Hope for the future
On Saturday, Sept. 14, I was privileged to be among invited guests at Nani Mau Gardens. I witnessed an award of the Aloha Peace Prize by the United Nations Association Big Island Chapter to Dr. Maya Soetoro-Ng. This magnificent woman, her two beautiful daughters, Girl Scouts presenting their leis, and the entire program was truly spectacular.
For the first time in more than a decade, I felt inspired that peace on this planet is not only possible, but actually is in process. For me, hope for peace disintegrated when U.S. troops invaded Iraq while I and fellow Stand for Peace demonstrators stood on a street corner in Cottage Grove, Ore.
On Sunday morning, I opened your Sept. 15 Hawaii Tribune-Herald to find an appalling photo of what appears to be a cowering-faced female child captioned “President Barack Obama’s sister ...” And to add insult to injury, the caption went on to state that her Ceeds of Peace program, designed to build safe and thriving communities by teaching the critical “ceeds,” was mislabelled as “Deeds of Peace.” Your photo and reporting are distorted.
When will this insane patriarchal notion cease — this idea that forceful action and overt deeds suffice as a peace effort? Is it not evident that peace foundation must be built? I, for one, have had enough bombs for peace, invasion for peace, drones for peace, etc. Perhaps it is not too late.
Please let us recognize this symbol of divine feminine. I see Dr. Maya as a phoenix, now arising from ashes of a destructive patriarchy. Her program, to nurture children and youth as leaders in effective peacemaking, is worthy of our support.
It’s time to evolve
You can’t really blame Ms. Barbara Ferraro for her persistent call for “no gay marriage” appearing recently in (Your Views). As the state director of the fundamentalist group, Concerned Women for America, she is championing their cause to prohibit loving gay couples an equal right to marry in these modern times — times which contrast so dramatically with the ancient mores found in the Bible’s old testament, as well as the new testament gospel writings which are recollections of Jesus written from hearsay sources 30 or more years after His demise.
But, in these current times, the world has discovered vast amounts of scientific knowledge that notably contrast with those folks in Biblical times and before were totally ignorant of. Except for a few fundamentalist factions of Islam, modern mankind does not, for example, stone to death someone for the offense of picking up sticks on the Sabbath (Numbers 15:32-35.)
Cultural mores evolve. In this 21st century, akamai citizens embrace current knowledge, and our evolving lifestyles benefit accordingly.
The news that improvement of the Hilo end of Saddle Road may be a long time coming (Sept. 12, Tribune-Herald) may be a blessing.
The current road design forces drivers to slow down. In contrast, the brand new, very steep West Hawaii segment of the road encourages less-than-cautious drivers to speed up. Police are using that fact to ignore their role as public servants and to act as public bullies.
When I drove the new segment on Sept. 10, I saw four (!) police cars giving tickets. This was no attempt to educate drivers, since at least one of the police cars was completely unmarked, lacking even a blue dome light. They could have used marked cars, but police have chosen trickery and bullying over education.
Hawaiian Paradise Park
Equality for all now
Each marriage is individual. No marriage affects any other marriage. That is a basic truth which must be kept in mind in the debate over same-sex marriage. The facts of one marriage have no bearing on the facts of another.
I am free to accept or reject whatever limitations on marriage I want, but only for myself and my spouse. If I do not believe in divorce, I will not get one, nor will I marry someone who is divorced. But others may divorce and marry divorcees without changing my beliefs whatsoever.
If I believe that marriage is only for procreation, then I will not marry someone who can’t or won’t have children. That will have no impact on others who may choose to marry and not have children.
If I believe that a marriage should be only between a man and a woman, then I will marry a woman. But if others choose a different course, it has no effect on me at all.
People who try to impose their beliefs on others by writing those beliefs into law fail to understand one of the most basic of American principles: morality and religion are personal decisions, not governmental ones.
Denying gays and lesbians the right to marry is mere bigotry, just as earlier attempts to ban interracial marriage were. The old miscegenation laws are long dead, and the ban on gay marriage should follow at once.