This is in response to the story about a portrait of Jesus that hangs at the Jackson Middle School (“ACLU says Jesus image in school is in violation,” Feb. 8).
During the Great Depression and World War II years, I attended Akron’s Lincoln Elementary School through the eighth grade, one of the very diverse pupils attending that school.
I can report that our principal, Isabelle R. Wilson, had a picture of Jesus, exactly like the Jackson school portrait, hanging in her outer office.
There, at Lincoln, we students differed from one another in every imaginable way. And when we were sent to her office for whatever reason, we were made to sit and view the portrait awhile before she saw us.
Obviously, the reason for the portrait was so we would reflect, during this waiting time, on the traditional American moral values that this picture represented.
Because of the wonderful, traditional American studies at this great public school, the diverse graduates, instilled with this message, became leaders in the fields of medicine, law, business, the armed forces, unions and, yes, even religion. All believed in freedom.
In our American history books and other textbooks, we saw many pictures of the various public buildings with Judeo-Christian images on them depicting the historical foundation of our great, socially inclusive nation composed of many ethnic, religious and socioeconomic groups.
In these history books, we studied the American Constitution that was based on Judeo-Christian doctrines, which contained the correct, historic ideas of truth practiced by our Founding Fathers. They put their “John Hancock” on it.
Over two centuries, our nation, and the world, has benefited from our foundation based on the fabric of Judeo-Christian beginnings. Our principles have freed many nations from religious oppression.
I, as a soldier during the terrible Korean War, and other members of the American armed forces over time, have offered up our lives to support and uphold the Constitution of the United States.
Therefore, every citizen must be taught, and should be taught, how this great document came about, based, in fact, on Judeo-Christian beliefs. There is no constitutional violation now, or ever, of the separation of church and state in passing the knowledge of our origins as a nation from one diverse generation to the next.
Robert H. Jones
Importance of Saturday mail
I read with interest the article about the U.S. Postal Service eliminating Saturday delivery (“Akron customers shrug off Postal Service’s planned cuts,” Feb. 7). Several people were asked if they were upset about the change, and most responded they thought it would not be a big change in their life. I wonder whether they would feel differently if they knew the following:
1. The Postal Service’s financial problems are not caused by a reduction in mail volume, but by a law passed in 2006 that mandates the Postal Service pay $5.5 billion a year to pre-fund future retiree health-care premiums. This is something that no other company, public or private, has to do.
2. More than 30 percent of the citizens in the United States still do not have access to email or the Internet and rely on the Postal Service as their main contact with the world. Seniors, lower-income citizens and those who live in rural areas need the Postal Service to receive annuity checks, Social Security payments, prescriptions and other benefits.
3. The Postal Service receives no taxpayer money and exists solely on revenue generated by the sale of stamps and other services. If not for the $5.5 billion required each year by the Postal Accountability and Enhancement Act, the Postal Service would actually have shown a $1.5 billion surplus since 2006. There would be no talk of eliminating Saturday delivery, closing post offices, or cutting hours.
4. The Postal Service is provided for in the Constitution. It is supposed to provide a universal service at uniform rates for all Americans.
5. U.S. military veterans are a significant part of the postal work force. They have preference for a living-wage job as a reward for their service to our country.
The U.S. Postal Service has been around since the beginning of our country. It should continue as a vital part of the infrastructure, and Congress should supply the needed financial relief without elimination of delivery or service.
Reasonable limits for gun owners
I’ve read many letters on both sides of gun control and keep seeing one rather unintelligent comment from those wanting to avoid new controls: “If it wasn’t a gun, they’d find something else to kill with.”
Let’s put those who believe that in a gymnasium with a knife and give someone else a gun. Anyone betting on the knife holder? Anything except a gun reasonably can be defended against, so the “use something else” argument dissolves. Against a knife, I can pick up a chair, use something to block it — or, how about just staying more than six feet away? Try any of that against someone with a gun.
I have absolutely nothing against gun ownership, but we need to limit guns with the ability to kill 26 people in three minutes. Even limiting a magazine’s capacity may help, if it takes more than a few seconds to switch out. Those few seconds may be all that are needed to save a life.
And if closing all gun-show loopholes helps even a bit, that, too, is a step. Last year there were over 10,000 denials of ownership just at regulated dealers. Imagine how many would be denied if 100 percent of purchases were checked.
Another option is something like a Bureau of Motor Vehicles for guns. Sell one, and it goes through an agency, and it is titled, just like a car. Stronger sentences for untitled guns could be added. Anything is better than increasing death tolls.
At this rate, the leading causes of death in the country will be guns.
Sure, criminals and unbalanced people will still steal cars and have guns. But let’s at least make it harder for them to get guns.
Richard J. Kunkel