If not now, when?
Since Idaho’s religious exemption laws were enacted in the 1970’s, over 200 Idaho children have died from faith-based communities that deny their children medical treatment even if the children are dying. Experts indicate that most of these children would have had a 90% likelihood of living with proper medical care.
Yes, people have the right to religious freedom and parental rights, but those rights should not allow them to harm others because of their beliefs, and they certainly should not trump the very basic right of children to live. Change the laws and let these children live to be adults. At 18 years old, if they want to practice faith-healing, so be it, but the state should protect them while they are too young to protect themselves.
The Sarah Kester case is an example of what can happen when a wife and mother will not call authorities even when she knows her own children are being molested by their father because her church taught her to not speak with authorities on family matters. There are many other examples in Idaho of religious beliefs harming children.
With Covid-19, we have had enough deaths. It is time for the Legislature to step up and protect these children. Put this on the agenda for 2021, eliminate religious exemptions and save these children from needless suffering and death. All Idaho children deserve your protection, and all parents should be held to the same level of responsibility to provide medical care for their children.
Bruce Wingate, Boise
Monday’s events at the state capitol were unacceptable. The protesters, led by Ammon Bundy, moved beyond legitimate protest. They refused to follow rules in place for public safety, seemed to assault guards and Idaho State Police in order to enter the building, damaged public property and heckled lawmakers. No other group of protesters would have been allowed to do this. I stand with Rabbi Dan Fink, Bishop Brian Thom, Rev Andrew Kukla and Rev Karen Hernandez in asking Governor Little and the legislature to take action in the following ways:
1. Hold protestors accountable for property damage and issue citations for unlawful behavior beginning immediately.
2. Call upon Idaho State Police to keep our state house safe by enforcing physical distancing (and therefore determining the appropriate maximum capacity) among visitors in spaces where lawmakers are meeting.
3. Require masks in keeping with City of Boise and Central District Health mandates currently in place for Boise and Ada County unless or until such time as proper legal steps are taken to render these mandates inapplicable within the state house or until the mandates are repealed due to greatly improved COVID-19 spread in the city and county.
4. Provide alternative means for public comment in order for testimony to be offered even when physically distanced gallery spaces are filled and/or when those wishing to testify determine themselves to be unsafe in public spaces at this time (even with safety measures in place) due to COVID-19.
Stephanie Owen-Tillotson, Nampa
My kids attend Timberline and East here in Boise. Teachers, the difference between this past spring and the instruction and engagement I've witnessed in the first weeks back is dramatic. You are connecting with my kids, they are interested again, talking about school, talking about classes and homework. I admit I was pretty skeptical that my kids would get anything out of the online stuff, but I was wrong.
Frankly I've been a little down this summer, feeling like this darn thing is never going to end. But you guys are changing my mind. Maybe we are going to get through all this.
Thank you SO MUCH for your extra effort and hard work. Boise teachers are THE BEST!
Ben Taylor, Boise
Instead of “America First” we should “First be Americans”. What will it take for us to default to being Americans First? What will it take for Americans to live up to the founding principles embodied in our Declaration of Independence and our Constitution?
What existential threat will it take before we wake up and realize that what unites us should be far stronger than anything which might try to divide us? Sadly, neither the ongoing covert attacks on our elections or the growing Covid attack on all of us have united us as Americans First!
Outside interference with our elections should not be tolerated by any American! Yet despite last week’s bipartisan Congressional conclusion that Russia is continuing to interfere with our elections process, we still have those willing to turn a blind eye to this attack on the very foundation of our country and our democracy.
What will it take for us to wake up and realize the difference between fact and propaganda served up as “fact”?
Last week we were admonished by a reader that the “truth” could be found by “Talk(ing) to God & listen(ing) to his voice” (apparently from places like “Newsmax” and “Biebart”). “Biebart”? Is “Biebart” the “heavenly authorized” version of “Breitbart News” whose former chairman Steve Bannon was arrested last week for misappropriating donated “private border wall” money for his own use? If so, it might explain why the same reader also claimed that Bannon’s former boss (Mr. Trump) “…does not want to take your health care”. The fact remains that Trump unsuccessfully tried to “repeal” Obamacare in Congress in 2017 and is currently asking the Supreme Court to do the same thing. QUOTE: “Real change begins with the immediately repealing and replacing the disaster known as Obamacare”. Actions speak louder than words!
Kim Blough, Nampa
At the writing of this letter, Hurricane and storm surge warnings have been issued for parts of the Gulf Coast. This pales in comparison to a greater storm that has picked up strength the last four years upon this nation! The wok socialist elitist did not miss their opportunity to trash the First Lady who gave a speech Tuesday night at the RNC. Bette Midler showed the nation on Twitter how classless and clueless she is for what passes today as First Amendment rights in degrading an individual who legally came to the US. (First Lady). Ms. Midler, whose only fame to contributing to our great nation was to demand high pay for her attempt at singing and acting. How can the First Lady be faulted for speaking with an accent, when she speaks 5 different languages?? Remember, next time the socialist dems tell you, no, demand that you adhere to diversity and hate speech that they have lead by example. Kathy Griffin is another tool that has been salivating on Twitter as she spews four letter expletives and shows there are no bounds for leftist exemplifying what they call free speech. NOTE: "1984", a George Orwell novel, later made into a movie about people losing their rights and identity, should have been entitled "2020" a dystopian future of a society bereft of reason.
Gene Martin, Emmett
My mother’s family has voted republican since shortly after the party’s founding in 1854. Her ten siblings were scattered across the nation, with a couple living for decades in New York City, yet regardless of location they remained republicans.
Mom believed in the four Cs: courtesy, compassion, civility, and community. Not all behaviors beginning with the letter C pleased her, though. She particularly disliked people who cussed or were coarse.
If mom were alive, I can state categorically that she would cast her first non-republican vote this fall and mark the ballot beside Joe Biden’s name. She would vote for Joe because he is a gentleman, a man who embodies each of the four foundational characteristics she admired. There is nothing about Joe that could possibly be defined as “coarse”, and best of all, he cares about others.
Jinx McAllister, Boise
If you wish Boise to become the next Portland, vote Biden. If you prefer Boise to remain the most safe and beautiful city in the U.S. vote Donald John Trump.
Michael Duncan, Nampa
Why bother voting against school supplement levies? We ( west Ada county voted "NO" in May). Again, just as in the past , the will of the majority was ignored and a special election was set up for yesterday. I am not too sure, but it seems that I did not read a lot about this "special" election to be held in prime vacation time. As proof of this , there was only a 28% registered voter turnout. I wish I knew why the original vote was ignored. I hope someone in our legislature reads this and introduces some legislation to fix this. Maybe a 33% minimum voter turnout for a local election to be valid? Special interests have a lot of nerve. If the education system was producing results equivalent to the amount of money being invested in them, they would see a lot more than 52% support in an election to increase our taxes. Student's reading comprehension , math ability, and moral character building are far more important than , for example, replacing a 5 year old astro turf on the football field.
Frank Celsnak, Eagle
We ask District 10 voters to elect Toni Ferro to the Idaho State Senate. Toni is honest and hard working. She graduated from Caldwell High School, earned an engineering degree, did graduate studies, worked for Intel, and came back to Idaho because she cares about the future of Idaho families. She is a moderate whose top priorities are education, health care to contain COVID, good wages, and responsible government that does not waste taxes. We lived in Caldwell for 26 years, raised 5 children who graduated from Caldwell High School and know Toni and her family. Toni will be a great State Senator for District 10.
Wayne & Margaret Fuller, Weiser
What qualities do you want to see in our elected officials? With unstoppable growth in the Treasure Valley and expanding challenges, we need leaders who will work for affordable housing and a clean, healthy, safe environment. We have a responsibility to elect smart, honest, forward-thinking representatives. Leaders who will ensure that future generations can thrive, succeed and sustain a decent standard of living here in Idaho. That’s why I am asking you to support Pat Soulliere for House Seat A in Legislative District 20 — Meridian and West Boise. Pat is exactly the kind of state representative we need and he deserves your vote!
You can learn more about Pat at www.soulliere4idaho.com
Deborah Aragon, Meridian