Letters to the Editor

Posted: January 22, 2013

Wonderful Stan Musial

The Phillies have always been my favorite baseball team, but Stan "The Man" Musial, who died Saturday at age 92, was always one of my favorite players, and his recent death greatly saddens me ("For Cards and baseball fans, Stan was simply 'the Man,'" Sunday).

Stan was, indeed, just the nicest, most affable athlete ever. He gave freely of his time and rarely left his admirers until all autograph requests were "signed and sealed." He had a big, friendly disposition, and this was ever-present both on and especially off the field.

In addition, the son of a gun could hit a baseball - hit it hard and hit it often and hit it in the clutch. Wonderful man, that Stan.

Jules Slatko, Holland

The pressure to win

I am disappointed about Lance Armstrong's admission ("Armstrong admits he doped to Oprah," Friday). The pressure to win, to be the best, is very, very strong in our culture. We all grew up on fantasy: Snow White, the Easter Bunny, and Santa Claus. The reality is insider trading, insurance fraud, no weapons of mass destruction, Barry Bonds, and Lance Armstrong. A big joke in my house is, How do you get ahead in America? Lie, cheat, and steal. It's all meant as irony, but this is America, and all too often our "joke" is reality.

Sean D. Green, Ardmore

Forgiving Lance Armstrong

Unlike Melinda Henneberger, I do forgive Lance Armstrong ("Lance's lies hurt fellow survivors," Thursday). I am a cancer survivor and the mother of a son who succumbed to testicular cancer. I never thought that Armstrong was a choir boy. What I do believe is that he could have walked away from his cancer experience and never looked back. Instead, he created an organization that provides vital information and support for the much-neglected "after cancer" experience. Worldwide, people Google "Livestrong" and have access to life-saving information. I will continue to support and use the resources of Livestrong.

Barbara Shaeffer, Doylestown

Girls and football

The letter "Boys and tackle football" (Friday) does not view the overall picture. Our son was coaching a team composed of boys, ages 12 to 14, playing flag football. The opposing team was also all boys, with the exception of the coach's daughter, who also played.

At one point, the coach became irate and almost violent as he screamed obscenities because a boy, in his attempt to grab the flag, had touched his daughter inappropriately.

Girls can play the game on a boys' team, but it becomes a different game for all participants.

Harris Colton, Cherry Hill

Constitution is clear on oath

The Constitution, in Article II, says of the president, "Before he enter on the execution of his office, he shall take the following oath or affirmation: 'I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will faithfully execute the office of president of the United States, and will to the best of my ability, preserve, protect, and defend the Constitution of the United States'" ("Oath that all will see is a staged repeat," Sunday).

Some presidents, mostly since Rutherford Hayes, have added, "So help me God," usually as administered by the officiating chief justice. This addition violates the clear, plain, and commanding language of Article II. There is no historical proof that George Washington added, "So help me God," a claim first asserted many decades after the event. Abraham Lincoln twice refused to add God on the ground that it violated the Constitution.

The presidential oath is the only place in the Constitution where quotation marks are used, obviously to require that the president shall say the exact words provided in Article II, and no more. On this point, the language is mandatory. Also, by prescribing the precise wording of the oath, the Constitution intends to preclude all religious references.

Any suggestion that "So help me God" is a personal sentiment, separate from the oath, is unpersuasive, and in any event is contradicted by the fact that the phrase is administered by the chief justice. He says, "So help me God," and directs the president to repeat it.

The Constitution's direction that "he shall take the following oath" means that the president must take this oath and no other.

Burton Caine, professor of law, Temple University School of Law

Make it a life of service

I am concerned that the article "Committed to service" (Sunday) sends the wrong message. The picture of President and Michelle Obama staining a bookshelf as their act of service, and the emphasis on nationwide service on the birthday of the great civil-rights leader, may very well convey an equally misguided message.

It is admirable that so many Americans devote themselves to service on the birthday of the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. But to imply that devoting a few hours of volunteer work reflects a commitment to service is simply ill-advised.

We should not set aside one day as a "national day of service." Rather, we should call upon our young people to commit themselves to "lives of service." That would truly honor the life of Dr. King, who lived a life of service to all Americans.

Why do I take issue with this "Day of Service"? Simply because one of Dr. King's most profound statements was, "Our lives begin to end on the day that we remain silent about the things that matter." This issue matters.

Peter C. McVeigh, Oreland

Angry and irrational

I want to thank Karen Heller for caricaturing the 50 percent of Americans who are pro-life as "angry" and "irrational" hypocrites bent on "keeping women oppressed" ("Why 'Roe' is the keystone of rights," Sunday). How dare they use the democratic process to overturn policies that mandate their tax dollars be used to subsidize a choice they earnestly believe to be immoral? I suppose she would contend that it is infinitely more rational to require people who disagree with such choices to pay for them. One can only assume that Heller would consider Eleanor Roosevelt a misogynist for saying that "the choices we make are ultimately our own responsibility."

Tom McMahon, Pittsgrove

Reality of abortion

Call it "reproductive health" all you want, and use the vocabulary of civil rights, but such language belies what is really going on: An abortion takes the life of a human being, and last year, in this country, more than a million lives were taken. The birth-control movement was an attempt by Margaret Sanger to stop the lower classes from reproducing. Today, 30 percent of all abortions in the United States are performed on African American women. Yet the pro-abortion people use the phrases and sentiments of those who oppossed slavery.

Philip J. Donohue, Alloway

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