Climate justice fast
I noticed your article on local groups demanding action on climate change in the Nov. 19 paper. I am concerned that world leaders and everyday citizens are not responding to climate change with the urgency it deserves.
I am a student at Williams College in Massachusetts, but as a graduate of Bangor High School, I wanted to write to you about a movement I have become involved with. Climate Justice Fast! is a global hunger strike described as “a moral reaction to an immoral situation” and is gaining momentum and attracting a growing number of participants from around the world as heads of state prepare for the Copenhagen climate talks.
The international fast began on Nov. 6 and will continue throughout the December climate conference in Copenhagen. The action is aimed at drawing attention to the injustice of world leaders’ lack of committed, effective action in tackling climate change, and amplifying public pressure for an appropriate response.
Some participants have committed to long-term, water-only fasts lasting at least 42 days. At Williams, 46 students and professors each have volunteered to fast one day in a “relay” fast in solidarity with the long-term fasters. Personally, four other students and I are on the fifth day of a weeklong water-only fast.
All of us are deeply inspired by Mahatma Gandhi and Martin Luther King Jr. and we believe the will and determination they displayed is needed today. Readers of the Bangor Daily News are encouraged to visit www.climatejusticefast.com to learn more.
Delegates miss point
I’ve heard a number of “pro-life” politicians arguing that federal dollars should not be spent on abortion. Unfortunately, these same congressmen and senators seem to be missing the larger point: Thousands of people in this country are dying each year because they don’t have health insurance, and thousands more, including unborn children in Iraq and Afghanistan, are dying because our government is dropping bombs and missiles with depleted uranium on them.
If preserving life is a priority for these self-proclaimed, pro-life politicians, how can they possibly stand against a reform effort that would quite literally save thousands of lives each year? It is inconceivable that one life is worth saving but another is not, based on nothing more than the manner in which the deaths occur.
I recently had the opportunity to attend my daughter’s annual (what I thought was a) Christmas concert, turns out that it was actually a Winter concert. I went there expecting to hear some of the classics; “Silent Night,” “Santa Claus is Coming to Town,” and the always fun “Jingle Bells,” because it’s all about fun for the children, right. Instead I got songs about talking to animals and the “Quiet Song.” It seems as if the only thing that we’ve gotten “quiet” on is celebration of Christmas itself.
They can be taught about Kwanzaa, Hanukkah, and Ramadan but don’t mention Christmas. Have we really come to the point where I need to send my children to a Christian school to ensure that holiday traditions are kept? I remember as a child singing Christmas songs and even wearing a Santa hat while doing it.
Frankly, I believe I turned out OK even after being subjected to such insensitivity. I don’t want religion taught in schools, but I don’t want our school districts so scared of the next lawsuit that my kid can’t sing “All I Want for Christmas Is My Two Front Teeth” at a Christmas concert.
Backs climate talks
The League of Women Voters of Maine believes that global climate change is one of the most serious threats to the environment, health, economy and security of our nation and world.
The League calls on the world’s political leaders to cap greenhouse emissions at 32 percent below 2005 levels by 2020.
As the 192 nations convene at the UN Climate Change Conference, or COP15, in Copenhagen, Denmark, this week, a delegation from the League of Women Voters of the United States will be present as an official non-government organization to work for success in achieving a broad international agreement to reduce greenhouse emissions and other threats to the world’s climate.
“President Obama’s participation in the COP15 meetings is a clear signal of the seriousness of global climate change, both domestically and internationally, and we applaud his commitment,” stated National League President Mary Wilson.
Within the last two weeks, the three largest emitters of greenhouse gas emissions — the United States, China and India — have, for the first time, each put forth meaningful targets for emission reductions in their own countries. This is a start that sets the stage for success.
League of Women
Voters of Maine
Christ in Christmas
Every year Christians start complaining about those who want to remove Christ from Christmas. This ought to be a nonissue. I am neither Christian nor any other religion, but I don’t mind that others are. People all over the world have some kind of celebration similar to Christmas, and have done so since societies began. Christmas is what it is in each society. No one can take Christ out of Christmas, or put Him in, for that matter. Why not fuss about the Easter Bunny usurping the rising of Christ from the tomb?
Expecting everyone to conform to one’s own belief is unreasonable, and the condescending attitude of Christians at this time of year is annoying.
Their idea seems to be that non-Christians simply have not seen the light and are ignorant of an undeniable fact. They pity these people and pray that they will come to see the “truth.”
Saying “Happy Holidays” is not condemning believers, it is simple making room for people who aren’t. Come on; say Merry Christmas if you want, but don’t demand that everyone else say it, too. Jews don’t demand that everyone celebrate Hanukkah. How about taking a lesson in tolerance from them?