I view the decision in "House of worship limits in NY tossed," [News, Nov. 27] as based on a nonemergency and violating the principle of "constitutional avoidance," for which there was simply no need, and it exemplifies the religious aggression we see globally. The Supreme Court’s concession that "members of this court are not public health experts," to me, is a misdirection as their supposed expertise is the evaluation of evidence which shows that distance defeats virus while religion does not. These allegedly religion-minded jurists should consider the observation of Pope Francis: "It is all too easy for some to take an idea — in this case, for example, personal freedom — and turn it into an ideology."
Virus actions are about us, not you
After reading several letters to the editor about COVID-19, it saddens and angers me to realize that there are people who think of themselves as more important than other people ["Schools worth costs of COVID-19," Nov. 22]. We are all Americans. We all have been neighbors, friends and family. These relationships, though, have been severed. The divisiveness in the United States is probably causing Russian President Vladimir Putin to grin from ear to ear. I feel there is an I, me, my mentality that has trumped (pun intended) our government’s efforts to slow or contain the spread of the coronavirus: "I don’t believe in the coronavirus ... ," "the government can’t tell me ... ," "social distancing interferes with my ... " As a result, the virus is surging, which leads to an increase in deaths, business closures, and restrictions, exacerbating an already dire situation. Our elected officials, the responsible ones, are doing what they deem necessary to protect us from the virus and ourselves. No, "storm troopers" won’t crash your Thanksgiving dinner. Neighbors won’t turn in neighbors. Our government is appealing to our common sense and sense of responsibility to our fellow Americans. Why is this so hard to understand? It’s not about you. It’s about us.
Instead, Cuomo did deserve this Emmy
I say Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo should have been awarded an Emmy Award for the way he acted denying his decisions had anything to do with the deaths at nursing homes ["Cuomo to receive Emmy for virus briefings," Flash!, Nov. 23].
Students should know how loans work
The article "Schumer urges Biden to forgive up to $50G in student loans" was a punch in the gut to responsible students and parents who worked hard, sacrificed and saved [News, Nov. 25]. By forgiving student loan debt, we teach our children that we are entitled to free money and the government should open up its wallet and let us take what we want. Why not forgive car loans and home mortgages, as well? Before borrowing tens of thousands of dollars, these students knew the loans needed to be repaid. By forgiving student loans, it is we, the taxpayers, who are now responsible. There are ways of paying for college without drowning in debt: scholarships, grants, state schools and working your way through school. Not everyone needs to go to private, brand-name schools. In New York, our taxes supplement state university schools. Not every job needs a $100,000-plus education. Does it make sense to spend hundreds of thousands of dollars to graduate from a private university, then get a $50,000-a-year job? If Sen. Chuck Schumer (D-N.Y.) promoted refunding $50,000 to those who worked, sacrificed and saved and repaid their school loans, that would be fair.
As students transition from high school to adulthood, they face tough decisions, including the course of study to pursue, which institution to attend and how to pay for it. By fulfilling their obligations, young people learn an important life lesson known as "responsibility." I believe Sen. Chuck Schumer’s proposal to forgive student debt up to $50,000 not only sends the wrong message to students regarding their responsibilities, but places an unjust burden on current and future taxpayers. One also must wonder whether such a bailout will be available to future students, as it would impact their educational decisions. A better and fairer way to provide loan assistance would be to make the loans interest-free and long-term, requiring only a minimum monthly payment. This would help somewhat to relieve the payments and keep the responsibility for the loan where it belongs, with the student, not the taxpayer.
Robert B. Swierupski,
Nativity pic would’ve enhanced article
I was dismayed by the exploreLI "Advent adventure" cover story ["Counting the days," Nov. 16]. I was not surprised by the secular and sometimes, to me, silly ways to count down to Christmas, Hanukkah or the holiday season. But since Advent originated as a way for Christians to prepare for Christmas, I expected to see at least one traditional Advent calendar. There was one for Hanukkah with the inclusion of the eight candles. What about a picture of one with the Nativity?