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Vandal is misinformed about church statues

As a member of St. Philip the Apostle Church in Cheektowaga, I am deeply saddened by the desecration of statues on church property. The person involved is misinformed about statues in Catholic churches. Catholics worship only the Trinitarian God in the persons of the Father, the Son and the Holy Spirit.

Saints are honored because of the way they lived their lives to serve the God we worship. Statues are there only for us to remember their service, not to be worshipped as idols. They are much like the statues and memorials of civic leaders that are erected in towns and cities all over the world.

Felicia A. Bosinski

Cheektowaga

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Statues are memorials to those who have died

The person who vandalized the statues at St. Philip the Apostle Church is obviously ignorant of the teachings of the Catholic Church. We do not worship or idolize saints or the Blessed Mother. We believe that the saints and Mary are in heaven and ask them to pray for us, just as we would ask anyone here on earth to pray for us. The saints cannot answer our prayers and neither can Mary.

As for the statues, they are memorials to the people who have died. Destroying those statues makes as much sense as vandalizing the Lincoln Memorial or any memorial to a person who has passed from this world.

Sue Meiler

West Seneca

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It's disturbing to see statues desecrated

I'm a parishioner of St. Philip the Apostle Church in Cheektowaga. We recently had vandalism done to our outside statues. They were broken and the face of the Blessed Mother was dug out of the statue.

If I were to face the vandal, I would have to ask, "Would you appreciate anyone destroying your family photos or cutting out the face of your mother from a picture?"

Statues are nothing more than a reminder of our heavenly beings, just like a picture reminds us of our loved ones who have gone before us.

It is frightening to think that some people feel they have the right to destroy others' property. Why is it they can only find quotes in the Bible to suit them? Don't they know the golden rule? "Do unto others as you would have them do to you, love thy neighbor." It's really odd that the vandal didn't read that.

Trudy Sorci

Cheektowaga

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Anniversary triggers both anger and sorrow

I, like thousands of others, sat glued to the TV watching teary eyed with a heart full of compassion for the survivors of the 9/1 1 terrorist attacks. But the same thought kept racing through my head -- the same thought I had 10 years ago when I sat glued to the TV in shock. How did this happen? How did 19 people successfully enter this country and accomplish what they did right under the noses of our FBI and CIA? The watchdogs of the country!

How many of them overstayed their visas? Why weren't the FBI and CIA communicating with one another? How were so many clues missed? Why wasn't suspicion aroused when the men had interest only in learning to take off and fly and not land? And they paid for their lessons in cash.

Then I read The News story, "New information links Saudi family to 9/1 1." The FBI had suspicions about a family in Sarasota, Fla., and yet that information was kept secret. Why?

Yes, my heart is heavy and I grieve for the families of the survivors. I pray that they find peace in their hearts. But at the same time, I am angry. Angry that something like this could happen in this great country right under our noses. Somebody was asleep at the wheel.

Joyce Gugino

Buffalo

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Muslims being judged on numerous incidents

In the Sept. 11 News, a person was quoted as saying that, "People are judging Muslims on one incident."

On Dec. 21, 1988, Pan Am Flight 103 exploded over Lockerbie, Scotland, killing 259 people, including one from Western New York. This was carried out by Muslims.

On Sept. 11, 2001, nearly 3,000 innocent souls were murdered here in the United States by 19 Muslim men.

On Dec. 22, 2001, a Muslim shoe bomber attempted to blow up American Airlines Flight 63.

On Feb. 12, 2009, the founder of a Muslim TV station here in Orchard Park beheaded his wife for seeking a divorce.

On Nov. 5, 2009, a Muslim psychiatrist shot and killed 13 unarmed soldiers while yelling praises to Allah.

On Dec. 28, 2009, a Muslim "underwear bomber" was caught on Northwest Airlines Flight 253.

These are a few incidents. We have all been detained and inconvenienced because of this. So when a Muslim has to go through a scanner, I thank the Transportation Security Administration for doing its job. I am appalled to see the elderly in wheelchairs and children frisked because they might be carrying a bomb in their diaper.

I pray Muslims understand and get over this minor inconvenience. I would hope they are thankful that the TSA is checking everyone, especially since Middle Eastern men fit the description of a possible hijacker. We can never be too cautious, even if it is our family members. Too many lives have been lost. We shall never forget.

Joanne Zabielski

Hamburg

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Our quest for freedom binds two great nations

The Canadian consul general's Another Voice column was a touching tribute to the 3,000 souls whose lives were tragically lost in an act of unparalleled barbarism and violence. As a Canadian now living in Derby, I was proud of the display of courage, thoughtfulness and mutual respect that Canadians demonstrated toward our American friends on that fateful day of 9/1 1.

Canada accepted hundreds of flights that were bound for the United States. With all the vagaries of the moment, no one quite knew if any of those flights may have been headed for the same horrific destiny. The same unwavering courage was highlighted in the Iran hostage taking of Americans, when the Canadian Embassy managed to smuggle out some of those hostages and led them to safety.

The mutual quest for freedom, human rights and tolerance are the ties that bind our two great countries.

Morris Cavalieri, M.D.

Derby

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GOP will never support the American Jobs Act

Not earthquakes, nor hurricanes, nor fires, nor massive home loss, nor pleas from the jobless, the homeless or the uninsured, not even post- 9/1 1 pretense at patriotism could nudge this latest group of congressional Republicans to support the American Jobs Act.

It's too small to return us to complete health, but still a good bill paid for by tapping people and corporations that benefited the most this past decade. It would immediately put millions to work fixing things that have been sorely neglected while finally adding to federal and Social Security tax coffers. It would begin to improve the economy.

But that will not happen. The bill will be delayed and shredded and piecemealed to death by a callous GOP, those "politics and me first, average citizens last" excuses for legislators. If even allowed on the floor for a vote, they will relish its defeat. When a political party opposes anything but failure, democracy itself fails, as it is failing us now. And, as we discovered in 2008 and 2009, when only the wealthy are nurtured and cared for, everyone else's futures and bottom lines diminish, even those cheering the tea party now.

Republican candidates for president, all invoking Ronald Reagan's name, denigrate his legacy. They disgrace themselves in their fervent and undeniable stands against the disadvantaged and middle class. They're for gutting the federal government and returning to states rights -- a death knell for voting rights, civil rights, women's rights, gay rights, labor rights, mine safety, education, clean food, air and water, Medicare and Social Security. Did I forget something?

Leonard Gross

East Amherst

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Social Security is vital, we can't undermine it

Although I appreciate President Obama's call to Congress to support his jobs bill, I am concerned about the first thing he listed in his speech. The so-called tax relief he promised to employers and employees is simply a back-door way to undermine Social Security. If funding is diminished, how is that going to preserve the fund?

Since the mid-1930s, Social Security has been a much needed, major help for families, not just for the oldest members. Without it, who would be responsible for the elderly? After a lifetime of work, the majority of old people would depend on their adult children and other relatives.

Even though the money is labeled a payroll tax, in fact the money that employees pay in is their investment in a pension fund; the money the employers pay is part of the salaries/wages for their employees. No wonder the Republicans are so enthusiastic about this latest scheme; they have been trying to get rid of Social Security since it was first proposed.

Adeline Levine

Buffalo

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Americans don't want to work hard on farms

This letter is in response to the man from North Tonawanda and the Sept. 5 News story about farmers not being able to get Americans to work on farms. Well, that letter writer did fall off a turnip truck.

I know a local farmer -- actually a few. Yes, it is true that Americans will not pick apples or, for that matter, most any other crop. These farmers can sometimes get Americans to drive tractors. But if and when they show up to work, they are wearing flip flops, tank tops and shorts.

Perhaps consumers haven't noticed the cost of produce. Farmers now plant crops such as corn and soybeans because they require very little labor. Just ask a dairy farmer how hard it is to get an American to work in a milking parlor.

Yes, Americans want to work, but it must be on their terms. Why should they work when they can collect unemployment for two years, or a lifetime of welfare and Medicaid?

Wake up, America. These farmers who feed and clothe you work very hard under unbelieveable conditions for very little pay. When was the last time anyone saw a line of American workers applying for farm jobs?

Harvey Schwartzmeyer

North Collins