Letters to the Editor

Observer Forum: Letters to the editor 04.06.16

Mark Sumwalt
Mark Sumwalt

In response to “Homebuilders accused of bilking York County buyers” (April 1):

Case of accused York homebuilders should serve as warning for all

This is the fourth builder in York County I’ve heard of who has been accused of cheating customers this way.

They’ve built homes poorly then filed for bankruptcy, sticking it to the subcontractors and homeowners.

There is no recourse for the victims because there are no assets.

Two of these builders are now back in business building more homes. Buyer beware!

John Jackson

Lake Wylie, S.C.

In response to “States revise religious objection proposals” (April 3) and related articles:

Don’t let people use religious beliefs to justify discrimination in N.C.

Unlike most people with an opinion on the proposed N.C. Religious Freedom Restoration Act, I’ve read it.

It says that people, organizations and corporations can use their religious beliefs to justify discrimination.

Their refusal must simply be “substantially motivated by one’s sincerely held religious beliefs.” There is no proof required that the person actually holds the beliefs, and they don’t need to be part of an actual religion.

These beliefs are defense against prosecution and can result in financial compensation if they are “burdened or likely to be burdened” by a law.

Goodbye rule of law. Hello anarchy.

Tom Siegler


Forcing citizens to violate their religious beliefs amounts to tyranny

There is no passage in the U.S. Constitution enshrining the right of a gay couple to obligate, under government coercion, a private citizen to perform a service for them.

However, here’s the opening clause of Amendment I: “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof...”

Fundamental to this issue is the core underlying principle in the founding of the republic, that rights are granted to us by the Creator, that the central purpose of government is to secure those rights, and that among these are life, liberty and the pursuit of happiness.

No mention here of forcing private citizens to surrender their liberty by violating their religious beliefs through enabling an act they consider immoral.

Such force is tyranny, pure and simple.

Jack Watson


In response to “My Christian principles and civil liberties being ignored” (April 2 Forum):

Human rights and common decency must always trump religious beliefs

Forum writer David Almond defends discrimination against homosexuals as “simply adherence to Christian principles.”

Adherence to religious principles left unchecked has led to abuses throughout history, and certainly will again.

Our founding fathers, most of whom were extremely religious, understood well the danger of religion in governance and the importance of separation of church and state.

Human rights and common decency must always prevail and trump one’s subjective beliefs, be it religious or otherwise.

Mark T. Sumwalt


In response to “I support freedom to discriminate” (April 1 Forum):

Today’s GOP has been hijacked by fundamentalist Christians

Christian fundamentalists have long been on the wrong side of the great moral issues in this country – slavery, segregation, interracial marriage, women’s rights, and now LGBT issues.

Fundamentalists have hijacked the Republican Party in the name of the tea party.

Democrats and Republicans could always compromise in the end. The tea party will compromise with no one and has paralyzed our government.

All responsible religious leaders should speak out loudly against this faith-based hate.

David A. Nachamie


No need to bulk up defense budget; let’s stop fighting wars for others

The usual Republican war hawks – Sens. John McCain and Lindsey Graham – want to increase the defense budget by $190 billion.

According to a 2014 Stockholm International Peace Institute study, the U.S. already spends more than the next eight countries combined, yet these hawks want to pour money down the drain.

U.S. defense spending could be cut by 40 percent without reducing our safety – and still be more than Russian and Chinese spending combined.

Other countries need to deal with their own issues and quit begging the U.S. to fight their wars for them.

Dewey P. Rochester