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Arizona Daily Wildcat
Tuesday, October 4, 2005
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Vatican's seminary policy far from 'witch hunt'

I am appalled that Ella Peterson did not do her research or delve deeper into the "issues" of homosexuality/pedophilia in the Catholic Church ("A witch hunt among men of the cloth"). I am a Catholic, strong in my faith and firm in my defense of it.

First of all, the Catholic Church is opposed to the act of homosexuality. It always has been and always will be. The church is, however, firm in its teaching "Love the sinner, hate the sin." As difficult as this is for a lot of people to believe, there are many homosexuals who actively participate in church life and activities. They are included as members of the faith, but their acts are not condoned.

Homosexuality is believed to be an intrinsic disorder just like alcoholism is an intrinsic disorder. That doesn't mean that you don't love your brother or sister for engaging in that activity. It means that you love them all the same and help them when they ask, but you don't have to agree with their actions as being right.

I agree with Peterson that the church does not want homosexuals in the seminary. In fact, they do not want anyone in the seminary or becoming a priest who opposes basic tenants of the faith. Straight men are turned away from the seminary because of their disagreements with what the church has laid out. The Catholic Church has some teachings that are "easier" to follow than others, but the church is also very counter-cultural in its teachings, which is very hard for a lot of people to reconcile themselves with.

The church is making amends to those who were hurt in the sex abuse scandals and correcting the problems internally. However, it is important to keep in mind that only less than 1 percent of the whole priestly population engaged in this sort of activity when you look at the large picture.

It seems to me this "witch hunt" you talk about is more of a media feeding frenzy on the actions of human men subject to sin than on the church standing firm in its teachings.

Alisa Ryan
pre-physiological sciences junior

Political interest groups heavily favor Democrats

In his Sept. 30 column ("Build a house, kill an owl"), Dan Post asserted that the National Association of Home Builders "is the single largest campaign contributor of any organization in the country." Unfortunately, it is not true.

According to the Center for Responsive Politics, since 1989, eight of the top 10 political donors to federal candidates and national parties are unions. The NAHB ranks 23rd. The National Association of Realtors comes in second behind the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees . The Association of Trial Lawyers comes in fourth.

The spending breakdown among the top contributors heavily favors Democrats. On average, 98 percent of AFSCME contributions go to Democrats. The NAR splits almost equally with 47 percent to Democrats and 53 percent to Republicans. In third place in political spending, the National Education Association, a teachers union, gives 94 percent of their contributions to Democrats.

Sam Schofield
applied mathematics graduate student

Columnist wrong to link Bush to developer money

In Dan Post's recent column regarding the delisting of the cactus pygmy owl from the endangered species list, he carefully analyzes the legal wording of the Endangered Species Act, while avoiding the moral dilemma underlying the debate.

In reality, regardless of whether the pygmy owl is delisted as an endangered species, the owl will still have protection under Migratory Bird Treaty Act. This means it will still be illegal to kill, maim or harass the owls. The difference between protection from the ESA and the MBTA lies in property rights.

According to estimates by the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, there are currently around 20 pygmy owls living in Arizona. Along with suburban Tucson, their habitat includes federally protected areas such as Organ Pipe Cactus National Monument and Ironwood Forest National Monument. That adds up to nearly 500,000 acres of habitat that will still be federally protected if the owl is delisted.

Some important questions we must ask ourselves here are: Just how much space do 20 7-inch-long, 2-ounce birds need to live comfortably? And just how many personal rights do we want to give up to ensure this extra habitat? Because that is exactly what the listing of the pygmy owl on the endangered species list accomplishes: It seizes developers of their right to utilize land that they purchased legally, essentially stealing the millions of dollars they spent to purchase the land.

Perhaps most ludicrously, though, Post goes on to characterize the delisting of the species as a quid pro quo by the Bush administration. Unfortunately, I guess, the money wasn't well spent, because the delisting of the species will have little effect on local development owing to the stringent development requirements already established in recent years by the city and county governments.

Dustin Meisburger
mining engineer junior

Columnist overstated Adderall's harmlessness

David Schultz's column ("'Adderall Advantage' not all it's cracked up to be") was successful in clearing up some misconceptions about the actual effects of Adderall. However, he states, "In fact, according to the National Institute of Health's Web site, the active ingredients in Ritalin and Adderall, methylphenidate and dextroamphetamine, respectively, are in the same classification of medicines as caffeine, everyone's favorite stimulant and the best friend of the weary."

It's important to note that the Drug Enforcement Administration, and all other drug enforcement agencies worldwide, classifies methylphenidate (Ritalin) and amphetamine (Dexedrine and Adderall) in the same Schedule II category as methamphetamine, cocaine, and the most potent opiates and barbiturates. Schedule II includes only those drugs with the very highest potential for addiction and abuse.

That's a wee bit more than caffeine. Shultz actually overstated its harmlessness. Adderall was also pulled from Canadian shelves because of its link to more than 20 deaths in the U.S. Shire challenged the ruling with Health Canada and is now being sold there once again.

Jeff Briggs
supervisor, Unique Logic and Technology Inc.

Regulated marijuana sales would stymie 'gateway effect'

It seems to me that you asked the wrong question in the point-counterpoint ("The burning question: Legalize marijuana?"). The question should be: Should marijuana remain completely untaxed, unregulated and controlled by criminals?

Because marijuana is now illegal, it is sold only by criminals (criminals who often sell other, much more dangerous drugs like cocaine and methamphetamine). And they often offer free samples of the more dangerous drugs to their marijuana customers. Thus the so-called "gateway effect."

In a regulated market, this would not happen. Do the readers know of anyone who has been offered a free bottle of whiskey, rum or vodka when legally buying beer or wine? I don't either.

If we regulate, control, and tax the sale and production of marijuana, we close the gateway to hard drugs. Kirk Muse
Mesa, Ariz.

Legalization of marijuana has biblical justification

The cost of cannabis prohibition is higher than the buzz itself ("The burning question: Legalize marijuana?"), so yes, it should be re-legalized.

Another reason to re-legalize cannabis that doesn't get mentioned is because it would be biblically correct. It is no accident God indicated He created all the seed-bearing plants and said they are all good on literally the very first page of the Bible.The only biblical restriction placed on cannabis is that it be used with thanksgiving (1 Timothy 4:1-5). Thank Christ God Our Father, The Ecologist, for cannabis.

Stan White
Dillon, Colo.

Homegrown cannabis would prevent price hikes

The authors of "The burning question: Legalize marijuana?" reach a conclusion that if cannabis were legal it would support the Latin American markets and crime associated with them.This is ridiculous.

If cannabis were legal to grow, there would be so many home growers that virtually everyone who wanted to obtain cannabis would know someone who was growing it. The price would be nowhere near the $300 per ounce figure they quote.High-quality hand-manicured cannabis buds would still cost from $50 to $100 an ounce, largely due to the time involved in curing and trimming the buds.

Latin American cannabis is usually of a low quality because of the drying and processing methods employed.No educated cannabis user would ever choose to purchase the inferior product if high-quality domestic product were available for comparable prices.While it is not a practice for people to grow their own tobacco to compete with cigarette companies, it is completely feasible with cannabis.I know this shoots down one of the arguments for legalization, that tax revenues would be realized, but it is a fact nonetheless.

David Lane
Santa Cruz, Calif.

Prohibition didn't work in the 1920s with alcohol, and it doesn't work today with marijuana.

Prohibition of marijuana does more bad than good

David Schultz has the marijuana "legalization" issue exactly wrong ("Blame drug suppliers, not users"). Schultz blames violent drug cartels in South America for the problems associated with the marijuana trade, when in fact it is the system of prohibition that begets violence.

When a commodity is banned, those who supply it assume great risk, and basic economic principles dictate that high prices will follow. Under alcohol prohibition, prices skyrocketed and gangsters made their living selling moonshine in back alleys. The same conditions exist for marijuana today.

A system of marijuana "legalization," where the drug is regulated and taxed like alcohol or tobacco, would eliminate the profits that lure violent factions into the marijuana trade. Prohibition didn't work in the 1920s with alcohol, and it doesn't work today with marijuana.

Krissy Oechslin
assistant director of communications
Marijuana Policy Project

Indifferent students liable for theft, consequences

In reference to the recent article "Officers hand out free locks; car thefts spike on campus," it still boggles the mind that some people have the mindset that one student quoted "has never had anything stolen on campus and said he does not take any precautions to prevent theft because he's not worried about it."

Those people are usually the first who end up becoming a victim of theft because they do not take precautions to secure their vehicles or personal belongings. And they are usually the first to whine about it and blame everyone but themselves for the theft.

As long as this thought process continues, then auto and personal theft will continue to be a problem on campus. If you can afford the $500 to $1,000 deductible that has to be paid to the insurance company for your vehicle and the inconvenience of being without your car, if and when it is recovered, not to mention any damage repair that may have to be done, then be my guest to keep your car unsecured.

Just remember a few things: Many stolen vehicles are used in the commission of other crimes that now puts the entire community in harm's way, and when you get your car stolen, all insurance rates climb as well to help cover the cost of your claim, so the victim is not the only loser here.

Nick Gligor
Sharon, Penn.

Wildcat deeply offensive to broad swaths of students

This reader is deeply ashamed of the Arizona Daily Wildcat. In my two years at the UA, the Wildcat has printed gay-bashing editorials and tactless articles about female orgasms. Now you permit a man to spew his misogynistic garbage ("World's male population under siege still succeeding")? When is it going to end?

Most students who attend here are middle of the road. They are tolerant of differences without believing that American freedoms are licenses to engage in any type of behavior that they want. The Wildcat offends a vast majority of the very students they are supposed to inform.

If you feel the need to publish such rubbish, why don't you publish separate newspapers that will cater to those extremes? It's a brilliant idea! The Machiavellian among us can read the "Daily Playboy" without offending those who actually have morals. And the homophobic, xenophobic, sexist pigs can read the "Daily KKK" and not corrupt decent folks with their tripe.

Rachael Poe
family studies and human development sophomore

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