In response to "A budget that ignores a harsh bottom line" (Feb. 14 Editorial) and related articles:
Obama's 'toothless' budget is strike 3; he fails leadership test
Two years ago, President Obama engaged the Bowles-Simpson review and totally ignored it.
Last year, he set up a super committee doomed to fail and stayed out of the fray so as not to be blamed. Now, he presents a toothless budget.
Both sides share responsibility for the current economic crisis, but a president is elected to exhibit leadership and do the right thing for the good of the country. Obama has failed in all these tests and does not deserve a second term.
Much-needed cuts in military spending ignored in budget
The president's budget doesn't comply with the $450 billion in cuts to Pentagon spending included in the Budget Control Act passed earlier this year.
Military spending has contributed greatly to increasing the debt, and it lines the pockets of military contractors instead of helping our communities.
I hope Sens. Richard Burr and Kay Hagan will stand up to this attempt to go against current law and take this opportunity to divert the expenditure to paying off the debt and strengthening the economy.
In response to "One simple truth undergirds this decision: Sodomy is a sin" (Feb. 14 Forum):
If St. Gabriel's seeks sinless job candidate, good luck with that
Forum writer Susan Peppard should be reminded we're all sinners. Maybe she should serve on the search committee for the new heterosexual music director at St. Gabriel's to ensure all candidates are judged equally.
Will applicants be questioned, scrutinized and investigated regarding any of the following before being considered for the post: divorce , use of birth control, abortions, being spotted at Burger King on a Friday during Lent?
Perhaps the job posting should read: "Seeking qualified minister of music - candidates conceived without sin are preferred."
In response to "Bates-Congdon firing shows hypocrisy of Catholic Church" (Feb. 14 Forum):
Church's positions clear; go elsewhere if you can't abide
Forum writer Michael Warner thinks the Catholic Church is hypocritical because it maintains its positions on gay marriage and abortion.
The Catholic faith accepts everybody, but do not impose your lifestyle in breaking the rules of faith and morality the Church imposes on its faithful.
If dissatisfied, leave the Church. The Universal Catholic Church of Rome will survive.
Limiting birth control has long-term global impact
The earth's population recently passed 7 billion. Nearly every problem the world faces is driven by excess population - from starvation and poverty to rampant infectious diseases, from destruction of the environment to wars over resources.
There is a limit to the Earth's capacity to sustain life.
Any organization that hinders access to birth control is contributing to the suffering and eventual demise of humanity.
In response to "Conservative Christians bankrolling Santorum" (Feb. 14):
Here's what Santorum, his biggest backer really mean
Foster Friess says he and Rick Santorum are "here to be a channel of God's love to others ... to be a blessing to every person he puts in our path" - unless they are different from us.
Then, we'll try to empty their heads of their own beliefs and replace them with ours. If that doesn't take, we'll make them our enemy and label them with names like socialist, secular humanist or abortionist so we can blame them for America's problems. After all, it can't be our fault; we're Christians, pro-lifers, compassionate conservatives. The truth is always on our side. And everybody knows God is a Republican.
That's what Foster Friess and Rick Santorum really mean.
Tony W. Hinson
In response to "I-95 toll plan targets truckers, passersby" (Feb. 12):
If tolls instituted on I-95, N.C. residents should pay lower rate
Our taxes already help support this vital north/south artery. We should recoil at paying again - even to make Interstate 95 better.
It has been proposed that we use a pass system to avoid toll booth interruptions.
I propose N.C. residents pay a discounted rate. If you have an N.C. address and pay N.C. taxes, your fees should be half that of nonresidents. Pass readers can be programmed up-front to take the appropriate amount.
Melissa M. Thorpe Hill
In response to "Mooresville turns laptops into a better teaching tool" and "Apple: Independent group to inspect conditions at suppliers" (Feb. 14):
Computers in classrooms carry a human toll; kids need to know
Educators fall over themselves to "change the culture of instruction" by adopting iPads, mini-computers and cell phone technologies, helping Apple sales zoom. Not only will students learn better, educators argue, but their global awareness will be enhanced.
But the bright promise of these gadgets comes at the appalling cost to the workers overseas who manufacture and dispose of/recycle them.
How do we teach our globally-aware students to care?