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Oct. 2 Letters to the Editor

Plum Creek protests

For the past few days, I have been pondering all of the activities surrounding the approval of the Plum Creek project.

The protests there remind me of the bit I saw on the news recently regarding a wind turbine project that hasn’t gone over too well with the folks on the lake that may have to look at them. My conclusion is this: Everyone wants cheaper power, but no one wants to ‘look at’ the turbines; we all generate trash, however everyone complains about the smell of the recovery plants; nuclear energy is great, as long as we can sucker another state into storing the spent fuel; we all want protection, but please stop those fighter jets from flying over my house. Ridiculous, I say. What hypocrites we are. We all want everything, but we don’t want to sacrifice any one thing to get it.

Just gimme what I want, but pass the bill — and the consequences — on to someone else far away from me. Something smells, all right. It isn’t the PERC plant, either.

Clayton Cunningham



Informed conscience

When Leonard Davis, a professed Catholic, says in a letter to the editor (BDN, Sept. 25) that “the primacy of conscience” trumps church teaching, I believe he is misled and misleads. Most would agree, I believe, that his word “conscience” should be replaced with “informed conscience.”

For those who profess to be Catholic, what better source of informed teaching is there than the Catholic Church?

Surely Jesus understood what novelist John Steinbeck’s characters so often reveal — that humans, left to their own devices and given enough time, can rationalize any evil. I believe that understanding is a principal reason why Jesus founded a church — to teach and to guide.

Scripture says that Jesus said to Peter, “you are Peter and upon this rock I will build my church, and the gates of the netherworld shall not prevail against it. I will give you the keys to the kingdom of heaven. Whatever you bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatever you loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven” (Matthew 16:18). Powerful words from the man Christians consider to be God.

Conscience or “informed conscience”? While Catholics may fall short of following the teachings of their church, they should always recognize and respect its teaching.

Gerald E. Thibodeau



Finland financing

While watching the Fox News channel Saturday I was very surprised, actually shocked, to see that the federal government has approved a $529 million loan for Al Gore to go to Finland and finance an automaker to build hybrid sports cars that would sell for $89,000.

I don’t understand the government at all. Why should we give this kind of financing to Finland when companies in this country are really struggling to stay afloat? This money could do a lot of good for a lot of people in the USA.

It seems that our government worries more about foreign countries — most of which would turn their backs on us if we ask them for help — than to our own country. Somehow this government needs to get its act together and straighten out its priorities. It is wrong to do this when the government says it can’t afford to give Social Security recipients a cost of living raise.

Virginia Mullen



Dictates of conscience

I am writing in response to Leonard Davis’ Sept. 25 letter “Vote no on 1”.

Of course, we have an obligation to vote according to our consciences — but, we are first obligated to be sure our consciences are properly formed.

We are all aware of heinous acts performed in the name of conscience (e.g. the terrorist acts of 9-11).

The catechism of the Catholic Church speaks extensively about the formation of conscience, including the following excerpt from CCC article 1783: “The education of conscience is indispensable for human beings who are … tempted by sin to prefer their own judgment and to reject authoritative teachings.” In other words, a conscience must be informed in order to be well-formed.

The bishop and priests of the Diocese of Portland have courageously chosen to “speak the truth in love” (Eph 4: 15). They have addressed the issue at hand: the sanctity of marriage as a union between a man and a woman. Before God, they are fulfilling their obligation to teach truth, thereby aiding in the formation of sound consciences. The Church is defending truth — and in conscience, has a right and an obligation to do so.

Frances M. Menkin



Supports public option

As a primary care doctor who has worked in Maine for more than 25 years, I have witnessed the harm that results from our present health insurance situation. It is common for hardworking, self-employed people, for whom commercial insurance is usually priced at a rate far above that charged to a big business for equivalent coverage, to go without basic medical treatment purely because of the cost. I will never forget a case in which a mother of two young kids came in with an advanced melanoma, and told me yes, she thought it might be a dangerous cancer, but she delayed coming in as long as she dared, because she was not insured.

Those who propose a “solution” that does not include a “public option” — the option for approximately 50 percent of Americans who are not already covered by some form of government health insurance to have a chance of obtaining insurance for themselves — are offering nothing more than a gimmick. Insurance companies are the main problem. Why would we create an even worse problem by mandating all Americans buy their product? Wouldn’t that create even more of a monopoly?

I urge Mainers to contact their congressional delegation, all of whom are acting as obstructions to progress with health care reform. We need a public option, and a great deal of other reform, for the sake of America’s good health, and there is no time for halfway measures.

Mark Kandutsch, M.D.

Bar Harbor

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