A different take on prayer decision
The facts reveal a different picture from a reader's claims regarding the Supreme Court decision to uphold a coach's right to pray during a non-supervisory moment ["Religion should not be pushed on team," News, June 15]. First, Joseph Kennedy was not engaged in a “sectarian” prayer, promoting a particular Christian view or denomination. Second, the Establishment Clause of the First Amendment merely reminds the federal government that it cannot force or promulgate a particular view of religion (states were allowed to do so, and eight of the original 13 states had state-established churches). Third, whether a faculty member prays or not won’t get rid of the idea of “ostracism” as some students may feel ostracized that the teacher didn’t pray. There were no penalties for students who did not pray with the coach. Fourth, in a pluralistic society, not only should there be a recognition of different bona fide beliefs, but also the tolerance of those beliefs within a reasonable context. Surely this context does not differ in any substantial way from what our Founding Fathers intended. Sadly, it seems it’s the reader and his atheistic practitioners who are advocating intolerance here.
Pastor Bruce Bennett, Medford
The writer is pastor of the Word of Truth Church in Medford.
Key House bill would battle climate change
The Town of Southampton recently took a new and innovative local approach to combating climate change ["A green line in the sand," Our Towns, July 8]. A California-based company, in partnership with the town, state, and federal governments, added 500 cubic yards of olivine sand at a North Sea beach. Some experts are optimistic that adding this emerald-colored mineral to beach sand will raise the pH of seawater and help sequester carbon dioxide.
Climate change is a serious issue, especially for the coastal Town of Southampton. Sea level rise, higher temperatures, and more intense hurricane seasons threaten the East End’s way of life. While innovative technologies can help us address climate change, we need transformative federal legislation to lower our emissions as soon as possible.
One such transformative bill is the Energy Innovation and Carbon Dividend Act. This House bill places a fee on carbon emissions, with the revenue being returned to Americans so they can afford green upgrades: solar, electric vehicles and more. Instead of spending taxpayer dollars to import olivine to one beach, the Town of Southampton should encourage Rep. Lee Zeldin (R-Shirley) and his successor to co-sponsor this bill. With bipartisan support for climate action, we can finally fix this problem once and for all.
Harrison Bench, Sayville
Manchin, colleagues should come clean
The issue with the rejection by Sen. Joe Manchin (D-W.Va.) of climate change legislation and his sycophancy with the oil and coal lobby is just the tip of the melting iceberg ["Source: Biden holding off on emergency climate move," Nation & World, July 20].
All elected officials from the local to national levels need to enact mandatory guidelines to eliminate legislative obfuscation. Make public all politicians' family tax returns; convert all assets into state municipal bonds supporting infrastructure, hospitals, and schools while in office; accept public financing, and have weekly debates within each election cycle.
The public should demand our elected officials reveal more than their desire for lifelong reelection and lining their own pockets.
Clifford D. Glass, East Rockaway
Slugger wise if he gives Yanks discount
I think it’s great that Yankees slugger Aaron Judge “bet” on himself during his contract year, declining a big pact, and is having a phenomenal season leading the team to a big lead in the American League East Division. But when he says that he wants to remain a Yankee and contract negotiations are “out of his control,” it’s laughable ["Judge: It's about titles," Sports, July 19].
Judge turned down $213.5 million over seven years in hopes of testing free agency and getting top dollar. The outfielder is faced with a good opportunity. What if he goes the Tom Brady way of giving his team a discount so it can use the funds to shore up the team by signing solid role players? This would make the team stronger and help cultivate management’s vision of winning not just one but multiple championships during the 2020s.
Having already achieved wealth, does Judge want to squeeze the Yankees for a few extra million dollars and risk playing out his career in relative anonymity? Or does he employ quarterback Brady's paradigm and stamp his ticket to the Hall of Fame?
Eugene R. Dunn, Medford
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