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Newsday letters to the editor for Wednesday, Dec. 20, 2017

Newsday readers respond to topics covered.

Colorado baker Jack Phillips cites religious beliefs to

Colorado baker Jack Phillips cites religious beliefs to decline to sell wedding cakes to same-sex couples. Above, an undated photo of Phillips at his shop in Lakewood, Colorado.

Religion is supposed to be ‘marginalized’

A letter writer complained that “Christian values are being marginalized” [Dec. 12] because a baker might not be able to use the cover of religion to discriminate.

In that this country isn’t a theocracy, religious beliefs are meant to be marginalized. They’re supposed to dwell in the margins of homes and houses of worship, not intrude into the public square. One may harbor any “value,” however discriminatory, dictatorial or anti-scientific, but have no right to impose such beliefs on others who don’t share them.

If one wants to talk about real marginalization, it’s non-Christians who have been on the outside looking in. Whose holiday is a national event, with its music overrunning radio stations and gathering places, its performances muscling out favorite TV shows, its displays flooding Main Streets and stores, its celebrations closing businesses, restaurants and schools and its greetings expected of everyone?

Such cultural domination by Christians is so institutionalized that any challenge to it is seen as an infringement.

Providers, whether selling cakes or handing out marriage licenses, should bear the burden of ensuring that they will practice the values of democracy.

Alan M. Weber, Medford

By viewing the Supreme Court case concerning a baker who would not prepare a wedding cake for a same-sex couple through the lens of Christian values, the letter writer misses the point.

Christian values are not the issue; the issue is whether we should allow the value system of store owners to be imposed on shoppers in a retail setting.

Apparently, the letter writer believes the baker should have the right to not serve those whose beliefs are dissimilar. I would, therefore, assume that the writer would be very understanding if retail establishments in his neighborhood began to refuse service to him based on reasons of their choosing.

The point is that everyone is entitled to his or her beliefs, none of which should be placed in a position superior to the beliefs of others, nor used as an excuse to display prejudice.

Frank Romeo, Westbury


Upset by parting shots in Hempstead

As a resident of the Town of Hempstead, I feel that taxpayers were robbed in broad daylight by the promotions, raises and amendment to the union contract that were passed at Supervisor Anthony Santino’s last board meeting [“Hempstead Town’s tug of war,” News, Dec. 13].

It was a brazen and arrogant feat to inflict so much damage, and blame also has to go to the other Republican board members who voted for the measures.

It’s my hope that if there was a quid pro quo between the Nassau Republican Party and Civil Service Employees Association Local 880, that the deal will come to light.

Robert Demarco, Wantagh

Not so long ago, Hempstead Supervisor Anthony Santino was quick to point out how proud he was of his cutbacks that saved the town a great amount of money.

Now, a different Anthony Santino has no qualms in possibly creating a monetary crisis by protecting union workers against being fired for budgetary reasons, but allowing dismissal only for misconduct or incompetence. We thought he cared about the town.

Gloria R. Maffettone, Uniondale

Tax code changes were too rushed

Most Americans are eager to see a simpler, fairer tax code [“GOP deal on taxes,” News, Dec. 14].

We were promised lower taxes for the middle class and a code so simple that annual returns could be done on one page. Other promises included an end to loopholes, especially the so-called carried-interest loophole, which is an unfair windfall for the wealthy.

Instead, we had two rushed, complex, loophole-ridden bills from the House and the Senate.

The plan is a windfall for billionaire developers like President Donald Trump. If the GOP leadership had pursued a deliberative process that included Democrats and citizen groups, we could have had a fair bill that truly helped the middle class.

Sue Hornik, Bellport

Higher Web charges tough on students

As a college student struggling to pay for food and books, having extra charges for internet use would be a huge burden [“Net neutrality nixed,” News, Dec. 15].

I need the internet to be a free place if I want to do my schoolwork. I’m studying neuroscience and political science, which require a lot of research. The internet is a great source for some of my research, but unfortunately, it won’t be if the repeal of net neutrality means another cost for me.

I work more than 60 hours a week between school and my job, and I cannot afford another expense. I’m sure that goes for most other college students in this country and our state.

Julia Abbondanza, Ronkonkoma