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Editor
Northern Virginia Daily

Sir:

The incomprehensible horror that is Haiti following its recent earthquake can have no other response from any of us than sorrow, compassion, aid and support. These are natural, human and correct responses to tragedy we expect from decent, sane individuals. Pitifully, there are always those few among us who are not naturally decent, humane, compassionate or sane.

That Rush Limbaugh is using the hell that is Haitian lives to promote his political agenda is beyond outrageous; it is inhumane. He recently discouraged listeners to his radio "bellowing" show from making donations to Haiti via the presidential Web site link to the American Red Cross.

He cautioned his listeners that the Obama administration will use the money for its own political purposes rather than send it to Haiti. As the link takes you directly to the American Red Cross Web site, Limbaugh's claims are hardly plausible.

In addition, I am sick to death of self-described Christians such as Pat Robertson who purport to be God's personal spokesmen but whose minds are so warped they can spew the kind of indecency Robertson spewed the other day when he said Haiti was struck by the earthquake because "the Haitians had made a pact with the devil."

Does he blame the victims in order to assuage the guilt he feels for the great, good fortune of his own life? Does he think he can ward off personal tragedy through self-righteousness -- that only the evil fall victim to the laws of accident and nature?

I sometimes wonder if any of these people know the first thing about the true Christian teaching or if in fact they have simply given their lives over to nothing more than self-promotion and manipulation of the gullible.

Maggie Maloney
315 High St.
Strasburg
Jan. 17, 2010

Editor
Northern Virginia Daily

Sir:

It was good news to read on Jan. 18 that the Shenandoah County schools received more than $7 million of federal stimulus money for bonds for energy conservation and construction projects.

A big "well done" to School Superintendent Keith Rowland, Finance Director Jeremy Raley, the energy conservation staff, maintenance staff and others involved in the proposal. Their good work in going after the stimulus money and successfully competing for the award will save county taxpayers some big money. The significant annual savings on energy purchases will provide additional funds over future years for salaries, equipment, supplies and services.

We should all be proud of our school officials for taking the initiative and doing a great job.

Tony Dorrell
1463 Kern Springs Road
Woodstock
Jan. 18, 2010

Editor
Northern Virginia Daily

Sir:

Stop playing politics and letting terrorists get away with defiance of our requests just because they are radical Muslims and we don't want to offend anyone.

I think all Americans would agree that they would rather offend a few to save thousands from another terrorist attack.

Get off your politically correct House and Senate seats and protect your fellow Americans before it's to late.

Julie Dolly
33 B St.
Keyser, W.Va.
Jan. 17, 2010

Editor
Northern Virginia Daily

Sir:

In John Fusto's fatally flawed fantasy land one can always find self-professed experts in their respective fields who disagree with the overwhelming consensus of the scientific community in order to pursue their political, ideological or religious agenda such as in the global warming debate.

In the condom use debate there is a similar misinformation campaign afoot and it is led by the Vatican, which makes it very much a "Catholic" issue. That is why, as pointed out in my last letter, progressive Catholics feel an imperative to speak out against their "infallible" pope on this and other social issues in order to restore the church that they dearly love to a sense of reason and sanity. As a former Catholic, I wish them success in this most difficult endeavor. The very survival of the church as a leader in the fight for social justice depends on it.

Another Fusto fable is that there is no scientific study that supports the fact that condoms play a significant role in preventing the spread of communicable diseases as well as unwanted pregnancies. The Center For Disease Control and Prevention, the nation's watchdog in preventing the spread of communicable diseases, concluded in an extensive laboratory study that "latex condoms, when used consistently and correctly are highly effective in preventing the sexual transmission of HIV, the virus that causes AIDS and other sexually transmitted diseases." Another scientific study conducted by the University of Pennsylvania concluded that the lifetime risk of contracting AIDS without condoms is 42 percent and with condoms 8 percent. There are many more, too numerous to mention here.

Another example of fallaciousness occurs when religious groups promote and fund abstinence-only programs with federal dollars which been proven to be an abject failure. A full 80 percent of those who take the oath of abstinence break it.

The only solution to the problem is a three-point sex education program consisting of abstinence, monogamy and condoms directed at our nation's youth and, most important, to Third World countries. Any other program short of that puts millions of human lives at risk.

Gene Rigelon
1117 T-Bird Drive
Front Royal
Jan. 18, 2010

Editor
Northern Virginia Daily

Sir:

Evangelist Pat Robertson, commenting recently on the earthquake in Haiti, has stated that the current devastation is a result of a pact Haitians made with the devil in order to free themselves from French rule (under Napoleon I, in the early 1800s, not Napoleon III, Mr. Robertson).

Such thinking illustrates how far the Christian right -- if Robertson's opinions do indeed represent it -- has departed from the example of nonjudgmental compassion set by Jesus of Nazareth.

I find his motive for saying this a bit too transparent. It may be comforting to us to assume that bad things happen to bad people, but a look around with our eyes wide open reveals that bad things happen to bad people, as well as to good people, as well as to people finding themselves between the two extremes.

Opinions such as those expressed by Robertson are not necessarily true simply because they may make some of us feel good. To be true, opinions must accord with fact, not fantasy.

Those who serve impoverished people having critical and immediate needs still look to medical missionary Dr. Albert Schweitzer (1875-1965) as their role model. Schweitzer used to say that the "good conscience" in itself is the work of the devil.

JOHN CLEM
680 Cave Spring Lane
Edinburg
Jan. 20, 2010

Editor
Northern Virginia Daily

Sir:

Why would anyone steal something that is free?

If you live in Shenandoah County, an adult may have a library card free of charge. With that card, he can borrow up to 30 items from any of six libraries. These items include not only books but DVDs, books on CD or cassette, videos and music CDs and more.

Recently $400 worth of books on CD was stolen from the library. Why? They could have been borrowed for no charge. The person who did this not only cost the taxpayers $400 but deprived every resident of Shenandoah County from being able to enjoy this $400 worth of material.

Again I ask, why would you steal something that is free?

DOROTHY S. GROVE
407 Epard Lane
Woodstock
Jan. 20, 2010


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