Marriage was in trouble long before legislation

As a heterosexual, practicing Catholic, I am appalled at the demeaning mantra of our hierarchy regarding our homosexual sisters and brothers: "Love these sinners, hate their sin."

Thomas Tobin, one of many U.S. bishops endlessly railing against granting homosexuals civil marital status, recently asserted: "The concept of civil unions is a social experiment that promotes an immoral lifestyle, is a mockery of the institution of marriage as designed by God, undermines the well-being of our families and poses a threat to religious liberty."

The Defense of Marriage Act, and its support by the hierarchy and its obedient serfs, including the Knights of Columbus, which has spent millions of dollars on its defense, is a farce. Heterosexual marriage was in trouble long before gays and lesbians began coming out of the closet en masse.

It is estimated that 5 percent of the world's population, or 300 million, are homosexual by nature, not by choice. Homosexual couples, by themselves, cannot naturally propagate; neither can many barren heterosexual couples, but they are permitted the physical pleasures of their marriage bond. Why is it that monogamous homosexual couples are not permitted to enjoy the same benefits?

It's time our hierarchy stops feeding the rampant homophobic hysteria in the name of Christianity. Enough already!

William J. Schuch

East Aurora


We should appreciate, protect our freedoms

After reading the editorial in the July 4 News on giving thanks for freedom, I felt I needed to respond. I am a veteran and a staunch patriot of my country and give thanks every day that I was born in the United States, where I have my freedom and am able to determine my own destiny. I fly my flag every day and remember those who have made the ultimate sacrifice to keep me and all the citizens of this country free. I pray every day for those who are currently serving.

I am deeply disturbed and distressed at the direction in which our president and members of Congress are leading us. Our government has become far too large and is ignoring the Constitution, which a group of individuals had the foresight to adopt more than 200 years ago.

Government is looking to impose more taxes and entitlements, which will increase the size of government even further. Every day, lawmakers are devising more ways to usurp our freedoms and individual rights. God cannot be mentioned in public places. Some wish to remove God from the Pledge of Allegiance and "in God we trust" from our currency.

I implore all Americans to stand up and take notice what is happening around you or someday in the very near future you are going to be living in a country like many others in the world where you will not have the freedom to chose what you want or don't want. Yes, I love my freedom and will stand up to protect it no matter what the cost.

Rich Zahner

East Amherst


County executive needs an attitude adjustment

When Erie County Executive Chris Collins insisted upon leading Lancaster's Fourth of July parade, I believe the organizers responded appropriately by not recognizing him as he passed the grandstand. Some folks refer to him as "King Collins," and I guess he takes that, and himself, too seriously.

Pat Borowiec



Great stories featured on front page of News

Kudos to The News for its front page on July 3. Although I know the reporters and editors have no control over what is the news of the day, they do decide on how it's presented to the public. Too often what is available to print is upsetting or saddening and emphasizes what is wrong with our city, our world and humanity in general. Sunday morning, however, was a different story. I first read about Gov. Andrew Cuomo and his successes in his first six months in office. Politics aside, I was thrilled to see that there is a new feeling of cooperation and duty to the people rising in Albany. Let's hope this spirit can continue so that all New Yorkers will benefit along the way.

Then I read the wonderful story about "modern barn raisings" in Buffalo. What an inspiration to see how an idea can transform into an attitude of cooperation, resulting in positive outcomes for all. I felt so proud of my city and my state while reading these articles, something that happens all too seldom. The News was able to set the tone for my day and give me a sense of hope, and for this I am grateful.

Diane Schmidtke



Republicans never cared about Bush's spending

The Republicans are now hell-bent on slowing spending in Washington, despite 30 recent years of their doing just the opposite. Among many examples, they promoted two unnecessary wars, a ridiculous huge tax break for the rich and Medicare Part D with about 80 percent of the benefits going to the pharmaceutical industry. All were placed off budget by the Republicans to hide that pandering to their base to get lavish campaign contributions.

The Republican leaders know the president will probably be re-elected if joblessness is down nicely and the economy is recovering fast enough. Their blatantly corrupt way to stop him is to insist on poorly timed huge spending reductions that will surely delay the badly needed economic recovery and further increase joblessness. The timing for sensible reductions of the national debt was much better in 1993, when the Democrats passed their successful plan. Not one Republican voted for it, including the present congressional leaders.

This GOP power-grab attempt severely hurts the poor and middle class. Democrats must take overwhelming control of the government to prevent the United States from becoming another country like Mexico, with 75 percent of the population living in poverty. Too many middle-class Americans are falling into poverty right now because of past and present Republican greed. Will you be one of the next victims?

Charles W. Lewis



Liberal writer needs to get facts straight

It never ceases to amaze me how the liberal point of view is rarely influenced by facts. A recent letter stated that teacher layoffs were not a direct result of the federal stimulus package. The letter writer quoted the "fact" that the stimulus bill "consisted of $7 billion." This "fact" is blatantly incorrect. In fact, the entire stimulus bill that was signed in February 2009 was $787 billion. It's only an understatement of $780 billion, but who's counting? Instead of insulting conservatives, perhaps the writer should spend a little more time checking his facts.

Paul Halsey