Peace plan promising
Fifty days after President Barack Obama took office, we’ve seen his administration take significant steps to pursue Arab-Israeli peace.
President Obama made good on his campaign promise to make dealing with this issue a priority, as demonstrated by the calls he made to Palestinian President Abbas and Israeli Prime Minister Olmert on his first full day in office.
President Obama named George Mitchell, the architect of the peace accord in Northern Ireland, to serve as his special envoy for Middle East peace. He ended the Bush administration’s stubborn refusal to engage with Syria diplomatically. Two senior Obama administration officials have just returned from a visit to Damascus.
This is a truly promising start. President Obama’s actions speak of a determination to seriously deal with the challenge of Arab-Israeli peacemaking. He deserves our support and encouragement.
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Sen. Dennis Damon’s bill to redefine marriage would change a century-old social order and take away people’s right to act on their principles.
The dictionary defines marriage as “the social institution under which a man and woman establish their decision to live as husband and wife by legal commitments, religious ceremonies.” Why change that definition by allowing couples of the same sex to get married?
Legalizing same-sex marriage will take away every Americans’ right to decide what they believe to be right or wrong. In Massachusetts where same-sex marriage is legal, children are taught about homosexuality beginning in kindergarten. Parents are not even allowed to opt their children out of this indoctrination.
Americans who stand up for what they believe to be true and right will have their rights taken away. Photographer Elain Hugenin was sued because she refused to photograph a civil union ceremony. A doctor at North Coast Women’s Care Medical Group was sued because he refused to give in vitro fertilization treatment to a woman in a lesbian relationship, even though he referred the patient to his partner who agreed to do the treatment. In every case homosexual rights are trumping First Amendment religious rights.
How is that justifiable?
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Defense, not hate
Is speaking out in defense of the original definition of marriage being anti-gay? Common opinion seems to think so, even the media makes this same assumption. After a recent rally in Augusta, in which keynote speaker Tony Perkins said, “Homosexuals are not the enemy,” local media referred to it as an “anti-gay rally.” Could it be that 1,300 people came out of their homes that night to participate in a gathering of hate? I think not.
The fact of the matter is that we recognize what the implications same-sex marriage could have on society as a whole. The core foundation of our society is the institution of the family. The basic foundation of the family is marriage. Marriage is a legal, binding agreement between one male and one female. Whom one person loves and wants to be with is not my business. It is not my place to judge anyone’s preference. But the redefinition of the foundation of Maine’s society is my business.
If we decide to allow this redefinition based upon the fact that multiple individuals want recognition because they love each other, where will the line be drawn? Under this same reasoning, what’s to stop a polygamist appeal for this same recognition? An adult and child who “love” each other?
We’re not looking to suppress or hate homosexuals by any means, but we are merely standing up to defend marriage, society, and our state.
Tom Toth III
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For many people, the chief concern with same-sex marriage is not about legal rights, endangering marriage, or having government dictate religious views.
I personally do not fear any public or private entity “stealing” marriage or making it any less sacred. No man has that power, because it was ordained by our Creator. My marriage is not valid because of a state license, or recognition by a religious institution, but because the covenant my wife and I made before our God is in accordance with His definition of marriage recorded in Scripture.
I do believe in treating people with kindness, decency, and respect.
But we are being asked for more than respect of people. We are being asked to approve, through government, something which many cannot approve. Those who ask the state to acknowledge same-sex marriage must know that they are asking this of its citizens.
Insurance benefits or tax breaks for same-sex couples do not concern me. I am not worried (for the time being) that the state will tell me how to believe or worship. I am troubled, as are many, by the possibility of this nation collectively taking a stand against God and sending the message that we believe His word is wrong, and we are right.
Our nation prospered because we began by acknowledging that God is right. Reversing that course may make us modern citizens of the 21st century, but it will not make us prosper, nor will it make us right.
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Lobster fishery works
I write in response to the BDN’s March 13 editorial, “Fewer traps, more lobster.” As a lobsterman, there are several points with which I disagree.
To say that 56 percent of lobstermen in Maine favor a trap reduction is completely false. What is true is that 56 percent of lobstermen who returned the survey favor a trap reduction. The state sent out 6,832 surveys and 2,381 were returned, out of those 2,381 only 1,333 (or 56 percent) of lobstermen were in favor of a trap reduction.
I also don’t agree with the Australian lobster analogy. First off, being able to sell licenses is not a good idea for Maine. Selling licenses would allow anyone with some money to get into the fishery. Right now, if you want to get a lobster license you must work an apprenticeship for at least two years. This allows new fisherman to gain experience, respect and learn good fishing practices. If you could simply buy someone out all that would be lost. We already have an extremely conservative lobster fishery. Our regulations in Maine are already among the strictest in the industry.
The fact is, Maine lobstermen have spent generations conserving to make our fishery what is today. A lot of the regulations that are in place have been implemented by the lobstermen. Our management system has worked and it will continue to work — we need it. What we don’t need are people who don’t really understand the fishery telling us how to do our jobs.