I felt the need to speak out against politicians, among them Gov. Kasich, who are asking President Obama to stop Syrian war refugees from legally migrating to the United States. I am not sure what is motivating these politicians, who are largely, but not exclusively, Republicans. I suspect some are doing it because they have concluded it will help politically. Others may be doing it simply because they are xenophobes.

When the Irish Republican Army was engaged in acts of terrorism, did U.S. politicians propose a ban on Irish or Catholic migration to the U.S.? Of course not.

Such a proposal would have been rightfully dismissed as ridiculous. So why is a ban on Syrians being proposed now? I contend it is because Syrians are from the Middle East and most are Muslims. This would not be happening if they were more like us, European descendants or Judeo-Christians.

The war currently raging in Syria is happening, in large part, because of George W. Bush’s invasion of Iraq and the subsequent destabilization of Iraq and its neighbors, including Syria. Please do not get fooled by politicians in Washington and Columbus who are ignorant, have their own agendas or both.

The Syrian refugees are desperate human beings who need the help of the United States and the rest of the world. U.S. politicians should be extending helping hands, not erecting additional barriers. The United States helped to create this crisis and now we need to help solve it.

Martin Bramlett

Ravenna

More good guys ?with guns

I’m not sure what scares me more, the fact that you are wrong-headed about gun control, or that your newspaper has such a strong voice and wide reach but never seems to present views opposing the liberal refrain (“Primary motive for a gun bill,” Nov. 30, by editorial writer Steve Hoffman).

You’re no doubt critical of the counter argument: The best thing to stop a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. You must admit that bad guys will carry guns wherever and whenever they lease.

More laws won’t stop bad guys, or will silly window decals that claim a location is gun-free. Those signs, while well intended, are an invitation for bad guys with guns to enter, with confidence that good guys inside will be defenseless.

Your comment that it’s obvious that the more guns in a given place means it’s more likely someone will get shot is inane. In your thinking, is it because guns go off by themselves, or is it because good guys with guns love to shoot them for no good reason? It must be one or the other; both are simply crazy.

What would be a whole lot better about your paper is if you might add commentary right next to yours that presents the other side of such an important issue.

Jack Juron

Fairlawn

Faith to have ?freedom of choice

Ohio’s proposed 20-week abortion ban would violate the religious freedom of those whose faith supports a woman’s right to choose.

Religious people and doctrines differ on when ensoulment happens and personhood begins. Some believe it is at conception, others when a child takes his or her first breath, or somewhere in between.

Science can tell us when a fetus can survive outside the womb, not when a soul enters the body. This question is answered through religion, spirituality, philosophy and our lived experience.

A few religious groups argue their understanding of this should be made state law. Statistics show the majority of religious people disagree with them.

The United Methodist Church, Episcopal Church, United Church of Christ, Rabbinical Assembly and many more religious organizations support a woman’s right to make her own decision about when to terminate a pregnancy.

The religious freedom of these organizations’ members and the religious freedom of us all is relevant to Ohio’s abortion conversation. Abortion is a decision to be made between a woman and her God.

It is not a decision to be made by the state or another’s religious doctrine.

Megan Hunter

Board Member, Ohio Religious Coalition for Reproductive Choice

Akron

War hawks

George H. W. Bush says his son was badly served. Yes, he was badly served, by those two war hawks, Donald Rumsfeld and Dick Cheney, but W. was “the decider,” remember?

I could almost excuse our thousands of war dead and wounded if it weren’t so shameful and catastrophic a decision. Cheney continues to spout off about how it was the right decision to invade Iraq, which makes him the worst of the three.

He must be aware of the consequences in the Middle East that were set off by our Iraq invasion. I hope he doesn’t get much sleep at night.

Elliott Berenson

Chester Township