Letters to the Editor for Jan. 10, 2011

By Chris Collins, The Baker City Herald

So what's a civil compromise?

To the editor:

A court case that had been pending for over a year in Baker City was recently settled by what wascalled "civil compromise."Very few people know what this means so I think that you should assign your bestreporters to explain this term to us.

Many of uswill assume that some money is involved.Who gets paid and how much is paid?Can the payerreport thisas a business expense oris it tax-deductible?Is there a quantity discount?Does it cost much more to legally bury all of the information brought up at trial so that no onecan see it?

Carl Kostol

Baker City

At tax time, remember Shrine

To the editor:

The Portland Shrine Hospital is entering its fifth year of being on the state of Oregon's Charitable Check Off Program.

As we head into the new year and begin thinking about preparing our taxes, keep this donation opportunity in mind for the Shrine Hospital. When preparing your state of Oregon tax return, please consider donating a portion of your tax refund specifically towards the Shrine Hospital's Orthotics and Prosthetics Department supply budget by checking the Shrine Hospital donation box on the first page of your Oregon tax return form.

The mission of the Shrine Hospitals for Children is so important. We don't think there is a person who does not know of at least one child who has been helped by the Shriners Hospital.

This successful donation program was started in 2005 with 263 donors giving $6,078. In 2009, with 3,934 people giving $57,109.

If you would like to see the breakdown of figures for the four years for the Shrine Hospital, go to the downloadable spreadsheet at http://www.oregon.gov/DOR/docs/occc-history.xls. This includes the latest updated figures as compiled by the state of Oregon by Dec. 23, 2010.

Ralph and Donna Patterson

Union

Manger scenes and tradition

To the editor:

It's too bad that the Prineville City Council has allowed the Freedom From Religion Foundation to talk them into permanently retiring their manger scene (Baker City Herald, Dec. 31). For Christmas is more than just a religious holiday. Manger scenes and all, it is the celebration of an actual historical event, the birth in Bethlehem of one of the most amazing persons ever to have trod the dusty paths of this planet. Because of his moral teachings and exemplary life, Jesus of Nazareth commands great respect not only among Christians, but also among members of other faiths, as well as those who have no faith at all. A manger scene is a reminder of the circumstances of his birth.

Our founding fathers would have had difficulty understanding the arguments of that group, for they had no problem with the mixing of government and religious observance. (Indeed, Christmas Day has always been one of the few legal holidays when governments at all levels shut down for the day.) They were aware, as are atheists, of a great paradox: totally separating government and religion serves only to benefit one religion - atheism. Despite the claims of atheists, atheism is a religion.

We are part of Western Civilization, which began with the ancient Greeks and Romans and continues to this day. Celebrating Christmas with manger scenes, Christmas trees and such is a rich tradition in our civilization going back hundreds of years. But atheistic groups want to change all that, and make the observance of Christmas politically correct, but barren and sterile.

Pete Sundin

Baker City

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