Observer Forum: Letters to the editor

In response to “A way out of gridlock in D.C.” (Oct. 24 Viewpoint):

Year of service could help bipartisanship

The idea of a monthly bipartisan lunch is fine, but let’s be more ambitious.

As recently as 40 years ago, the overwhelming majority of senators and congressmen had served in the military. Those were also the days when bipartisan cooperation was common. While it is unlikely the draft will be reinstated, one year of public service might find traction with lawmakers on both sides of the aisle. The year would begin after high school and would be directed towards a broad range of areas such as in hospitals, schools, housing and infrastructure projects.

Who knows: In addition to providing very real assistance to the country, a year of public service might attenuate our widespread polarization.

Dan Laurent


In response to “If it really wants to be elite, UNC must reject football” (Oct. 26 Forum):

UNC scandal still not as bad as those at other football schools

The debacle which occurred at our university is minuscule compared with situations ongoing in a vast majority of universities with great football programs. One difference: UNC laid out all the facts and fully cooperated with the NCAA and the recent independent investigation, a move other schools will never do. An investigation of universities with successful football programs across the country would reveal such grave infractions that the football programs would definitely be closed.

Frank Harrington


Not as bad as other schools? That’s not the measure!

I find it disappointing to read the numerous comments from UNC supporters in the vein of “Do you really think UNC is the only university doing this?” It implies that if others are doing the same thing it’s not so bad. There likely are other universities whose programs are not totally clean. But the implication that this makes it any less egregious is both misguided and unfair. UNC should strive to be an esteemed academic institution. To succeed, integrity must be the goal, and predominant culture, amongst all of the university’s stakeholder groups.

Jim Meagher


ACC commissioner was at UNC when paper classes started

The presidents and chancellors of the Atlantic Coast Conference schools should move immediately to terminate John Swofford as commissioner of the ACC. It was on his watch as athletic director at UNC Chapel Hill that no show and paperless classes for athletes began.

Mr. Swofford should be cut quickly from an athletic conference that has long prided itself on the academic reputation of its member schools.

David H. Fulton


Magistrates should be able to exercise freedom of religion

It is shocking, in a country conceived on the principle of freedom of religion, that government employees would be forced to choose between their religious convictions and their jobs. I am appalled that magistrates are forced to do so.

Are we going to allow our elected officials to continue to turn our government, intended to protect the rights and freedoms of citizens, into one that makes a mockery of our Constitution and the principles of our forefathers? What part of “... nor prohibit the free exercise thereof” in the First Amendment do they not understand?

Mary Hill Lane


Freedom not to marry gays? Then where would it end?

I wonder if these “Christian” magistrates who refuse to marry gay couples also refuse to marry a gossip, a liar or a murderer to someone else. These are abominations listed in the Bible (Proverbs 6:16-19). Do they turn away a woman who is not wearing a dress (Deuteronomy 22:5)? Will they refuse to marry someone who eats shrimp and lobster (Leviticus 11:12)? If you are going to stand up for your religious beliefs, you have that right. But you cannot pick and choose which abominations you will fight against. It is called hypocrisy.

Narisse Bravard

Rutherford College