Letters: KC readers discuss Buck O’Neil Bridge, Missouri guardians, denying communion

·5 min read

Bishops consistent

Regarding American Catholic bishops considering denying Holy Communion to prominent Catholic legislators who vote in favor of abortion rights and other issues contrary to Catholic teachings, I find the legislators and media are making this a political issue when, in fact, it is a spiritual issue first and foremost. (June 24, 1A, “Will Catholic politicians in KC region be denied Communion?”)

Are Catholic legislators Catholic on Sunday and legislators the rest of the week, separating their duties from their faith? That is the height of hypocrisy, which Jesus preached most against.

I applaud the bishops for standing up for spiritual principle in the face of the criticism they are likely to experience. Jesus stood in front of the Roman emperor and his own Jewish clergy and called them out for their hypocrisy, and they put him to death. We as Christians cannot pick and choose the parts of Jesus’ teaching we like and ignore those that may not be popular or culturally acceptable. His teachings have not changed in the face of harsher criticism that is prevalent in today’s liberal-leaning culture.

If the bishops decide to deny the sacraments, they are doing so consistent with Catholic and biblical teaching, even if it is politically unpopular.

- Thomas Carrigan, Lenexa

Where’s the end?

I personally do not believe in abortion. Having said this, the Catholic Church is on a slippery slope.

If the Catholic Church denies Holy Communion to those who do not adhere to all the rules and opinions of Catholicism, it won’t need any more wheat flour for communion hosts. The sacrament of Communion will become extinct.

Was beloved John F. Kennedy a “devout” Catholic? No one, including the Catholic Church, denied him anything.

- Susan Winn, Overland Park

Let everyone vote

Although the U.S. Senate chose not to allow the For The People Act (HR1 and S1) to come up for debate Tuesday, this legislation remains the best path forward to ensure voting freedom for all.

The For The People Act would make our elections more free, fair and accessible to all citizens. It would restore the Voting Rights Act, eliminate dark money in elections, increase voter registration and end gerrymandering.

In the 2020 election, expanded automatic and online voter registration increased voter turnout that benefited both parties. S1 would remove barriers encountered by the elderly, the disabled, new voters and those living in communities not readily served by public transportation.

The U.S. House passed the For The People Act in March. We call on the Senate to work together to pass this vital legislation and find a solution for the American people. And we ask citizens to call upon Sen. Jerry Moran and Sen. Roger Marshall to vote in favor of the For The People Act.

- Amber Stenger, President, League of Women Voters of Johnson County, Shawnee

To better use

I recently viewed a news segment about the replacement for the Buck O’Neil Bridge. That’s all nice, but throughout the report, I was wondering, are we going to tear the old one down? At the end, it mentioned a study about the idea of repurposing the bridge with a park or something. (March 2, 7A, “Buck O’Neil deserves more than a plain slab of concrete”)

Yes! Can anyone say “the High Line”? Those disused elevated train tracks on the west side of Manhattan that New York City converted into a beautiful public park are far older than Kansas City’s bridge.

- Allen Fishell, Independence

Not our worry

In one of U.S. Rep. Sam Graves’ recent newsletters, he says a proposed tax plan would hurt family farms. Then he attacked the federal inheritance tax, which Republicans have cunningly labeled the “death tax.”

Folks, the “death tax” is not something most people need to worry about. It kicks in only if your assets are more than $11.7 million. You have to be rich and die rich for the federal inheritance tax to take effect.

Graves chose to avoid discussing the pressing issues facing us. He could have used his newsletter to focus on infrastructure, climate change, voting rights or a bipartisan commission on the Jan. 6 Donald Trump insurrection that continues to threaten our democracy.

He could have exposed how our state isn’t doing enough to stop the deadly coronavirus variant infecting the unvaccinated.

He could have pledged to get 70% of Missourians fully vaccinated. Our state is 38% fully vaccinated. Only 12 states are doing worse.

He could have volunteered his private plane to deliver vaccines to his district’s rural residents who do not have access to health care.

He did, however, make his priorities clear. He’s using his bully pulpit to protect the rich.

The rest of us are on our own.

- Bernadine Kline, Liberty

Living freely

As Britney Spears’ testimony about her experiences under a conservatorship holds our attention, Missourians should take extra note. (June 24, KansasCity.com, “Britney Spears asks judge to free her from conservatorship”)

According to the National Core Indicators, the most comprehensive data source about the lives of people with disabilities, Missouri has the nation’s highest rate of full guardianships. Many people with disabilities become wards of the state or a family member nearly as soon as they become legal adults — often at the encouragement of school-based transitional-planning teams.

Supported decision-making is a national movement to recognize that none of us is truly independent and that we all lean on various people and community organizations to meet our needs. The move toward supported decision-making empowers people with disabilities to retain their rights while ensuring their personal safety and protection through relationships and support planning.

Reducing the number of people with guardianships or conservatorships increases freedom and acknowledges the rights of all people to live lives free from coercion and full of autonomy.

- Kathleen Deppeler-Stearns, Gladstone

Two for one

As my irrigation system’s repairman, Matt Klein, was repairing a water line break, he introduced me to his personable helper, Jack, a junior at Kansas State University, who had a shovel in his hand.

I thought to myself: Muscles can be built by digging with a shovel as well as by lifting weights. What a novel idea.

- Sara Colt, Mission Hills

Our goal is to create a safe and engaging place for users to connect over interests and passions. In order to improve our community experience, we are temporarily suspending article commenting