POSTED ON JUNE 12, 2013:
Disaster Aid. No, Wait. Same-Sex Marriage. No, Disast--
Arnold Hamilton's latest rant (The Capitolist, May 30-June 5) against Inhoffe and Coburn is nothing more than simplistic naiveté. While this is not a blanket endorsement of either Oklahoma senator, they both have a legitimate concern: overspending in Congress. Coburn simply wants cuts somewhere else to offset spending to help the Moore and Shawnee victims. Maybe Hamilton should have read the syndicated column "News of the Weird" in which the latest issue outlined $890,000 used by the Feds to preserve nothing -- and that is the tip of the iceberg of wasteful and inefficient spending. Surely he can agree to make some cuts to help Oklahoma.
The other issue was Ronnie Bishop's letter to the editor (Love Letters, Hate Mail, May 30-June 5) on the issue of same-sex marriage. Like so many, he is confusing Church doctrine with civil rights. The argument here is about the latter, not the former. At the outset, as a former minister, he is correct on the church doctrine of marriage. Both in the Old and New Testaments, marriage is defined as the union of a man and a woman.
However, that only applies to those within the church, not those outside. Those outside the church should not have to abide by the doctrinal rules of a body of believers. With the increasing secularization culture, those outside the church cannot be denied a civil right. One of those rights is marriage (the Ninth Amendment protects this as an unforeseen right -- much like privacy which is not specifically mentioned). The Constitution also provides for a republican form of government in which the majority does rule, but it cannot override the rights of the minority. Most Americans forget the second part. You cannot deny a civil right based on sexual orientation. As long as both people are adults, if they choose to enter a same-sex union, that does not affect me or anyone else.
Marriage is both a cultural and doctrinal issue. As a culture, the state must adapt. A church can adapt if it wishes, or hold to the traditional view. In either case, it is not the state's job to uphold a church doctrine. The state runs matters of the state or culture -- and not everyone exists inside a church.
-- Stephen Scott
The Wheels on the Bus Need Some Adjusting
I was pleased to find that Bill Leighty ("Defining a Great Mayor," June 6-12) once again mentioned Kathy Taylor's concern for public transportation in Tulsa. Perhaps readers of Urban Tulsa Weekly would be interested in a specific example of how difficult it currently is to get around by bus in Tulsa.
Last night (Thursday, June 6), I was at 15th and Peoria, and I wanted to get down to the Food Pyramid on 39th and Peoria. The southbound Peoria bus was rather late, but it finally came. Then when it reached 31st and Peoria, it had to detour because of a motorcycle rally that had blocked off Peoria between 31st and 36th Street. But when the bus got to 36th Street, it got back onto Peoria and all was well. I knew I had just enough time to shop at Food Pyramid and then get the last northbound bus, which was scheduled to reach 41st and Peoria at 8:06 PM.
So I was waiting at the marked bus stop that is just north of the Food Pyramid on the east side of the street, between 37th and 38th on Peoria. And sure enough, at 8:06 I saw the northbound bus approaching. When I saw it, it was south of 41st Street. But instead of continuing north on Peoria, instead it turned on 41st. I was two blocks away when I saw it turn. Evidently the bus driver had decided to begin his detour on 41st, instead of going up to 36th and then turning off of Peoria.
But how was I to know that the northbound bus would do that? The southbound bus had taken 36th as the detour off of Peoria. I was waiting where I ought to have been waiting, but by turning onto 41st, the bus driver left me stranded. Since it was the last bus of the evening, I ended up having to call a cab, and the cab took almost an hour to arrive.
I don't blame the motorcyclists for blocking Peoria. I do blame Tulsa Transit for not being consistent in the detours taken by the Peoria bus.
It would be nice if Urban Tulsa Weekly were to do some investigative reporting and ask Dewey Bartlett why Tulsa Transit is so horribly mismanaged. I grew up in Minneapolis and then spent five years in Boston; things like this just didn't happen on the buses in those cities.
-- Randi Eldevik
What If He Reads My "Buy Diapers" Texts?
Question: Dear UTW:
Who would you trust with a file containing all of your personal cell phone calls, Internet searches, e-mails, texts, pictures and physical tracking information for the past 5 years? Your spouse? Your best friend? Your parents?
Before you answer this question, you should know that you've already entrusted every bit of this information -- and more -- to one man: President Barack Obama.
Not only does he have the authority to access this information today on you and 300 million other U.S. citizens (thanks to the NSA), but he also has the ability to use any and all of this information at will.
Think about it.... Every phone call. Every e-mail. Every text. Every picture. In the hands of one man. Now think about the fact that Obama has this same information -- and access to the personal secrets -- of people who are actually in position to expose and stop him. Every journalist. Every Congressman. Every Supreme Court Justice.
Call your Congressmen. It's time for us to help them stop Obama's abuse of power, because it appears that our Constitution alone cannot.
-- Mark R. Heaton
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