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Letters for Friday, May 25, 2007

Letters for Friday, May 25, 2007

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Religion in schools

Doesn't Yoga originate from religion?

A road goes through the forest near my house, and I run and walk along that road almost every day. This forest is rich in species: pine, larch, fir, vine maples, spruce and others. Recently, just for a moment, I wondered, how can each of these keep their distinctiveness, generation after generation? It is, of course, not a question that a knowledgeable person would ponder for long; the information stored in the DNA of individual seeds is "secure" information during the reproductive process. So I did not ponder it long.

One thing led to another in my feeble mental apparatus, though, and the phrase "intelligent design" surfaced. Again, ta ta, the cogniscenti do not dwell on that, because it is known to be the offscouring of a group that uses it as a thinly veiled support for their ancient religion. Surely, surely, society needs protection from such. We understand clearly what a stretch it would be to allow practitioners of ancient religions into our schools, for instance.

That said, I suffered one last mental convulsion. Will those shallow thinkers claim that yoga, for instance, as taught in many public schools, is more than stretching - that it is the offscouring of some ancient religion? God forbid! Oops, I mean, folks, could I just back space one convulsion? Or maybe we can just swallow a teensy inconsistency like this whole.

Mason Henderson, Superior

Promotion of prayer un-Christian

H. Kathy Quinn's stance on prayer in school indicates she has skimmed over a few verses of the Holy Bible in her study of it. In particular, I would like to direct Ms. Quinn to Matthew 6:5-6: "And when thou prayest, thou shalt not be as the hypocrites are: for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and in the corners of the streets, that they may be seen of men. Verily I say unto you, They have their reward. But thou, when thou prayest, enter into thy closet, and when thou hast shut thy door, pray to thy Father which is in secret; and thy Father which seeth in secret shall reward thee openly."

The promotion of prayer in schools is not only theocratic, it is decidedly un-Christian.

Charles Copeland, Missoula

Congress

Illegal aliens divert leaders' attention

Wouldn't it be great if Congress spent as much time working on the needs of American citizens as they do on the wants of the illegal aliens in this once-great country?

Remember when it was a democracy?

O.G. Benson, Missoula

Politics

Words and actions so much rhetoric

It's disheartening (to say the least) to think that all the recent words and actions by the Democrats and some reasonable Republicans now appear to be just so much rhetoric and posturing. Please say it isn't so. Please don't let us down again.

Eileen Kennedy, Missoula

Wooden bats

Metal simply has more pop

In response to the recent controversy concerning the use of wooden bats in Legion baseball in Montana: It seems there are clear answers to disagreements at the heart of this controversy. For instance, proponents of metal bats stand by the claim that there is no evidence that a baseball travels faster when hit by a metal bat. However, there are studies (www.forever11.com and www.kettering.edu/~drussell/bats-new/ alumwood.html) showing clear evidence that a baseball struck by a metal bat travels at least 4 mph faster than when struck by wood, in many cases even faster.

It seems to be common sense that a metal object would provide more pop, yet proponents of metal continue to ignore this reality. Cost has also been a source of controversy. According to proponents of metal, wood bats are not as long-lasting as metal and as a result it would be more expensive to continually replace wood.

However, according to a current Montana Legion baseball coach, Baum bats, composed of composite material, can be purchased for $100 apiece when bought six at a time. In his three years of coaching, this coach has seen only one break. During that time he's also seen a number of metal bats destroyed before the season even begins.

Yet another argument put forth by proponents of metal is the dropoff in numbers, such as batting average and slugging percentage, numbers which college scouts monitor closely. If everyone were to use wood, which is what was initially intended to be used in America's pastime, there would be no inflated numbers and no controversy.

Baseball is meant to be played with a wooden bat and a ball, not high-tech metal.

Joe Slemberger, Missoula

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