Letters to the Editor for Aug. 8, 2012

By Baker City Herald readers August 08, 2012 09:19 am

Chick-fil-A owner’s comments personal, not political

In the Aug. 3 editorial, “Chicken chain’s flap,” you are correct in stating that business owners have First Amendment rights to free speech as American citizens. However, the first sentence in the last paragraph is incorrect which states, “The First Amendment pretty clearly stands in the way of any city trying to legally restrict businesses from opening based on the political views of their owners.” This statement is misleading. 

 The views expressed by Mr. Cathy of Chick-fil-A were not political.  They were a statement of his personal convictions that have helped the Chick-fil-A business to be successful, and he has the right to express them publicly.  As you note, politicians have turned Cathy’s comments into a political flap, and it has been perpetuated by the press. We are disappointed that the Baker City Herald joined in this bias by insinuating that Cathy’s remarks were political.

 Equally disappointing was the political cartoon included in the Aug. 3 paper which depicts that homosexuals are treated differently by Chick-fil-A.  The company has issued a statement telling its customers that “going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena” and that Chick-fil-A’s tradition is “to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender.” 

John and Susie Busch

Baker City

Thanks to locals for taking care of my backpack

Just wanted to say thank you to the person(s) who turned in my backpack (on July 23) after it inadvertently fell out of the car when we stopped for lunch while on our way from Boise to Bend. Thank you to the Subway employees for holding onto it. Thank you to Grammy K for picking it up and keeping it safe until we came back through on the 28th. It was a disappointment not to have my wallet and cameras while on vacation, but great (and comforting) to know that Baker City has such quality people!

Shaun Hammersmark

Boise

Chick-fil-A doesn’t discriminate against anyone

Although your Aug. 3 editorial about the Chick-fil-A flap notes the right of the owners to express their support for traditional marriage, the cartoon on the editorial page suggests that Chick-fil-A actively discriminates against homosexuals in the service they offer (comparing it to the pre-civil rights era when blacks were relegated to “Negro” drinking fountains, restrooms, etc.). This is, I believe, a gross mischaracterization of Chick-fil-A which borders on slander.

Chick-fil-A’s website has this statement regarding service to customers: “The Chick-fil-A culture and service tradition in our restaurants is to treat every person with honor, dignity and respect — regardless of their belief, race, creed, sexual orientation or gender. We will continue this tradition in the over 1,600 Restaurants run by independent Owner/Operators. Going forward, our intent is to leave the policy debate over same-sex marriage to the government and political arena.” In addition, I’ve heard no reports that they practice any kind of illegal or unethical discrimination in their hiring practices.

Personally, I applaud the owners of Chick-fil-A for their courage in defending their “politically incorrect” view of marriage. The homosexualist agenda advocates “tolerance” for all…unless one’s views diverge from theirs. That makes the homosexualists the bigots, not Chick-fil-A’s owners. 

Jay Boyd

Baker City

Pro-pot position is rooted in writer’s selfishness

The editor’s “drifting towards a yes vote on pot measure” is misguided. His argument that he can consider voting for it because it will have no direct impact on him is indicative of much of what is wrong in our society.  His perspective can only be labeled as “it’s all about me.” If it doesn’t affect me then I can support it.  Have you ever stopped to think that it really isn’t, or shouldn’t be, all about you?  What about the adverse effects (and they are well documented) on the user of marijuana? Legalize it and you simply make it easier for more people to abuse their bodies and minds. But who cares? Right...it’s not about them, it’s about the impact on you.

 Consider also the negative effects on society.  As a cop I worked in a number of big cities and the impacts on crime due to the use of any narcotic or drug, including marijuana, are many and always negative. So legalizing it will theoretically drive the cost down? Questionable, but even at lower cost there is a criminal element that will steal to obtain the funds needed to buy their weed. If you want to make your decision based on facts rather than assumptions you might ask the Baker City Police Chief or Baker County Sheriff whether marijuana use in our county is related to other criminal activity.

 I never put words in a criminal’s mouth but I cannot count the number of heroin, meth and coke users I have interviewed that told me they started with weed, liked the buzz, and felt a stronger drug would just give them a better trip.  Finally, your assumption that the cartels will stop growing marijuana in our national forests if Oregon legalizes pot can only be described as a fantasy.  Look online for Mexican drug cartel distribution maps and you will see that weed grown here doesn’t all stay here. So unless every state were to legalize pot the cartel grows are not going away anytime soon.

 Your original inclination to oppose legalizing weed was the right one. I hope you revert back to it.

Jerry Boyd

Baker City