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Letters

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Letters to the editor

Hate-filled talk on Mideast peace riddled with unacceptable inaccuracies

On Sept. 19, the Indiana Center for Middle East Peace presented a program at the downtown library with a speaker who proposes a “one-state secular democracy” to end the conflict between Israelis and Palestinians.

He is, of course, entitled to that view, although such a solution seems very unrealistic after decades of hostilities. However, this speaker supported his position with gross distortions, not to mention outright lies, about the history of the region. He insisted his version is fact, and not revisionist nonsense, despite the fact that it totally contradicts historical records of events at the times they occurred.

Even worse, his talk included hate-filled diatribes, again based on flagrant misrepresentations of events of the past 100 years.

Many in the audience were quite appalled at things the speaker said. Unfortunately, many others, who don’t know the real history, accepted his version as accurate.

We find it extremely discouraging that an organization with “peace” as part of its name and peace as its purported goal would offer this community such a hostile program that does nothing to foster peace but is in fact the antithesis, promoting antagonism and division. We are sadly disappointed in the Center for Middle East Peace and question its true motivation and agenda.

FRAN ADLER, president Fort Wayne Jewish Federation RABBI JAVIER CATTAPAN Congregation Achduth Vesholom JAKI SCHREIER, executive director Fort Wayne Jewish Federation RABBI MITCHELL KORNSPAN Congregation B’nai Jacob DORIS FOGEL, executive director (retired) Fort Wayne Jewish Federation LEONARD GOLDSTEIN

Obamacare’s arrival cause for celebration

Tuesday was a banner day for many of our Hoosier neighbors, who for the first time had access to adequate health insurance for themselves and their families. The Affordable Care Act – Obamacare – marketplace opened for business and individuals can shop for coverage, with the support of income-based credits and subsidies, that will start on Jan. 1.

The ACA continues to be hotly debated and much maligned, but beyond the rhetoric it represents life-changing and life-saving access to health care.

Far too many of our neighbors have lived far too long without health insurance, knowing that preventive care was out of reach and emergency or critical care would result in economic devastation.

This reality creates a daily stress that is hard to comprehend for those who have not lived it.

The ACA also narrows the ranks of the underinsured by requiring health insurers to cover preventive and essential medical care, a new reality that will improve the health and well-being of our communities.

Obamacare is not perfect – no law or program, public or private, is – but it is a game changer for the health and well-being of Hoosiers, and that is worth celebrating and sharing.

Join me in learning more and connecting those who will benefit from the new options available to them thanks to its implementation. Information and navigation support is available at www.healthcare.gov. A healthier future for Hoosiers has arrived.

RYLIN RODGERS Family Voices Indiana Lebanon

An even greater crisis looming ahead of us

I am appalled by our local Republican representatives supporting the effective shutdown of the government. Needless to say, they are still drawing their salaries while 800,000 government workers are not. Of course, we are paying them for doing absolutely nothing. Offices supplying real services to the people are shut down. All of this so that poor people cannot get health care.

What is even worse is that the conservative Republicans in the House plan to block any increase in the debt ceiling. Then we will not only not have government services available, but Social Security and veterans’ benefits will be in jeopardy.

Enough of the childish attitude that if I do not get my own way I am going to take my marbles and go home.

JAMES M. LUTZ Fort Wayne

Growing congregation gets help in Auburn

Some months ago the Auburn Baptist Church advertised that it needed more space for its growing congregation. Other churches might think, good luck with that. But not the First Christian Church of Auburn. They contacted the Auburn Baptist Church with a plan that is now in writing and will take place this month.

On a given Sunday, the Auburn Baptist congregation has been invited to bring their church and Sunday school congregants to the First Christian Church. The First Christian Church will worship from 9:30 to 10:30 a.m. in the sanctuary, and then have its Sunday school at 10:45 a.m. in the Christian education facilities.

The Auburn Baptist Church will have its Sunday school from 9:30 until 10:30 a.m., and then meet for worship at 10:45 a.m. in the sanctuary.

A warm, informative letter concerning the details of this unusual arrangement was sent to the Auburn Baptist Church.

When the First Christian Church became aware of the space limitations of the Baptist church on Sunday morning, they thought they could help by extending them an invitation to share in the use of their facilities on Sunday morning.

If I may quote the closing words from the board chair of the First Christian Church, “I believe in the great power of God, and that, if we put our faith in him, this situation can be a wonderful thing for both of our congregations.” As an outsider and just an old local preacher, I say, amen to that.

WAYNE E. SMITH Auburn

From legal perspective, gay marriage clear cut

Each fall, I teach an introductory law class. And, each fall, I use the legal debate about gay marriage as the antithesis of a legal argument.

Just as it should not be lightly noted that the tide is turning rather quickly toward a clear majority of Hoosiers favoring same-sex marriage, it should also be noted that there seems to be hope that all but the most strident of state Republicans are getting ready to do what is legally correct for all Indiana adult citizens. Just as my students hear me suggest, Indiana lawmakers should hear the same.

The matter of gay marriage is as close to black and white as a legal matter gets. Simply, to prohibit gay marriage is a clear violation of our Constitution’s Equal Protection Clause.

As societal views on groups against which discrimination is acceptable evolve and change, the Equal Protection Clause evolves and changes as well. We cannot continue to discriminate against a class of citizens simply because we’ve always discriminated against that class of citizens.

While public opinion has its place, ultimately, ours is a nation of laws and, at the end of this day, gay marriage is a clear-cut legal issue. It appears that here in Indiana, faulty public policy hidden in even faultier legal logic is getting ready to meet its time.

For a matter that is so legally straightforward, the sooner our legislators do the legally correct thing, the sooner more Americans will be able to enjoy the rights that they have always been due under our Constitution.

BRAD NADBORNE Manchester University

Chops review missed plenty of positives

I rarely read Ryan DuVall’s column on local restaurants and now I know why. He starts out by saying that Chops (Sept. 29) is an “afterthought” and is in an “odd category” as far as he is concerned. I’m sure the owners, Chuck and Kara, appreciate the fact that the 1,000-plus weekly diners don’t view Chops that way.

After a few nice comments regarding some of the dishes, he says “there were several low points.” He made comments regarding dishes that didn’t meet his standards and used adjectives I have never heard anyone use describing Chops food in more than 10 years. He goes on to critique the atmosphere, saying that the booths and tables need to be replaced and the blinds look like something from a discount store. Maybe he needs to be an interior design consultant.

Fort Wayne residents are fortunate to have so many outstanding locally owned restaurants that owners put numerous hours into that make them what they are – great. Then to have DuVall put his ridiculous comments in the paper is disheartening, to say the least.

He left one low point at Chops out of his article and that was when he walked in the door. One point he failed to mention is how he was greeted when he walked in the door. I’m sure he was greeted by Chuck, Kara or one of their delightful staff members, as they always do, treating you like family and demonstrating their appreciation for your business.

There are so many reasons that it’s hard to get a reservation at Chops. Maybe he should have listed more of those.

MARK EIFERT Fort Wayne

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