In his letter “Celebrating our national motto” (Aug. 18), state Rep. Rick Saccone (R-District 39) attempts to refute the notion that he wishes to “put God back into our government,” but that is precisely what he has sought to do.
Saccone was the driving force behind the adoption of a “Year of the Bible” resolution in the State House in 2012 and one that marked a “Day of Prayer” the following year. He also sought to compel public schools to display “In God We Trust.” Whose God and whose Bible, I wonder, is the representative seeking to promote? All of this presumes not only that religion should meld with government, but that the General Assembly, which contains more than its share of scoundrels, should serve as our official moral arbiters.
Religion has been a factor throughout our country’s history, but we do not need any new religious symbols to be thrust upon us by our government in what is now a highly pluralistic society.
Saccone fails to recognize that when government tilts toward one religion, it does a disservice to those of other faiths and those of no faith. He has cited support in his district for his actions, but if majority rule was what government bodies were to rely upon to enact laws and to enforce the provisions of the Constitution, the Jim Crow era would have endured.
How many members of the electorate would say that they voted for their leaders in order for them to provide religious and moral underpinning for the rest of us, this in a state that has a corrupt government in shambles and in which legitimate, on-time budgets are not enacted?
One recognizes how out of step Saccone is with our community in noting his 100 percent rating by the National Rifle Association and his zero percent rating from Planned Parenthood (source: smartvote.org).
If Saccone had his way, perhaps state license plates will someday read, “You’ve Got a Theocrat in Pennsylvania.” Why has he become bashful about stating his intentions?
Upper St. Clair
Protection from adult stupidity
Regarding The Chronicle’s Aug 11 article, “Writer tells government to get out of kids’ lives,” I have some concerns. Abby Schachter raises the question of whether authorities should take responsibility for the welfare of our children. She speaks against the law preventing swaddling in daycare centers. She is quoted as saying, “Swaddling when done correctly as it has been done for thousands of years, helps baby sleep.”
If she took the time to read the American Academy of Pediatrics’ latest statement on the subject, she would find that it agrees. However, the keyword is safety. The Academy provides guidelines for the safe swaddling of infants. Unfortunately, this does not always happen. There are many things in society that when done safely are fine. However, there are many things that when done improperly can lead to increased risk of accidents resulting in injury or even death.
It is clear, for example, that wearing a seatbelt or being in a car seat markedly diminishes the risk of injury or death. Yet, the majority of people never experience an accident that requires such prevention. And many people ignore these simple precautions as we see almost every day.
Is it acceptable to spank a child for disciplinary reasons chancing serious harm? She talks about “criminalizing parents for using their own discretion.” In some cases, this may not be the correct action. But it raises the question of whether we should underprotect or overprotect our children.
There is an inherent assumption throughout this article that parents always know what is best for their kids. While sometimes true, I would submit that a 16-year-old parent who is single and a drug addict might not always be able to ascertain what is the right course of action for their child. As is often the case, I am concerned that this article presents a point of view without any apparent attempt to provide reasonable alternative considerations.
Again, the underlying question is how far society should go to protect one’s child. Who is to decide? A serious discussion is needed to protect our kids who may be helpless bystanders to adult stupidity.
Mark Diamond M.D.
Sovereign state, where all Jews are welcome
In The Chronicle’s Aug. 11 op-ed “Turning the Temple from construct into construction,” Lieba Rudolph describes her fervent desire for the rebuilding of the Temple. However, she is incorrect in stating “that the Jewish nation remains vulnerable, a byproduct of being scattered and without true sovereignty.”
The fact is that the sovereign State of Israel was established in 1948. And all Jews are welcome to return.
In addition, the democratically elected government of Israel has no interest, both philosophically or politically, in rebuilding the Temple. In reality, Israel has made peace with two of its former neighboring enemies, Jordan and Egypt. Jordan was given religious authority over the Temple Mount where two of Islam’s major religious sites stand, and Israel has control of its security.
In today’s world, agreements between nations have to be respected, as do the rights of all citizens within a democratic state such as Israel.