What’s wrong here?

What’s wrong with this scene? In Portland, refugees were welcomed with support and a big celebration. In another city in Maine, a homeless mother with two children was given a tent.

What is wrong with our country, when we can’t even take care of our own?

Carl Ripley

Self-serving Census question

I have family members who have green cards. They work, pay taxes, are productive members of their communities. Does this mean they don’t get counted, because they are not citizens? There must be millions in this status and in varying stages of becoming legal citizens. It is a slow process. Does this mean they don’t count?

President Trump’s attempt to add a citizenship question to the Census, and his manipulating — even in the face of the Supreme Court saying his reasons are contrived — show his motives were self-serving. I thought he believed in law and order? I think most folks see his contrived manipulating for what it is: “Make America White Again.” How sad.

Hope MacDonald

Don’t forget about the First Amendment

Since running Hobby Lobby’s Fourth of July ad headlined “One Nation Under God,” the BDN has published two letters to the editor taking it to task for being so “desperate” as to publish such “divisive propaganda.”

If these two writers choose to disagree with Hobby Lobby’s interpretation of the First Amendment as it relates to the separation of church and state, more power to them, and I’m even inclined to agree. However, they ignore the fact that the First Amendment immediately goes on to forbid “abridging the freedom of speech,” something one of your letter writers justifies by labeling the Hobby Lobby ad as “ dangerous rubbish.” The other writer incongruously criticized the ad for “ dampening freedom of speech.” To both of them, I say: Once you take away Hobby Lobby’s right to say what you think is wrong, there soon will be somebody else out there stopping you from saying what you think is right.”

Roger Griffith

Good Samaritans

A letter in the BDN this past weekend suggested that the cause behind the current wave of immigrants aspiring to become U.S. citizens is a desire for “free lodging, free food, free education.” In other words, they basically want to rip us off.

President Trump’s original reasoning for his border policy was that immigration is driven by criminals — drug dealers, terrorists, rapists. More recently, he justifies conditions of the immigrants by saying their conditions are better than they were in their home country. In other words, they basically want to rip us off.

Neither of these attitudes holds water, so to speak. Rather, U.S. Rep. Gerry Connolly last week painted a more accurate picture of the crisis at the border, and how we as Americans should respond to it. Crowding adults or children into cages with no regard for their health or safety, where they don’t even have room to sleep, is not just un-American — it is cruel, it is criminal.

You could say that Connelly, a Democrat, is expected to contradict Trump policy. Yet he did not lambaste the President. His was not a political speech. His passion was based on our basic humanitarian values, our history as a beacon of decency in the world. The above mentioned letter to the editor asks for those seeking asylum to “earn” the freedom we enjoy as our forefathers did. I reply that few of us today have fought to earn it as much as those fleeing intense danger have.

After all, does the parable of the Good Samaritan have no meaning to us?

Steve Colhoun