lake at Community Center Theatre. The dancing was technically very difficult – the dancers were strong, athletic, beautiful and true to the original Russian classic.
Yes, The Bee did run a walk-up story for the ballet, but it also ran one for Brooks. Why did he deserve a review, but not the Sacramento Ballet?
Kathy Payne, Woodland
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