Letters to the Editor

'Pro-life' in the fullest sense

Speaking primarily for Catholics, but also for all right-to-lifers, we will put our money where our mouths are.

For all children alive today, from conception through old age, every pro-lifer will ensure that all bills will be paid. Look for us in the yellow pages and simply tell us what you require. Health care, food, education, recreation, clothes, mentoring, college, weddings, housing, etc. are all available on request. No responsible entity would demand that others provide support for our goals and aspirations. We will stand firmly behind our beliefs. Put us to the test. All life is precious. Money and lifetime commitment is not a consideration to us.

We hereby put our lives and our fortunes to the lives of others. Never destroy a life in the womb, a murderer in jail, an enemy in the field or Rosie O'Donnell. Pro-lifers place their honor and integrity behind the support for all life. Test us. You'll see.

JOSEPH M. HUGHES, Smiths Station

Souls, not nations

Please assist me in bringing an end the idea that our nation is a "Christian nation." The premise is incorrect. Only individual persons may come to Jesus in repentance and therefore become Christians. Ours would be a "Christian Nation" only if every person united him/herself with Jesus Christ.

As a Christian, it is my joy to reach out to the hurting and minister to their needs, while sharing a good word about Jesus with them. We need to let the battle over titles fade away and focus on our mission.AUBREY COCHRAN, Smiths Station

Insensitive coverage

Once again, the Ledger-Enquirer went a step too far in reporting the death of one of our local teenagers. After reading your article on the death of Ryan Jackson, I felt it could only add to the grief of Barbara Jackson, Ryan's mother. This after losing her husband Del Jackson only a few years ago. Wouldn't it have been enough for the L-E to say Ryan died after losing control of the vehicle he was driving, without the mention of the beer and the seat belt?FRANK C. KAWALEK, Columbus

Children left behind

More funding for after-school programs — why can’t we get it? Millions of American kids leave school every day with no "good" place to go — no place with adult-supervised activities, no place to get help with homework, and no activities more engaging than hanging out on the street, watching junk television or trading text messages with their friends for hours on end.

Think about it; it should be no surprise that the afternoon hours are when children are most likely to be the victims or perpetrators of crime, and to engage in risky behaviors.

Several of my colleagues and I have just returned from Washington, D.C., where we joined hundreds of after-school supporters in meetings with members of Congress on the subject of providing more funds for after-school programs. We tried really hard to make sure we delivered a loud, clear message about the urgent need for more funding for after-school programs — funding that is desperately needed. For the sake of our kids, we hope we got our point across.

Look at it this way: The money will be appropriated or funded one way or another -- through after-school, the judicial system or the penal system.

Safety for our kids in the afternoon is at the top of the list of reasons why we need more after-school programs in our state and community. The federal 21st Century Community Learning Centers initiative helped breathe life into the ongoing revolution in after-school programming, but the federal government is now providing only a small fraction of what it promised for after-school in the No Child Left Behind Act.

After-school programs keep kids safe, help working families and inspire learning. As a result, millions of children who need the caring, enriching environment that after-school programs offer are not getting it.

ERNESTINE RAMSEYDirector, A.J. McClung YMCA

Sorry epitaph

It will soon be Memorial Day, and President Bush will go to Arlington Cemetery to place a wreath on the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. At Virginia Tech to pay his respects to the young students, he stated that the only mistake they had made was being at the wrong place at the wrong time.

He should start attending funerals of the American service men and women killed in Iraq so he could eulogize them by saying the only mistake they made was being in the wrong place at the wrong time — for the wrong reasons, under the wrong leadership. Amen.

BRACK TARLETON, Columbus

Boomer times

The Boomers live. They still believe in a world steeped in deep moral values. It's hard to forget the burning draft cards and bras, the defiant chants against what their consciences suggested; the drugs — mostly pot — the long hair, the purple haze, the music at Woodstock and their culture and their beliefs. This forms a backbone for our homeland. Our country needs structure. It could possibly be hidden in the past.FRANK P. MCCLUEY, Columbus

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