FAR RIGHT GETS IT WRONG
I am writing to express my appreciation for [Robert Herold's] column "Bowing to Lincoln" (10/19/17). The column was well-composed and rational; thank you for clarifying my disordered thoughts! The Cheeto-in-Chief would do well to read this column, but his well-known short attention span prevents that. When he started distracting himself and the country (again), I reflected on the matter of sports figures taking a knee during the playing of the national anthem.
I reject the premise that service members must sacrifice their time, sanity and lives for a flag and an anthem. The flag is just patchwork, the anthem is just a song, football is just a game, and its players are just overpaid brawn. If I were asked to rally on behalf of America, I would be inspired by the framework of the Constitution (written centuries ago; times change), the land (which the GOP wants to rape for profit), and my fellow citizens.
Recently I read an editorial in the Chicago Tribune which expressed that football players are employees and during working time, the game, they must follow the rules of team owners, their bosses. This makes sense to me, but I like your declaration better, that "quietly kneeling isn't disrespectful."
What the White House occupant and his far-right core supporters are objecting to isn't disrespect for the flag, anthem, or veterans, but constantly being reminded that they share the USA with peoples of other races/cultures/faiths.
Readers respond to "Is Someone There?" (10/26/17), our cover story on why people believe in ghosts, and the Spokane residents who chase the supernatural:
JD Stewart: Because, after we die, our souls leave our bodies and we're either earthbound or going to heaven or hell, or whatever you believe you're going ... I'm pagan, so I believe when my time is up, I'll be one with the elements/in the spirit world ... And yes, I believe in ghosts. I've seen and felt them around. I'm also part of a paranormal group and the last three houses I've lived in have been haunted. Spirits are a noisy bunch, but they're lost and confused and most don't know they're dead.
Jeff Caldwell: Or not. Or we just die. There are no souls. There is no afterlife. Consider this — what do you think Hindus "see" that have had near-death experiences? Would you be surprised to know that their vision of an afterlife is completely different? Why do you think that is? I'll fill you in. Because religion is a cultural manifestation. ♦