Thumping the Thumpers
re: “Beware of the Christian Right’s Revisionist History”; [News, Oct. 23-29, 2013]
Good attack on the soft shoe the ultra-Christians perform regarding church-state relations. … Amanda Marcotte’s essay on the deliberate misreading of the intent of the Founding Fathers and Framers is spot-on how church-going, 18th-century gentlemen were allegedly Vatican-imam-Bob Jones types, creating a Bible-driven republic. Even the Franco regime (malignant) or Quebec’s National Union (benign) never rose to such a model of Christian social dominance.
A small defense of Paul Ryan, however: His heroine, Ayn Rand, would not have approved of his salute to God as a source of rights, but “nature” is another matter. He was probably articulating a natural rights thesis of human freedom, perfectly good Enlightenment liberalism, and an inspiration to reformers in North America as well as Europe. I once read a meticulous analysis of “inalienable,” as in “rights” by political scientist Carl M. Dibble, but let us leave it there.
G. M. Ross, Lowell
Oct. 23, 2013
Marijuana Rights Now
re: “Provisioning Centers Bill Lingers in Committee”; [Higher Ground, Oct. 23-29, 2013]
Not only should medical marijuana be made available to patients in need, but adult recreational use should be taxed and regulated. If the goal of marijuana prohibition is to subsidize violent drug cartels, prohibition is a success. The drug war distorts supply and demand dynamics so that big money grows on little trees.
If the goal is to deter use, marijuana prohibition is a failure. The United States has double the rate of marijuana use as the Netherlands where marijuana is legal. The criminalization of Americans who prefer marijuana to martinis has no basis in science. The war on marijuana consumers is a failed cultural inquisition, not an evidence-based public health campaign. This country can no longer afford to subsidize the prejudices of culture warriors. It’s time to stop the pointless arrests and instead tax legal marijuana.
Robert Sharpe, Lancaster, Penn.
Oct. 25, 2013
The writer is a policy analyst for the advocacy group Common Sense for Drug Policy.
Where’s the Beef?
Thank you for the good MT years, and I make no claim to being special as a reader, and please ignore my effort to stop reading on the shaky grounds that News Hits was the MT core of reality, was what made it relevant beyond the entertainment listings, was what made it the real “Detroit,” you might say. And keep those wonderful reviews and listings coming. Thanks!
Stuart Filler, Birmingham
Oct. 27, 2013
In the Oct. 16-22 issue of Metro Times, a column in sports misstated that the Detroit Pistons’ new head coach, Maurice Cheeks, had previously not held a top coach position in the NBA, which is incorrect. In fact, Cheeks was the head coach of the Portland Trail Blazers from 2001-’05 and the Philadelphia 76ers from 2005-’08. We regret the error.