Forum, Dec. 26: Claremont Display Sends Wrong Message

Tuesday, December 25, 2018
Display Sends Wrong Message

Sam Killay is absolutely correct in his assertion that the city of Claremont should not have, and never should have, religious displays on public property. As he has stated, the decades-old tradition amounts to a government endorsement of religion in violation of the First Amendment.

In this case it is an endorsement of two religions. What message does that send about all other religious institutions? There is no need to paraphrase, Americans United for Separation of Church and State says it very succinctly on its website: “Religious freedom guarantees that we can decide which religion to follow — if any — and whether and how our money goes to support religion. The government should not tax us and then use those funds to pay for religious activities or the upkeep of any house of worship or religious school. Nor should the government pick and choose which religious communities are worthy of government support. Americans United fights for freedom of conscience by ensuring that taxpayer dollars do not fund religion.”

As much as City Councilor Jonathan Stone and others would like to believe, Claremont is not a Christian town, New Hampshire is not a Christian state and the U.S. is not a Christian nation. Like so many other decades-old practices, such as lynching, white privilege, the oppression of indigenous peoples and women, we should be thankful when our consciousness has finally been raised to a level that we see these things for what they really are. Instead, it looks to me as though the harassment that the Killay family is enduring is taken from the Donald Trump book: the art of bullying.

Sharon Racusin


Reading the Paper of Record

It’s good to know that Newspapers of New England is in good enough shape to open a new plant, but from what I saw recently in the West, newspapers are worse off than we thought. I bought a Saturday morning paper in what is considered a major city, but noticed that it was a merged “Saturday-Sunday Edition” — a bad sign from the get-go.

After recycling the inserts and the real estate section, I was left with about as much paper as a midweek edition of the Valley News, a bad value for $3.16, tax included. The lead story was hardly even news: a party for the governor, who had announced his retirement months before. Below the fold I found a California fire report and not much else.

Inside were several pages of Washington Post wire service stories and two-paragraph bits of regional news, but very little that told me about what life was like in that region. Obits filled the rest of the front section, with the Sports section being mostly columns of standings and basketball results, mostly from Thursday.

So where was I, Waco or Winnemucca? No. I was reading the Idaho Statesman of Boise, published in the fastest-growing small city in the U.S., now with a population of more than 200,000. With Boise being the state capital, home of a national football power, as well as a transportation and tourism crossroads, to me that meant the newspaper should be the paper of record for the state as a whole. But no.

So be happy with what you’re reading here in the slow-growth backcountry of the North Country. 

Dick Mackay


Americans Better Start Caring

Wake up, America. I am going on 78 years old. I have seen about everything in my short lifetime, so I shouldn’t worry about anything that is going on in this country. The only heroes in my life are my family, mother and father. No athletes or politicians.

What is going on in this country will affect my grandchildren and great-grandchildren, so if you are worried about yours, wake up. The politicians and the so-called president and vice president of this country worry only about one thing: money. We the taxpayers pay more than $3 billion for exploration and drilling for oil, then it is put in tankers and shipped overseas for a better price. How much of this better price do you see? It’s your oil, too. You helped pay for finding it.

Concerns about global warming, pollution, fracking and the environment mean only one thing to the Republican politicians: obstruction to billions of dollars. You the American people better wake up and smell the roses because the president and his family and friends don’t even know you, only money at all costs.

The new American saying is “Who cares?” My answer to that is: You had better care. They don’t.

Robart Pollard