Letters to the Editor, week of July 4, 2012

Can We Talk? kudos

The last few editions featuring the mentally ill and developmentally disabled (Can We Talk? series, June 6-27) was warmly received. The turnout for the discussion program was amazing. I hope you can keep this going and maybe get more speakers. More awareness in the Jewish community can only help the ones affected and their families. Keep up the good work on this topic.

Sandra Engber, Chesterfield

Shabbat dinner is perfect  ‘theme night’

Jewish Light fitness blogger Cathleen Kronemer makes a good point about the importance of making dinner time a family event and encourages families to create a “theme night” (i.e. “Mexican dinner for Cinco de Mayo”).  Judaism has, throughout its history, promoted a weekly theme night: It is called Shabbat and is a time for families to enjoy a meal together, both nutritionally and spiritually. Jews have other theme nights: Rosh Hashanah, Sukkot, Hanukkah, Passover, etc. as part of our tradition. There is nothing wrong with secular “theme nights,” but I was surprised that Ms. Kronemer, a fitness instructor at the Jewish Community Center, neglected to mention the Shabbat meal in her article — the quintessential family dinner experience for Jewish families.

Rosalyn Borg, University City

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Circumcision ruling in Germany

Three cheers and my hat off to the Cologne court which ruled against this barbaric antediluvian practice! Inflicting bodily harm on others is a crime regardless of motivation.  It is high time that the law should concern itself with this deliberate mutilation of a defenseless child.  It is the height of arrogance for any religion to require it.  I hope our own courts will take notice and take steps to safeguard all children’s right not to be violated by their parents.

A. E. Lippman, Creve-Coeur

Reaction to Supreme Court ruling

I am shocked and disappointed that the U.S. Supreme Court upheld the constitutionality of the entire Affordable Health Care Act (aka Obamacare), and disappointed even more by the fact that the Chief Justice John Roberts, a strict conservative and constructionist, joined the liberal wing of the court in upholding the law.

When Obamacare was passed, Democrats predicated the constitutionality of the bill on the right and authority that Congress has the power to regulate commerce. Congress indeed has the power to regulate — not compel — commerce. Keeping that in mind, how can Congress force anyone to pay a tax on something one is not compelled to buy, and in fact, doesn’t?  

Columnist Charles Krauthammer wrote that Roberts “restrained himself on the health care decision to preserve the reputation of the court.” I think his decision was less to do with the reputation of the court, but rather more to do with the chance to selfishly preserve his own reputation.

Gene Carton, Olivette