Letters submitted by BDN readers are verified by BDN Opinion Page staff. Send your letters to letters@bangordailynews.com

Carrying his light

A light in the window at Christmas is said to be an Irish custom. The candle, placed in the front window of a home, becomes an invitation to the Holy Family passing by seeking a place to stay that this home would welcome them. The candle is a welcome to the Christ who is coming into the world, but it is also a reminder that he who is being welcomed is himself the light of the world. The candle welcomes all, family, friends and strangers. Christ, the light, comes for all.

This year, there are more lights in our windows and homes. Unable to gather together with families and friends in this time of pandemic, we still want to brighten the lives of those around us. The light disperses the darkness of winter and the burden that the coronavirus has placed on us. The lights of Christmas bring hope as they raise spirits and smiles in a difficult time in modern history.

The light raises spirits because it is the light of Christ. At Christmas, we celebrate his coming into the world. For some 2,000 years, the lights have been lit, in times both difficult and joyful, to assure all that God is with us. This year, we find ourselves in a challenging time. Let the lights of Christmas around us remind us that the light of the world is with us.

We are called to be bearers of the light. The message of Jesus is one of hope and love. Live, then, in that light for it dispels the darkness of our world. Christmas reminds us of God’s abundant love for us in Jesus. May we also remember to offer help to those in need in our community. That is, after all, the true meaning of Christmas: carrying his light into the world through our care for one another.

Bishop Robert Deeley

Roman Catholic Diocese of Portland


Trump’s world

“I do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; that I take this obligation freely, without any mental reservation or purpose of evasion; and that I will well and faithfully discharge the duties of the office on which I am about to enter: So help me God.”

In case anyone was unaware, this is the oath of office that the president swore when he was inaugurated. It should be read carefully since the current president has done little to abide by what this oath stands for. All he seems interested in is his golf game. He doesn’t seem to care about the thousands who have died from the virus (he hardly ever mentions this), the efforts made by the health care workers to combat the virus, or the fact that he is oblivious to the attack on many of this country’s infrastructure by the Russians (at present, the most likely source of the attack). His efforts seem focused on making the transition to the Biden administration as difficult as possible.

It seems the House’s efforts at impeachment were far shortsighted. Maybe the reasons for impeachment should be revised.

Richard Barclay


A bad decision in Bucksport

With Bucksport’s decision to host a salmon farm, the most immediate and visible loser is Panawahp Skewtek, the Penobscot River, and the nonhuman beings that manage somehow to eek livelihoods from the foul water and spoiled environment.

I conclude that the combined downtown and adjoining riverwalk is one of the loudest and brightest areas I have ever visited. Rather than a quiet walk along the picturesque estuary, I felt bombarded by the constant roar of traffic. Summer evening walks on the riverfront were truly for-humans-only experiences. Neverending cigarette butts, discarded candy wrappers, wads of chewed gum and lollipop sticks; the lack of respect and surface-only appreciation for the immediate environment screamed loudly though I believe, unfortunately, that hardly anyone heard.

Panawahp Skewtek — the Penobscot River — is an ancient and an alive river that struggles to be more than a beautiful token whose value is grossly misunderstood. I believe the salmon farm will not only compromise the return of the also ancient salmon, it will bring its own baggage of nonstop stimulation and this will, in turn, invite more stimulation. Most humans can ignore and therefore deny its negative effects on our health and well-being, but the river knows and it will suffer. Along with the species that depend upon the river’s, unwillingly but so, stingy resources.

Soon the educational markers along Bucksport’s riverwalk may read, “Once, not that long ago, Great Blue Heron lived here with fish, ducks and seals.”

Kelley Walker