Why allow atheists to be disparaged?
I have come to expect Newsday’s On Faith pages to avoid nontheistic views, but I found portions of the Aug. 25 “Asking the Clergy” column to be disturbing [“How should believers talk about faith to nonbelievers?”].
Its third contributor saw fit to pejoratively mischaracterize an entire group of people which the column does not even afford the chance to speak for itself. He stated that nontheists are egotistical, self-deified solipsists who don’t truly believe what they think they believe, who would be quick to renounce those beliefs if confronted with mortal danger (an assertion supposedly proved by a “well-known adage”), and who need to be educated “with love.”
It would have been intolerable for the adherents of an oft-targeted Abrahamic religion to have been characterized as such; why then is it acceptable to so disparage atheists and agnostics? Far better and more effective to follow the golden rule and to treat them with respect, as advocated by the first contributor.
Freeze out the views of a growing group of Americans if you will. But don’t simultaneously provide a platform for their antagonists to misrepresent who they are and insult them.
Christopher Paul, Bayport
Trump should not attack U.S. officials
President Donald Trump dared to compare Fed Chairman Jerome Powell with Chinese President Xi Jinping [“Trump ups attack on Fed chief,” Business, Aug. 24].
Is he kidding? Trump thinks our American allies, along with our hardworking federal employees, are the enemy. Republicans answer his irresponsible bombast with silence. Now, more than ever, our democracy could use all the help it can get, because it’s not getting it from those in power.
Bob Bascelli, Seaford
Don’t forget courses at Farmingdale
I was very surprised that the article about seniors attending classes omitted the Institute for Learning in Retirement at Farmingdale State College [“School’s back in session,” Act 2, Aug. 25].
This is a terrific educational program for seniors. The courses are varied and include a session on current events on Fridays, followed by an informative lecture. There are classes on movies, books and arts, as well as trips. Annual membership is $60, and many lectures are just $5.
Roberta Furman, Old Bethpage
License-plate plan draws ire of readers
As a retired professional art director and graphic designer, I must say that the five designs for new license plates that Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo wants us to vote on are pedestrian and without style [“License plate vote has a $25 string attached,” News, Aug. 21].
A much better approach would be to invite the public to submit design ideas and then have a qualified committee make a final choice. Allowing New York residents to submit designs would have been more democratic and would have infused a sense of fun into the process. I would have loved to submit designs for consideration.
Martin Geller, Manhasset
Rather than replace all of our license plates, there is a simpler solution that should cost less and could be part of the usual renewal process. When we renew a vehicle’s registration, why not just send a sticker with a bar code that we can place on the plate — and which the new toll cameras can read? I would write to the governor, but all I ever get is a thanks for contacting his office.
Bill Doering, Seaford
Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said, “We need a new design of a plate because we moved to a new technology.” Does that mean that New York’s new tolling technology can’t read New York plates or plates from other states? The state is able to bill offenders of the new system by issuing tickets, so where is the issue?
Cuomo also says we will need to replace our plates within 10 years. So will this new tolling technology be ineffective all of that time? An important business choice would have been to build the technology around current plates from our and other states. I believe this move is simply a money grab and beyond insulting.
Philip Orlando, Huntington
I cast my vote online for image No. 1, which has a large faded version of the upper portion of the Statue of Liberty on the left. I hope others will choose that one as well. In today’s turbulent times, the Statue of Liberty and what it stands for must remain a beacon of hope for all Americans, whether born here or abroad. Let us New Yorkers take pride that she stands in our harbor and welcomes all who come to these shores.
George M. Heymann, Hollis Hills
Where is the governor going to put all the old license plates that are turned in? Aren’t our landfills full.
Reduce, reuse, recycle!
Diane Veitch, Garden City
Four of the license plate choices have some form of the image of the Statue of Liberty. I believe this will split the vote — and give the win to the plate that shows the Gov. Mario M. Cuomo Bridge, letting our governor have his way. (It will always be the Tappan Zee Bridge, as far as I am concerned.)
Adrienne Derison, Flushing