Observer Forum: Letters to the editor

In response to “Duke now says no on Muslim chant” (Jan. 16):

Graham borders on hate speech

While reasonable people may disagree on Duke University’s decision to reverse itself and not allow the amplified Muslim call to worship on campus, evangelist Franklin Graham’s broad brush characterization of Muslims and Islam were not only unreasonable, but came dangerously close to hate speech.

One can only wonder what would Jesus think, and what Billy might say about son Franklin’s most recent contribution to improving understanding among the world’s religions.

Morry Alter


Duke University should not have caved under pressure

Franklin Graham’s position isn’t surprising, although how he reconciles his bigotry with his professed Christian beliefs continues to amaze me.

However, I am appalled that Duke University, an institution that has historically stood for free speech and the open exchange of ideas, would cave to Mr. Graham’s pressure.

Shame on Duke!

Tricia Marlow

Fort Mill, S.C.

In response to “Pope teaches tolerance; firing teacher ignores his message” (Jan. 16 Forum) and related letters:

Employees were fired for violating Catholic doctrine

People may be getting the wrong impression about the Catholic Church’s actions regarding Steav Bates-Congdon and Lonnie Billard.

Both had signed the diocesan agreement to “not publicly oppose church doctrine.”

The Catholic Church teaches that marriage is a sacrament for a man and a woman.

It had been well known within the church and school, respectively, that each man was gay. Yet, each had kept his job and was loved – as the Pope encourages – within the church and school communities.

They were not fired because they are gay, but because they breached the promise each had made in their employment agreement.

Renee Foster


In response to “Immigrant ID talk fills room” (Jan. 16):

City’s priorities miss the mark; spend on streets, sidewalks

The City of Charlotte has lamented in the past that it lacks funds to repair streets and sidewalks.

Now, we hear City Council is considering the creation of an Office of New Charlotteans and adding more bilingual city staff.

Do government leaders truly believe these proposals reflect the priorities of taxpayers?

John N. Mangieri


In response to “I-485 lane done but closed for 5 years” (Jan. 16):

Bureaucratic thinking to blame for keeping needed lane closed

In the movie “Field of Dreams” the mantra is “If you build it, (they) will come.”

The NCDOT has its own mantra: “We have built it, but you can’t use it.”

A perfect example of bureaucratic thinking.

John Petrie

Fort Mill, S.C.

Widening of I-485 just shifted congestion, it hasn’t helped

The widening of I-485 has been a major disappointment – I am not getting home any faster than before construction started.

The problem is that the widening accomplished one thing – shifting congestion on the outerbelt down toward Rea Road.

Instead of sitting in traffic for 20 to 30 minutes after merging onto the outerbelt from I-77, I now sit in traffic 20 to 30 minutes due to the Rea Road merge. Thursday evening traffic was backed up for eight miles.

Paul C. Schmidt


In response to “Streetcar opening delayed to June” (Jan. 15):

Streetcar is a spendthrift’s dream; it’s time to scrap it

“Controversial transit project,” indeed. This $130 million pie-in-the-sky dream is supposed to bring entrepreneurs clamoring for storefront property along the trolley line.

I’m not real clear on exactly what the draw will be. Most of the route will eventually cover somewhat depressed areas from Johnson C. Smith University, through downtown, and out Central Avenue.

The “dreamers” are certain that new businesses, apartments and other housing will generate enough revenue to offset the $100 million-plus cost. Baloney.

Elitist politicians are reckless spendthrifts with other people’s money. Swallow the initial cost and scrap this bad idea.

Dickie Benzie