Letters: Readers watch the SCOTUS decision, the January 6 panel and Israel’s place in the world


Thanks to SCOTUS, gun owners have more rights than women

Why this Supreme Court proclaimed that individual states (New York) cannot limit the rights of gun owners by allowing anyone to openly carry a gun, but then said that states can control the right to ‘a woman to make health choices is extremely hypocritical and disgusting. It gives gun owners more rights than a girl or a woman who has been raped. In some states, the rapist has fewer consequences than the person raped. SCOTUS claims this is because gun rights are clarified by the Constitution, but abortion rights are not mentioned. Any intelligent person would recognize the hypocrisy of this thought. Women are not mentioned in the Constitution and did not even have the right to vote when the Constitution was drafted. Are we going to lose that right as well? Will slavery and segregation be declared legal again? Which of our other hard-won rights will go to the totalitarian, right-wing (supposedly non-partisan) Supreme Court?

Barb Osen,
Isle of Orr

January 6 fact-finding hearings

In his June 22 op-ed (“January 6 Public Hearings Do Not Change Minds”), Carl Golden thinks that the continued gathering of evidence about the events of the January 6 uprising is unlikely to change the election results of ‘fall. I suspect he’s right, but he misses the main purpose of the process: fact-finding.

Currently, an embarrassing percentage of Republicans cling to Trump’s claim that the 2020 election was stolen and that he, Trump, is in fact the rightful president. This claim is a lie and hundreds of rumors of alleged electoral malfeasance, circulating in support of his claim, have been assessed and found to be baseless. Trump was made aware of this by his Attorney General Barr, as well as a number of his bravest Republican aides. He instead chose to listen to the milder advice of attorneys Rudy G. and John Eastman, neither of whom had a cohesive, fact-based legal argument to support nullifying the election.

As the hearings progress and first-hand accounts accumulate, election deniers will find it increasingly difficult to find a safe and sane justification for their beliefs. Until the hearings, they practiced “ignorantia affectata”: they cultivated an interested ignorance of the facts in order to be able to “sincerely” defend their convictions and their actions. The lies necessary to sustain this house of cards are being stripped away.

In my view, the Committee’s statement of facts is sufficient in itself. If it has no impact on the next election, so be it, we get the government we deserve. It’s a bonus to have presented before us the stark contrast between honorable and dishonorable Republicans when it comes to the oath of office – AZ House Speaker Rusty Bowers versus Donald Trump.

For those who continue to deny the results of the 2020 election, I leave you with the words of 19th century biologist Thomas Huxley: “God gives me strength to face a fact even if it kills me.”

Steven Zimmerman,

Rooks unfairly chose Israel

I generally enjoy reading your editorial page columnists, including Douglas Rooks. They are all informative, incisive and sometimes even erudite. I was impressed by Mr. Rooks’ recent article on a recent United States Supreme Court decision, Carson v. Makin, until he was almost done (The Maine Idea: “Religion’s ‘free exercise’ could boomerang, in Maine and nation”, June 23). He then warns that weakening the First Amendment’s separation of church and state could have the “unfortunate” effect of officially making it a “Christian nation,”… “with grave consequences, as we now see in nations as different as India and Israel”.

I found it singularly inappropriate and bizarre that Mr. Rooks would refer to the small country of Israel, even comparing it to India, a country of nearly a billion people, to make his point. Unlike any other country, Israel’s formal Jewish identity is a direct result of centuries of religious intolerance by almost every leading Christian and Muslim country over the past two millennia, some democratic (including Germany) , some communists, others theocrats. Genocide, ostracism, persecution and all kinds of repressions were inflicted on the “wandering Jew” until the UN finally granted sanctuary to Holocaust survivors and their co-religionists in their ancient biblical homeland, where the Jews have resided continuously since Abraham and Sarah. settled there 3,500 years ago.

Today, more than 9 million people live in Israel, including about 2 million Muslim Arabs. They are all citizens, with equal voting rights and representation in the country’s legislature (Kenneset) and its Supreme Court. Its citizenry is one of the best educated in the world, enjoying free and universal public education. Israel is recognized as “the start-up nation”, due to its incredibly creative and productive people, including frequent medical and scientific breakthroughs. Israel is also one of the first countries in the world to provide emergency relief anywhere in the world in the event of a humanitarian disaster. The continuing violent religious conflict in Israel is not the result of Israel’s hostility to Islam, but of the Palestinians’ stubborn refusal to recognize Israel’s right to exist, and their virulent anti-Semitism, funded and promoted by the Iran and other hostile countries in the region.

Jews and other religious minorities are banned or unable to live safely in many, if not most, Muslim countries in the Middle East. Approximately 700,000 Jewish residents were expelled from these countries upon the founding of Israel. China, which has more than a billion people, cannot seem to allow people of religions it opposes to live in peace. Why didn’t Mr. Rooks refer to one of those many cesspools of intolerance to make his point, instead of choosing to take on Israel?

Maurice Liber,

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