Wednesday, Oct. 31, 2012: Mormonism, smoking in public and voting

Posted Oct. 30, 2012, at 11:19 a.m.

Strong voice for Maine

The fact that Democratic U.S. Rep. Mike Michaud is an incumbent should not mean that he is entitled to win next month’s election. Our forefathers wrote that our representatives would run every two years so voters would have a chance to make a change when the incumbent has not done his job well.

I have always been proud of the men and women from Maine who represented us in Washington. They were respected and admired by their fellow congressmen. They had an effect in Washington, which is a big advantage for a small state.

Can you honestly say that you are proud of the effect that Michaud has had for Maine? Yes, he seems like a nice guy, and he did work at a paper mill a long time ago. But is that enough?

I don’t believe he has done enough in his 10 years in Congress. It’s time for a change in our representation in the 2nd Congressional District.

Republican Kevin Raye has proven that he is a leader and is able to work with members of both parties. He is a man of honor and integrity.

Yes, he’s a nice guy, too. The son of an electrician and teacher, he understands Maine people. You will be proud to call him your congressman. He’s one of us and will be a strong voice for Maine.

Cathy Terrill

Orono

Election faith

The story ” Mitt Romney’s candidacy offers opportunity to talk about faith, Bangor area Mormons say” (BDN, Oct. 7) says the two questions most frequently asked of Mormons are whether the church continues to endorse polygamy and whether Mormons believe in Jesus Christ.

It is true that Mormons believe in Jesus Christ. But that statement in and of itself means nothing. Virtually all world religions have a “belief” in Jesus Christ. The better question to ask is, “Do Mormons believe in the same Jesus Christ that we find in the Bible?” To this, anyone who has done their research into the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints’ beliefs will answer, “No.”

For example, Mormons reject monotheism, the belief that only one true God exists, and instead say that the Father, Son and Holy Spirit are three separate and distinct gods. They also believe that Jesus and Satan are spirit brothers.

Mormons like to say that their teachings agree with the Bible, but what one needs to do is ask probing questions to find out what their religion really teaches on these subjects.

Chris Hearn

New Sweden

Smoking rights and wrongs

As an emergency medicine physician practicing in Bangor and a board member of the Maine Medical Association, I was frustrated to read about a Bangor City Council committee discussion on restricting tobacco use in city parks in an Oct. 1 article.

Several council members commented that smoking is about individual rights. It’s true that tobacco products are legal and adults have a right to use them. However, Councilor Geoff Gratwick got it right when he said this is an issue of public health. An individual’s right to smoke should end when it will adversely affect health for the rest of us. Families, children and those of us who don’t smoke (nearly 80 percent of adults in Maine are nonsmokers) should be able to enjoy Bangor’s playgrounds and outdoor spaces without worrying that we are putting our health at risk or having to be the ones to get up and leave.

We know that secondhand tobacco smoke, even outdoors, is dangerous and can subject people nearby to similar levels of dangerous carcinogens than indoor tobacco smoke. We also know that smoke-free policies in outdoor locations are very effective in preventing youth tobacco use in the first place.

For these reasons, the Maine Medical Association supports policies that protect nonsmokers from involuntary exposure to hazardous tobacco smoke. We hope the council does not water down the proposal to have a complete ban on smoking in parks.

Charles F. Pattavina, MD

Bangor

King’s support

I am writing to you to express my support for independent Angus King to replace retiring U.S. Sen. Olympia Snowe in the upcoming election. I support King as a fourth-year University of Maine student who both cares deeply about the environment as well as my wallet. King supports the natural gas industry as a stepping stone from our oil addiction to a renewable energy future.

As for my wallet, King has supported, and continues to support, student-loan reform. With the amount of debt for the average Maine college graduate being the second highest in the country, Maine graduates could see some very serious economic turmoil in the coming years. Debt has already altered my plans for after school. Instead of going to law school, I will immediately enter the workforce to chip away at my student loans.

King supports the transition from a “debt-as-default” system to one that replicates the 401(k) system but in a reverse fashion, where employers match the payment of student loans until they are gone, then continuing to match for retirement plans.

As a student who cares about the environment, I support King because he supports me.

Gordon Merrick

Old Town

Elections matter

We vote for candidates for different reasons. However, the most important rationale is to choose candidates who most closely support our core beliefs. Do you believe that the best government is that which governs least? Do you believe that you are entitled to your income without major taxation? Do you believe that most jobs and businesses should be in the private sector rather than in the public sector, which has to be supported by taxpayers? Do you believe that most individuals have the ability and capability to make the best decisions for themselves?

If you answered yes to the above questions, you are a conservative. Personalities, polls and polished advertisements can distract or confuse us from voting for the candidates on the state and national level who support our beliefs.

There is a difference between conservative and liberal ideas. We need to be mindful about what we really believe and then follow through with our votes.

Darleen Lougee

Veazie

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