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Everybody's column

Court ruled correctly in 'Bong Hits' case

The July 4 News editorial, "Free speech abridged," can use some clarifying remarks. The editorial said that Deborah Morse, a high school principal from Alaska, went all the way to the Supreme Court to win her case and all it proved was that she believed her students were "dunderheads" who couldn't be trusted to think for themselves.

No, Morse went all the way to the Supreme Court to draw a much-needed line in the sand that would tell smart-aleck, trouble-making students that they must obey school rules. She said the student's sign, "Bong Hits 4 Jesus," displayed during a school parade, advocated the use of drugs, which was against school rules.

The sign was taken down and the student suspended. The ruling was not a "a threat to the very core of free speech rights" but rightly upheld two earlier Supreme Court decisions that granted schools limited but specific authority to control student speech.

Charles Gelia



No need to lampoon judge, Indian leader

The respect and integrity of a federal judge and a leader of the Seneca Nation is above the caricature distortion printed in some of the media. Our shared responsibility is to nourish and perpetuate a neighborly relationship.

Maurice A. John Sr.

President, Seneca Nation of Indians


Wage cuts at Delphi will affect everybody

In the 1970s, Western Block convinced its employees to take a wage cut to keep the plant in Lockport. What happened? The business shut down and moved elsewhere. This type of situation could evolve with Delphi. Budgets are calculated around earned income. Cutting wages by 40 percent will drastically affect other local sales. The trickle-down syndrome will affect everybody, not just the Delphi workers who voted against the proposal.

Karen Thomas



Teach youths at risk to raze vacant houses

I'm sure I'm not the first person to suggest this, but how about putting together the individuals and groups working with the various youths at risk in the area with all of the abandoned houses needing to be torn down?

"Raze" those risky buildings and "raise" the self-esteem and pocket money of these kids. Good supervision and training would be the key instrumentation. That unused angst and energy is what's torching these places anyway, so why not look for ways to use it constructively?

Mary Strzelczyk

West Seneca


Church still functional for all who have faith

I am writing in reference to the statement regarding St. Mary's Church in Swormville: "It was built in 1866. It is absolutely not functional for the year 2000."

For the newborn Christian being welcomed into the arms of the church, it is functional. For those who hear that God loves and forgives them, it is functional. For those who embrace the grace of the Eucharist, it is functional. For those who accept the gifts of the spirit, it is functional. For those who offer love in the sacrifice of the Mass, it is functional.

For those who profess their commitment to each other in the name of God, it is functional. For those who bring the ills of worry and need, seeking the healing that comes with faith, it is functional. For those grief-stricken at a personal loss, but believing that their loved one is seeing the face of God, it is functional.

Thousands have knelt before their God in these hallowed walls. Their prayers belong to God alone. The peace and comfort returned to them belongs to those who listen with their faith. If a church built in 1866 is the vessel of this exchange, it is not only functional, it is blessed.

Judith F. Zon



Bush should have listened to Powell

Colin Powell has finally talked about the incompetence of the Bush administration and the sorry mess it created in Iraq. He tried to get President Bush, Vice President Cheney and Defense Secretary Donald Rumsfeld to understand that what they proposed to do in Iraq would fail. But Powell is a soldier, and despite the administration's poor planning of the war, he followed his commanders' orders.

I believe the most humiliating experience in his life had to be the lies he told to the United Nations, for example, that Saddam Hussein had weapons of mass destruction. Bush reminds me of Emperor Nero, watching the fire consume everything around him.

Christine Kregg



Use of cell phones is out of control

I see nothing wrong with people carrying their cell phone with them 2 4/7 , but there are times they should turn it off. I am a cashier and find it very rude when the people I am waiting on are on their phone for the whole transaction. I think it has gotten out of control. There is nothing that important that cannot wait until they are able to talk privately. I think phones should be banned from all stores. What did we do before they existed?

Ida Metz Derby


Latin Mass leaves many in the dark

In response to the article in the July 8 News, "Pope lifts limits on Latin Mass," it is always beneficial to reconcile differences between religious groups in today's unsettling world. I only hope it does not perpetuate an elitist group among the faithful.

God's grace of salvation is for all people, regardless of the language spoken. I feel an important issue is for the faithful to hear and understand "the good news" and receive the revelation of God's grace. Some of the faithful do not have the opportunity or mind-set to learn Latin.

Livia Menza Cammarano



Pope's comments were a bit harsh

Pope Benedict XVI's reassertion of the primacy of the Catholic Church by his approval of a document that states that other Christian communities are "defective" provides an opportunity for me. I can gladly say that my trust is not in a particular religion, but in the creator -- God of the universe; not in man-made documents, but in the word of God, the Bible.

Pope Benedict XVI can say whatever he wishes, but I agree with Job of the Bible who said so long ago: "I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth."

Lynn Griffith


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