March 3 Letters to the Editor

Posted March 02, 2009, at 6:25 p.m.

Homosexuality religion

This is in response to David Berg’s letter, “Marriage bill win-win” (BDN, Feb. 24). He writes that he believes in the U.S. Constitution, but it seems he has not read it.

He states the “Constitution flatly states that there should be a separation of church and state,” and that churches getting involved and praying about legislation is violating the Constitution. The phrase, “separation of church and state” does not appear in the Constitution. It does say that “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof; or abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; or the right of the people peaceably to assemble, and to petition the Government for a redress of grievances.”

If any religious group wants to speak out about a law, the Constitution actually protects that right.

The point he is making is about equal rights. But the homosexual agenda is to make everyone accept that homosexuality is OK. However, how is that equal when it forces people to change their beliefs? For a real win-win situation, what is needed is for homosexuality to be protected under the same laws as religion and religion only. It protects a gay person from being discriminated against but still allows those who believe homosexuality is wrong to retain these beliefs without fear of persecution from the law.

Why is that not being proposed? Because the left wants everyone to accept homosexuality while the right wants to shove the gays back into the closet.

Brian Wood

Mars Hill

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No needs here

Regarding the Blaine House announcement that Maine’s $162 million share of the transportation portion of the stimulus package will be used to upgrade roads, railways and waterways, primarily in southern Maine:

I’m so thankful I live in Washington County where all our highways, byways and bridges are in the same pristine condition now as when they were laid. I’m glad for our transport infrastructure that speeds commerce to and from our towns and villages with 21st century efficiency.

And, I’m grateful that all our homes and businesses are wired with 3G broadband and our cell towers are strategically distributed so that we are blessed, in every regard, with connectivity to the globe which enables the engine of prosperity to chug away 24-7 here in our little piece of heaven bringing prosperity to every resident in our county.

That’s got to be the reason policymakers in Augusta have determined that all $162 million of Maine’s share of transportation stimulus — and the jobs the work will create — will be apportioned to southern Maine, right?

What other reason could there be?

Elizabeth Sprague

East Machias

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Enhanced 911?

The recent snowstorm and resulting statewide power outages highlight the need for significant improvement in our ability to access emergency services. Here in Brooklin, and across the Blue Hill peninsula, we had no power and no telephone service.

We understand and very much appreciate the heroic efforts of all of the utility workers to fix the land-line problems under trying conditions in the most timely manner. What we don’t understand is the continued lack of cell phone service in many parts of Hancock County, and very likely, in other parts of the state.

What is the point of “enhanced 911” if residents cannot access it because of a complete breakdown of power and telephone services? Because of dead spots in populated areas, people’s lives continue to be at risk needlessly unless we complete the wireless infrastructure.

Reliable cell phone service is needed in every part of our state. This is a matter of public safety.

Sharon and Joe Lendvai

Brooklin

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Why limit marriage?

Sen. Dennis Damon is introducing two bills which show a similar trend. Both are severely discriminatory.

What is the compelling reason that Sen. Damon is discriminating against so many people who may wish to marry? What light is guiding him? I would venture that there are people in Maine, or who would like to come to Maine to marry, (that economic factor) who still will not be able to marry in Maine if this bill is passed.

Does his bill lift age restrictions regarding marriage? Why not? Does he limit marriage to just two people? Why? Does he do away with discrimination against animals? If we are moving from marriage, being understood as a relationship between two beings who may procreate, to just a relationship between loving “beings,” why is this bill so discriminatory, Sen. Damon?

Likewise, regarding driver’s licenses for illegals, why restrict benefits for illegal immigrants in any way? Are you just being prudent in your legislative maneuvering, taking one step at a time so as to not upset the apple cart too violently?

By the way, I would like a piece of the wealth that some Mainers will pass on to their heirs. Would you be kind enough to submit a bill banning discrimination regarding heir-ship? Of course, please mandate a generous portion of inheritance to any unnamed heirs who might show up.

I am hopeful.

Al Mather

Princeton

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State workers’ share

I am so tired of state workers complaining about paying a small percentage of their income toward health insurance. Based on what I have read they would be paying .008 percent of their income for health insurance. We pay almost 47 percent of our income toward health insurance.

We are both retired and receive no COLA on our pensions, yet my insurance has risen from $807 per month with a $4,000 deductible in 2006 to $982 per month and a $5,000 deductible in 2009, or about $17,000 per year. We had insurance in Rhode Island, but now by law we have to purchase insurance in Maine which costs us $1,300 per year more.

LD 290, introduced this session, would permit you to purchase insurance in another state. If you want to see what some state workers earn go to MaineOpenGov.org. and then ask yourself if they couldn’t afford to pay something. As Helen Shaw stated in her Feb. 11 letter: “State workers should stop whining.” In these difficult economic times they should be grateful to have a job; many people in Maine have lost theirs.

We are certainly paying our share. It’s time they started paying something to help the rest of us and stop whining.

Howard Schaffer

Brownville

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