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OpinionLetters

Newsday readers respond to topics covered.

Apollo legend Neil Armstrong, left, and scientist Georg

Apollo legend Neil Armstrong, left, and scientist Georg von Tiesenhausen greet children at a space camp in Alabama in 2011. Credit: AP / Bob Gathany

Judgment and the wedding cake

As a Catholic, I disagree with the Supreme Court decision about the baker who wouldn’t bake a wedding cake for a same-sex couple for religious reasons [“Court backs baker in same-sex case,” News, June 5]. Yes, some Bible passages condemn homosexuality as a sin, but the Bible condemns all sin.

What if a prostitute wanted a cake? How about the head of the Mafia? What about an adulterer or a woman who has had an abortion? Would the baker refuse to make it? Where do you draw the line?

The baker is merely expected to bake a cake. He is not expected to condone or adopt the sinner’s choices. If the baker refused to serve anyone whose actions are condemned as sinful, eventually he would have no customers.

Waiting on some sinners while refusing service to other sinners is discrimination. Nor does baking a cake for a same-sex couple interfere with the baker’s right to practice his religion. On the contrary, it allows the baker to practice his religion’s tenets of forgiveness, tolerance and the command to “Judge not, lest ye be judged.”

Elaine Harrison,Eastport

William F.B. O’Reilly’s June 8 column titled “Right ruling on wedding-cake case,” about the Supreme Court decision, referred to the biblical passage, “Who are you to judge your neighbor?” Let’s be clear: We should never judge any person subjectively; only God can so judge. But we can and should judge people’s actions, which is judging people objectively. So when we judge people accused of murder, theft and other evil actions, we are judging only immorality, not the person’s soul. Only God knows what goes on in the minds of such people. We should try to stop evil actions with advice, laws and imprisonment.

Frank J. Russo Jr.,

Port Washington

Editor’s note: The writer is president of the American Family Association, an advocacy organization.

NASA scientist had a dark past

Your obituary “Georg von Tiesenhausen, 104, U.S. space program scientist” [News, June 7] might have mentioned that he and other German scientists who worked for the Nazis were brought here by Operation Paperclip, a secret program to advance U.S. space and military capabilities during the Cold War.

As a section head at Germany’s Peenemünde Rocket Center, he, Wernher von Braun and other scientists and engineers working for Adolf Hitler were complicit in the brutal treatment and murders of slave laborers taken from concentration camps.

It is ironic that this laudatory obituary appeared on the page following a note remembering the thousands of Americans who died on D-Day, men whose mission was to stop the kinds of things happening at Peenemünde.

Lester Paldy,

Stony Brook

Editor’s note: The writer is a distinguished service professor emeritus in technology and society at Stony Brook University.

Grateful for these government programs

A reader wrote, “The government creates a disaster with anything it touches,” citing Social Security, Medicare and the post office [“Gov’t will mess up legal sports betting,” Letters, June 12].

Well, as a senior citizen, I depend on Social Security to supplement my retirement income, Medicare has been a godsend for me and my aging parents, and everything I send or receive through the post office arrives on time for a reasonable price.

Edmund Fountaine,

Oakdale

That doesn’t sound like Westport, Conn.

A new book and documentary suggest that “The Great Gatsby” was based on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s experiences living in Westport, Connecticut, not in Great Neck [“ ‘Gatsby’: A Conn. Tale,” News, May 31]. But in the first chapter, the character says he rented a house on a “slender riotous island which extends itself due east of New York — and where there are, among other curiosities, two unusual formations of land. Twenty miles from the city a pair of enormous eggs, identical in contour and separated only by a courtesy bay, jut out into the most domesticated body of salt water in the Western hemisphere, the great wet barnyard of Long Island Sound.”

I’m no literary scholar, but that is not a description of Westport, Connecticut, and since when is Connecticut an island?

Robb Ripp,Halesite

Restrict bats and balls at village park

In “Softball field fence to be 12 feet high,” a June 4 news brief about Brennan Field at Village Park in Lindenhurst, Village Administrator Doug Madlon says, “The men’s softball leagues have been knocking these balls a mile out into the street and oncoming traffic and neighbors have been complaining.”

A simple solution is to allow only restricted-flight balls and single-wall bats. The village’s 35-and-over softball league uses that equipment. Players occasionally hit a ball over the fence, but usually just barely. Not once have we had a complaint from neighbors in the 26 years I’ve been the league’s director. Double-wall composite bats used by some other leagues produce vastly greater velocity and distance. Even with a higher fence, some players will adjust their swings and still clear the fence, so the problem might persist.

Bob Weiden,Lindenhurst

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