to the Editor

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Monday, July 2, 2001

Thank your deity, tolerance still prevails

Jim Rath, Republican state representative from the Big Island, wrote an engaging article June 21 in the Star-Bulletin titled, "Can't all of us, and our deities, just get along?"

Thank you, Mr. Rath. Sanity still prevails in Hawaii.

In Washington, at the House and Senate Republican Conference faith-based summit, Bishop J. Delani Ellis, was permitted to take part even though in 1995 he delivered a sermon in which he said Jews were "carnal, selfish -- dirty and lowdown and wicked." He also stated that "God allowed Hitler to rise up and make (you) all suffer."

Ellis is a pastor of the Pentacostal Church of Christ. He also had some nasty things to say about Muslims. He did not mention Buddhists or Hindus. One viewer of the Washington fiasco stated, "It was absolutely shocking to see some of the people who were chosen to help create federal policy on church-state partnership."

How lucky we are to live in Hawaii where religious tolerance and understanding prevails. In keeping with our American tradition of religious freedom that, if one religion can preach in public schools, then all can. Let it be that public school evangelists be tarred with the same brush as Christian Coalitionists and TV evangelists who are "militant ideologists who encourage deep hostility toward those who disagree with their agenda." That's Walter Cron-kite's opinion and mine as well.

No responsible preacher should preach in the pubic schools. No responsible parent of a child in public schools should allow that child to participate in these endeavors.

Bettejo Dux


"I'm very confident in what I've's time for somebody else to step up to the challenge."

Kenneth Mortimer,

Reflecting on his tenure as president of the University of Hawaii, which ended Friday. Mortimer and his wife, Lorraine, left Hawaii yesterday for their home in Bellingham, Wash.

"This is a giant step forward in giving power to the powerless, the victims of exploitation by HMOs."

Sen. Edward M. Kennedy,

Democrat from Massachusetts, and one of the sponsors of the Patient's Bill of Rights that was passed by the Senate Friday.

"The bill will drive up health-care costs and result in a lot of people losing their health insurance."

Sen. Judd Gregg,

Republican from New Hampshire, and one of 35 Republicans who voted against the Patients' Bill of Rights.

State should help save dental program

Apparently in the past few years, access to dental care for the medically compromised, mentally ill and lower-income populations have been a hot topic in the Legislature. Why is it then that a valuable program that provides dental care for this underserved group struggles to stay afloat?

Recently, we have all been made aware of the Queen's Medical Center's dental residency program and its value to this underserved population. Where else can you find comprehensive dental care for these patients with the expertise of 40 general dentists and specialists who volunteer their time with no financial gain?

I have been practicing dentistry for more than 15 years and still fall back on the education I received at Queen's to provide the best care to my patients whether they are working families, medically compromised or financially burdened.

Queen's has been funding this program for 40 years, most of the time at a loss. If the state and Legislature are committed to helping this population, maybe a collaboration with Queen's to cover or share operating loss should be in the making. Both need to come to the table and negotiate a long-term plan to ensure continuation of this program for more than just one year.

Russell J.S. Tom, D.D.S.

Many judges started as politicians

Governor Cayetano has been quoted as saying, "You don't need politicians sitting on the bench," referring to President Bush's nomination of Honolulu attorney Rick Clifton to the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. This is a ridiculous and false statement.

Rick Clifton has never run for political office or held a political office. On the other hand, Cayetano's record on judicial appointments is clear. When former state Sen. Rey Graulty was voted out of office, Caye-tano wasted no time appointing Graulty to the state court.

Many of the most important judges in the history of Hawaii were active in politics before becoming judges, including William S. Richardson, Samuel P. King, Martin Pence and Walter Heen. Their prior political activity did not prevent them from being appointed or from serving with distinction.

President Bush nominated Clifton because he is an accomplished lawyer and active community volunteer. Rick was recently named one of the top 100 attorneys in the state. He has served as a director of Hawaii Public Radio for 10 years and as a director of the Hawaii Women's Legal Foundation.

It's true that Clifton has served as a pro bono legal adviser for the Hawaii Republican Party for eight years. Like me, he believes in the importance of a strong, two-party system of government. Clifton is a man of honor who would make the people of Hawaii proud.

Hawaii's Senators Daniel Akaka and Daniel Inouye should vote with enthusiasm to confirm him.

Micah A. Kane
Executive Director
Hawaii Republican Party

Moanalua Gardens is open to everyone

Regarding the June 23 letters from E. Alvey Wright: Although Moanalua Valley is owned and maintained by the estate of Samuel Mills Damon, it has been open to all the people of Hawaii for more than 30 years.

Moanalua Valley is an extension of Moanalua Gardens, which was set aside by S.M. Damon for public use and enjoyment as soon as he received the ahupua'a of Moanalua from Princess Bernice Pauahi Bishop in her will.

As a practical reality, it is hard to imagine any other entity -- certainly neither the state nor Kamehameha Schools -- that would be able to afford to maintain Moanalua Valley for continued public enjoyment.

Further, to suggest that its use be limited to one group, no matter how deserving, might be considered by some to border upon racism.

Anna Derby Blackwell
First Executive Director
Moanalua Gardens Foundation

Views on death penalty, abortion don't jibe

Why do most anti-abortionists and our president favor capital punishment? They believe in not killing a fetus but believe in killing criminals? "Thou shall not kill" is one of the Ten Commandments.

Our government is just like Hollywood, showing youngsters that violence is OK in certain circumstances. The Bible teaches forgiveness. Jesus would not believe in abortion or capital punishment. Look at the execution of Timothy McVeigh. McVeigh got what he wanted. A government-assisted suicide is fine, but when someone wishes assistance dying in the private sector, it is against the law.

The Talmud says: All of us, if only once, must reach out to those in our need. If not you, who? If not now, when?

Jim Rosen


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