Letters to the Editor

Ethics in Austin; science in schools; leaders and women; election prayers

The Texas Capitol viewed from its south side in Austin. The 85th Texas Legislature is set to convene on Jan. 10.
The Texas Capitol viewed from its south side in Austin. The 85th Texas Legislature is set to convene on Jan. 10. ASSOCIATED PRESS

Ethics in Austin

In what can only be described as an attempt to rewrite history, your editorial misrepresents legislation in 2015, Gov. Greg Abbott’s comments and my organization’s stance on First Amendment rights (”Ethics reform fight flares anew,” Oct. 7).

You neglect to inform readers that Abbott and a unanimous Senate passed a comprehensive reform of Texas’ ethics laws. That measure was turned inside-out by the House, leading Abbott to call it unconstitutional.

While Abbott and the senators wanted to expose double-dealing politicians, the House sought to give themselves special privileges, such as forbidding the recording of lawmakers in the Capitol. Abbott and the senators wanted more citizen participation, while the House sought to subject churchgoers and donors to civic groups to unconscionable harm in order to chill political speech.

Every campaign contribution and expenditure is reported in Texas. But just as the Star-Telegram has endorsed candidates and measures without naming subscribers, investors and other sources of revenue, neither is any other corporation or organization required to disclose that type of information.

Anonymous speech is a constitutionally protected right; it’s how the Federalist Papers were published. As for my organization, we put our name on everything we publish. Just like the Star-Telegram does.

Michael Quinn Sullivan, president, Empower Texans

Science in schools

I am mystified that we are still arguing about teaching evolution in public schools.

Creationism is simply not science. It’s purely faith-based and has no place in science curricula.

Many Texas public schools do not allow evolution to be taught for fear of retribution from faith-based zealots who press their beliefs and don’t accept the separation of church and state.

Galileo ran into these same folks when he professed that the earth orbited the sun. Even President George W. Bush once said that the jury is still out on evolution.

We will never convince the creation zealots, but we should not let them inject beliefs into a discussion of what is and what is not science.

Science doesn’t care what you believe. It cares about facts that can be tested and proven.

We may never understand everything about the origin of life or what caused the Big Bang, but we do know that life and and eventually humans evolved from simple organisms to complex species over a few billion years.

Don Kinard, Arlington

Leaders and women

Many of us are appalled at the latest revelations about Donald Trump's attitude toward women — and yes, it should bother us.

But we do need to remember that some of our past leaders viewed women in a similar manner. Martin Luther King Jr. and John F. Kennedy, for example, both had multiple affairs, and Thomas Jefferson is described as having a long-standing affair with Sally Hemings, a slave on his plantation.

These men were efficient leaders who served our country well. As the election comes closer, we need to discern who can best serve our country well.

Judy Lynch,

North Richland Hills

Election prayers

A friend of mine told me this presidential election is an evangelical conspiracy.

More people are praying to their God for their future and our nation than ever before!

Lee S. Anderson,

Fort Worth

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