In response to the headlines and stories in the West Central Tribune on March 17 and 18, I say Senator Johnson knows that many of his constituents do not favor the proposed constitutional amendment concerning marriage. I applaud the position he has taken and his courage in standing up to his critics. Eleanor Swanson New London
Republicans are sure getting hot under the collar about Dean Johnson's activities. This is really odd because I don't remember any such Republican steam being blown about Vice President Dick Cheney a few years back. Cheney went on a hunting trip with U. S. Supreme Court Justice Antonin Scalia on the eve of a Supreme Court decision that personally involved the vice president. If memory serves me right, the decision was about whether Cheney had to release, to the press, the list of Energy Task Force members who wrote the energy bill.
WASHINGTON -- Members of Congress retire all the time, but some retirements are leading indicators of the direction of our politics. Rep. Sherwood Boehlert's announcement last week to call it quits matters. The affable 69-year-old New York Republican is one of the last of a breed: a liberal Republican, though he calls himself a "moderate" and has the record to prove it. Boehlert's departure does not leave the House completely bereft of liberal Republicans -- Rep. Jim Leach of Iowa is actually more liberal than Boehlert. But Leach, alas, is an outlier.
You'll never know what you got till it's gone. They paved paradise; they put up a parking lot. Citizens of the Benson area/School District 777 need to be aware there is a School Board meeting at 6 p.m. Monday at the Benson High School library. The agenda includes a community group concerned with keeping the only public-use indoor pool available in Benson. An ill-spread false rumor was the pool is not regulation size. The pool is the correct size for competition. This 33-year-old pool was paid for by taxpayers' voted referendum. This is the first major expense.
Maybe Martha Wagner (Public Forum, March 14) can tell us where she gets her cell phone service from because she apparently has service that reaches the heavens. Kris Pederson Willmar
We live in interesting times when the Catholic Church has to defend its doctrinal beliefs regarding the adoption of children against those who insist that the church adjust its policies to reflect the preferences of gays and lesbians. Such is the case in Massachusetts, where the Boston Archdiocese's Catholic Charities has been challenged by gay activists opposing the church's rule that adoptive children be placed only in heterosexual homes.
BOSTON -- I have a friend who taught her daughters to express their feminist views with men they dated. Her advice went roughly like this: Speak up, speak up, the only man you will scare off is your future ex-husband. This was during the era when sociologists were warning uppity women that they might end up alone. They were expected to trim their ambitions for the sake of a wedding ring. My friend saw right past the marriage ceremony to the divorce decree.
In reading recent headline about a local minister -- a senior pastor tape recording a meeting of a local ministerial association meeting, I cannot believe a minister did this. Do I now dare to talk to my local pastor for fear that if I said the wrong thing he will release it to the local paper? How dare he do such a thing? The church forever has steadfastly kept silent about these matters told in confidence, and I feel that the same rules apply to local pastors when they meet.
In the March 16 West Central Tribune, Sen. Dean Johnson was quoted as saying, "I don't answer to them, I answer to my constituents." I'm a constituent and always have been one of his supporters. Over 70 percent of his constituents want to be able to vote in November on a marriage amendment. He needs to evaluate that if he doesn't use his political and leadership influence to answer his constituents and give us what we want now, he will have to answer to us in November. H. Eugene Hippe Willmar
Two Willmar ministers were caught not being forthright with their audience at a January meeting. Their behavior is not something either should be proud of. Sen. Dean Johnson apologized Friday for stating at a January meeting of local ministers that three state Supreme Court justices told him they would not deal with the Minnesota's marriage law. Johnson was right to apologize. In the heat of a serious discussion, he said something he should not have.