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Unclear conscience

I was struck by the hypocrisy of the "conscience" bill for pharmacists ("'Conscience' Bill Unclear," by Karen Shugart, May 18).
First of all, let me say that I am opposed to abortion. I am not opposed to emergency contraception, because it cannot end a pregnancy, only prevent one from taking place. If the pharmacists want the right to refuse to dispense birth control and emergency contraception (medications they find "morally objectionable"), why are they also not asking for the right to ask for proof that a man is married before dispensing Viagra or Cialis? What kind of sense does it make to condone helping unmarried men have more sex, while at the same time refusing the women they are having sex with the means to prevent unwanted pregnancy?

— Miranda Jordan, Charlotte

The Moral Police

Kudos to Tara Servatius for her article on Charlotte police and their gay sting in Freedom Park ("Naming Names," May 18).
This isn't the first time I've heard about this kind of behavior from police. I had the unfortunate opportunity to meet with the chief of the Matthews police department (along with Mayor Lee Myers) during a Home-Owners Association meeting. Though it was entirely irrelevant to the conversation, seeing as how I'm a short-haired lesbian (and an obvious one, at that), the police chief couldn't help but say twice how they needed more police officers because they were stretched thin having to "keep those homosexuals out of the park." Priorities, priorities! I thought that these two good ol' boys were going to elbow each other and snicker, it was such completely "drunk college frat boy" behavior. Mayor Myers just nodded in agreement. It's a prime example of the persecution by the so-called Moral Police that unfortunately reigns supreme in Mecklenburg County.

The article also somewhat redeemed Ms. Servatius in my eyes as I, like many friends of mine, was appalled at her lack of tolerance with her article on last year's Gay Pride event. While I completely agreed with her that there should have been no nudity or displays of nudity at the event, the comment about "gyrating drag queens" was unacceptable and showed her lack of understanding. I have to watch hets engage in PDA every day — we only get one a year.

— Kat LaBonte, Matthews

I.Q. Test, please

Please start printing the letters you get from Mr. Dunlap and any other public officials complete with butchered grammar, indecipherable syntax, ranting accusations, and twisted logic ("Furious George," by John Grooms, May 18).
If the public becomes more aware of how some of our public officials actually think and communicate we may begin selecting a higher caliber of office holder.

— Tom Anderson, Huntersville

Underwear Nightmare

On Friday May 20th, there appeared in many "western" newspapers pictures of Saddam Hussien in his underwear, while he is held captive in an unknown location. He is supposedly being held in prison, pending charges (not yet filed) for crimes against humanity. He has been captive for 19 months and no formal charges have been brought forward by his captors.

The fact that these pictures have become public tell two things about our human condition. First, it is an intriguing curiosity that anyone would be interested in seeing a man in his 70s in his underwear. Would we all want to see Ronald Reagan or Jimmy Carter in such a state of dress? Doubtful. So why the curiosity with this man? It is hard to tell, but some media-savvy editor has most likely increased the circulation of his newspaper and wrought the second point I would like to make.

That is, the reaction that will likely come from the fringes of the Muslim world. We have insulted them, their former icon and their religion once again. The terrorists in the Muslim community are not rational thinkers. They behead people to make a point. They blow themselves up in crowded areas to demonstrate their passion. They will surely react in some similar fashion to this latest "insult" to their people.

When will we learn as a human race that all our actions have reactions? When will we all become a people who protect each other, rather than embarrass and insult one another? When will we start and treat each other with respect, recognizing our differences and enjoying that diversity?

I am a lapsed Catholic and I had some severe disagreements with the late Pope John Paul and his administration of the Church. But John Paul had a couple of things going for him. He was a man who tried to unify the world, not divide it. For that, I was saddened at his passing. The world will miss his efforts.

Pope John Paul understood the "Human Factor." We could all do well to try and follow his example.

— Ned Duffy, Charlotte

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