Martin Luther’s faulty judgment

Within the context of the July 9 article “German Jubilee” [Fanfare], Newsday rightly refers to Martin Luther’s anti-Semitism. It’s mortifying when a family member embarrasses the family. Worse is when the family member embarrasses the denomination he founded. One of Luther’s signature insights is that humans are both sinner and saint, and he qualifies as both.

We can’t change the past, in which the medieval thinking of a great mind went thoroughly astray, and was used centuries later to justify heinous crimes against the Jews. We have the future before us: one of justice and reconciliation. Perhaps in this year, which marks the 500th anniversary of the Protestant Reformation, Christians and Jews can come together and reaffirm once again our commitment to mutual love and respect.

Nancy Rakoczy, Oceanside

Editor’s note: The writer is a vicar at the Oceanside Lutheran Church.

Health coverage and McCain’s illness

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I wish Sen. John McCain well, and I hope he is able to recover fully from his illness [“This is what honor truly looks like,” Opinion, July 23].

But I also hope that his colleagues in the Senate and the House use this as a learning opportunity and consider the consequences of allowing pre-existing conditions to be cause for denial of payment for treatment of serious illnesses.

McCain was previously diagnosed with melanoma, which can metastasize to the brain causing glioblastoma. McCain’s doctors say the cancers are unconnected in his case. However, because of his prior diagnosis, if he had the type of insurance that Republican bills would allow, he could be denied payment for his treatment. Even someone as wealthy as he could go bankrupt.

Fortunately for the senator, his insurance will apparently cover the cost of his treatment. Shouldn’t the rest of us have the same reassurance?

Leonard Cohen, Wantagh

Russian ‘collusion’ grabs attention

I’m starting to believe what candidate Donald Trump said about shooting someone on the street and still winning the election. The fiasco that we’re witnessing is unparalleled in political history: a sitting president unabashedly defending his son’s behavior that is clearly against the law [“Trump Jr.’s meeting is ‘politics’,” News, July 18].

As a casual observer, what’s most striking to me is the array of contradictions by Donald Trump Jr., former campaign director Paul Manafort, and possibly the president himself, about alleged Russian collusion. We all remember Trump Jr. being indignant that the media would even suggest that someone in the campaign would talk to the Russians, and this was after his June 2016 meeting with Russians. He called the Democrats liars for advancing such a scenario.

A few days after Trump Jr. was invited to meet with Russians, his father promised a “major speech” with sensational news about Hillary Clinton.

I hope the investigations will unveil what he was referring to.

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Frank Geffrard, Central Islip

For some reason, the media is outraged that Donald Trump Jr. met with a Russian lawyer for 20 or 30 minutes.

Former President Bill Clinton received half a million dollars for a speech to Russian bankers? Oh, nothing to see here.

Michael Quane, South Hempstead

Remain skeptical about third track

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Having read the breathless, triumphalist editorials in Newsday on the approval of the Long Island Rail Road’s third-track project from Floral Park to Hicksville, I would respectfully warn you to recover your missing journalistic skepticism [“LI steps boldly into the future,” Editorial, July 20].

Newsday’s credibility now rests on the Metropolitan Transportation Authority completing the project in three to four years, on a budget of $1.9 billion. Knowing that East Side Access is billions of dollars over budget, and the ever-further-delayed completion date is, so far, 13 years behind, caution at MTA claims is not only prudent, it is essential.

Would Newsday’s editors care to wager on the MTA’s ability to bring in the third track on time and on budget?

I’m afraid that Newsday’s advocacy represents the triumph of wishful thinking over experience.

Paul Landaw, Bellerose Terrace