Bill Rozak

Unconstitutional laws

To the editor:

It came to my attention that Tennessee's state constitution is in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution's First Amendment. Article IX, Section 2 of the Tennessee Constitution states: "No person who denies the being of God, or a future state of rewards and punishments, shall hold any office in the civil department of this state."

This is a direct establishment of religion in law, and is in direct violation of the U.S. Constitution.

After all the uproar over Proposition 8's unconstitutionality, why not look at some laws already in the books? I'd love to see the U.S, Supreme Court knock laws like this out. It's blatantly giving the bird to the First Amendment, and I'm extremely dissapointed.

Michael Herman


Handicapped resistant

To the editor:

Calaveras County is resistant to handicapped facilities. To prove this to yourself, just drive through the commercial locations in Murphys, or any other Calaveras town and take an inventory of the handicapped parking spots available, or the lack of them. Then take a look at commercial locations and try to imagine that you are handicapped and plan how you would manage to gain entry.

It has always puzzled me that Murphys has two handicapped parking spots behind the Main Street businesses. The handicapped person is required to do a lot of walking to get back to Main Street. Many times those spaces are used by people that are illegally parked.

Some time ago, I called the county and asked to speak with the person that was in charge of making sure that the Americans with Disabilities Act requirements were complied with. The call was not very satisfactory. I could see why Calaveras County doesn't have much interest in complying with ADA requirements. One wonders when handicapped persons will be treated like non-handicapped persons - or will it take a big ADA violation settlement to send the message to our county.

Larry and Joan Muetterties


Bible and marriage

To the editor:

For all the Bible-pounding people and the people that showed their ignorance and bigotry by voting yes on Proposition 8, I suggest you pick up the a recent issue of Newsweek. The lead story is about how the Bible - and Jesus' teachings - provides reasons for religious support of same-sex marriages.

The article also shows, with many, many examples, that the so-called "traditional marriage" (father, mother and children) is almost nonexistent in the Bible. Far more common are those like Solomon's, David's, Abraham's and others, where the men had many wives. The article points out that the Bible is silent about lesbianism and that the Leviticus passage about sex between men is one of many prohibitions - the others are all ignored now. There's a fine discussion of the relationship between Jonathan and David. St. Paul's dislike of women is cited. He said marriage is preferable to sexual debauchery, but celibacy was far better than wedlock. Jesus is silent about marriage and never was involved with a woman. The Bible also strongly opposes divorce but, as we know, many Christians are divorced.

The article will inflame Christian conservatives because it shows how they have no evidence for their bigotry.

Norman Reed


Failed experiment

To the editor

Re: "Admit Failure" (Bob Wetzel letter, Dec. 19): A few of us see your "wave of positive social change in society" for what it really is - a repeatedly failed communist experiment, and governmental injustice at its worst, punishing those who work hard and prosper, promising riches to the lazy and delivering poverty to all except a few all-powerful elite.

While the civilized world is turning to capitalism and thriving, we are instead adopting socialism and rapidly deteriorating because of it. Government intervention and over-regulation caused the mortgage crisis, caused the auto crisis and caused the Great Depression.

Because of your tired old socialist philosophies, we are facing a second great depression. You prattle on about "Republican Vision" being a failure and (President) Reagan's philosophies being "fatally flawed." You are wrong. Reaganomics worked, and capitalism works if we let it.

The problem, and most people don't see it, is that we call today's "market capitalism," and it isn't. The federal government is unconstitutionally stepping into the private sector and causing it to fail, then you cry for more regulation to fix what socialism caused, all the while blaming capitalism.

Bigger government and higher taxes have been proven over and over to decrease production and increase poverty. Reagan had a good observation about your type of government: If it moves, tax it. If it still moves, regulate it. And if it stops moving, subsidize it.

Look in the mirror before you call us fools again. Better yet, just move to North Korea. I'm sure the impoverished masses over there will receive your ideas with gusto, as communism seems to have worked out so well for them.

Todd Johnson

Twain Harte