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Letters to the editor published in the January 19, 2011, edition of The Explorer.

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Posted: Wednesday, January 19, 2011 12:00 am | Updated: 8:22 am, Thu Mar 24, 2011.

Where were our leaders?

The problem with liberals is that they forget to be liberal. They claim to believe in civil rights, yet after the events of (Jan. 8), I have to say there was not much evidence of that. Where were they when their neighbors were being kicked in the gut by the media? We were all horrified by the tragedy at “our Safeway.” We all cried and prayed for the victims and families, sometimes even together.

But within hours of the shooting the media and Internet began the overt criminalization of conservatism. We weren’t sure if we were safe in our homes, hearing threats to Tea Party members and Republicans. Yes, that’s right, threats to our neighbors and families in our community coming from liberals!

Our civil rights were in question, and there were no defenders stepping forward. Where were our community leaders? They were busy participating in this all-out liberal assault of conservatives as murderous haters, an assault unprecedented in American history. I couldn’t help but wonder, whether or not the Sheriff would respond if I had a cry for help, and he knew I was conservative?

As the week passed so painfully, it became apparent that there is a new reality that many of us are just beginning to recognize for the first time. This isn’t the liberalism of 10, 20, or 50 years ago; this is something new that is happening in America. It begs the question, what if a different event had happened or a new event occurs in the future that actually does have the slightest connection to the Tea Party, conservatism or Republicans; it’s not difficult to imagine what might occur. I’m thinking back to Germany after the Great War, as Nazism slowly took hold. The thought could entertain my worst fears.

At the same time, the majority of conservatives seem only too eager to sign on to the liberals’ suddenly invented “civility and togetherness” agenda prompted by people who were calling conservatives murderers the day before.

Speaking only for myself, the picture is very mixed as to the state of this conservative consciousness. But at least some of us are beginning to awaken, at least somewhat, to the truth about liberalism and the media.

Karen Rossmann, Casas Adobes

Let’s not start blaming others

As we grieve over the recent shooting in Arizona, let us not fall into the trap of blaming others. That keeps us stuck in partisan bickering that many believe got us here. Nobody wins except the hate-mongers.

It’s imperative for us to be courageous and let our better nature speak for us. At a time of great division, when vehement rhetoric and secession preceded gunfire and war by weeks, President-elect Lincoln said: “We are not enemies, but friends. We must not be enemies. Though passion may have strained, it must not break our bonds of affection. The mystic cords of memory will swell when again touched as surely they will be by the better angels of our nature.”

President Obama spoke those same words on election night. Let’s remember them and try to live by them. Let’s listen a little more, speak more honorably and respectfully, and be a little kinder and gentler in our dealings with each other. This way everybody wins except the hate-mongers. And that’s OK with me.

Judy Bamberger, Australia

Students have the right to pray

Mr. Bob Black’s letter to the Editor in the January 12 issue of The Explorer, had numerous erroneous statements regarding the lack of religion in today’s world that cannot be ignored. He asked, “Why is prayer condemned at high school football games and other activities?” Later on he said, “We have outlawed the use of the term ‘God’ in our school system, debated the acknowledgement of God on our coinage, forbidden prayer in the schools and protested and removed the Ten Commandments from key locations in some[sic] our cities.”

As a retired public school educator and having served 16 years on a local School Board, I can assure Mr. Black, that prayer has not been condemned at games or in school. Since public schools are funded by taxes, Constitutional law (the First Amendment) prohibits administrators, teachers, or staff from instigating, requiring, or leading prayer in public schools. Students, however, have the right to pray at any time. The word “God” is not outlawed and, in fact, is said every time the Pledge of Allegiance is recited. World religions, as a subject or part of history can be taught in public schools, but one specific religion cannot be singled out.

“In God we trust,” has been and is still on our money. I doubt that it will be removed any time soon. It is true that the Ten Commandments have been removed from governmental buildings and sites, due to the First Amendment. We are a nation of many different religions. Our Founding Fathers were wise to ensure separation of state and religion to prevent the control of one over the other. I would think that Mr. Black should be thankful that government cannot control his religion and vice versa.

Janice E. Mitich, Tucson

Sheriff should unite, not accuse

If Sheriff Dupnik thought that the political speech of those opposed to Gabrielle Giffords created an environment of physical danger, why in the world didn’t he assign someone to protect her? Either he doesn’t believe his own accusations or he is incompetent. Either way, he should just focus on the facts and to the extent that he feels the need to provide commentary, it should be for the purpose of bringing us together, not to accuse.

Chuck Bolotin, Oro Valley

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