Letters to the Editor

Letters to the Editor, Feb. 10, 2019 | Healing the pain, grief caused by abortion

Pain, scars, grief of abortion endures

In the past few days many of my fellow churchgoers have expressed their dismay that New York has legalized abortion during all nine months of pregnancy, and that this is being celebrated as a victory for women. It is distressing to see that some people still consider the legalization of abortion a victory for women. Abortion hurts women.

I became thoroughly convinced of this at a talk given to priests by Theresa Burke, Ph.D., who explained that many years ago she lead a group therapy session with women who suffered from eating disorders (anorexia, bulimia, etc.). She found that all of the women had had abortions.

She understood that abortion causes a profound grieving in women, even when they are not consciously aware of it. This caused her to dedicate the rest of her career to helping women overcome the damaging effects of post-abortion syndrome. She founded “Rachel’s Vineyard” – therapeutic retreats which help heal the wounds of abortion: shame, fear, anger, denial and numbness.

Abortion does not solve anything for women. As St. Teresa of Calcutta said: “Abortion is profoundly anti-women. Three-quarters of its victims are women: Half the babies and all the mothers.”

Fr. Mark Wagner, St. Joseph’s Catholic Church, Modesto

Editor’s note: New York’s new law, S2796, authorizes abortion only through the first 24 weeks of pregnancy unless the mother’s life is in danger or the fetus has no sign of life.

Who protects rights of the good students?

Re “Modesto teachers asked to rethink quick decisions to suspend students of color” (Page 3A, Jan. 27): What is missing from the discussion over school suspensions are the other 37 students in a classroom when one student misbehaves. The teacher and administration have the absolute duty to protect the educational rights of all the students.

Suspensions have an important, useful role as they both allow the class to quickly function again, but also teaches students which behaviors will not be tolerated. Whenever a student created a scene by refusing to follow a simple directive in my classroom, I had him leave the room immediately so that learning could continue for the other students. I would later write a thorough referral and have the episode filed under “defiance of authority.” Before coming back into my classroom, this student should get counseling though admittedly this rarely occurred.

Only by focusing on the behavior itself can we determine the efficacy of any behavior system. Reducing student suspensions by fiat is the empty way out and does not impact poor behavior. In fact, misbehavior would likely increase.

Who speaks for the other 37 students? If the teachers, administrators and parents do not provide this voice, then student rights are at risk. Schools need to be safe and the children must be learning; this only happens through the hard work of teaching correct behavior and then insisting upon it.

Dennis Flores, Modesto

Trump’s knocked it out of the park

The baseball season has started early this year! On Tuesday night, Number 45 hit a home run.

Kathy Connley, Modesto

He didn’t create issues, Trump’s fixing them

Seems everyone wants to blame President Trump for their problems. If you think your life matters more, your sex is exploited, your gender isn’t recognized, or you want to disarm America, it’s not Donald Trump’s fault.

Trump didn’t create your problems and he isn’t holding you back. As long as you just point fingers, you’ll get nowhere. Start within your own communities to right your wrongs.

When Trump took office, all problems became his fault. Those problems existed when previous presidents were in office. Trump didn’t promise your group special privileges. He is the only president living up to his campaign promises to secure your borders, bring back jobs and get fair trade. No promises to help other countries from their government-induced problems.

Ask not what your country can do for you, but what you can do for your country.

Laney Dwight Valek, Modesto

Already too late to save Delta, rivers

By now, it should be apparent to everyone involved that there is no good solution to the Bay-Delta and river water-quality problem. The salmon run and the estuary, what’s left of them, will never be restored. In spite of all the wrangling about how much water should flow down the Stanislaus, Merced and Tuolumne rivers, no solution will ever be more than a stop-gap measure. With groundwater supplies diminishing, the demand for river water is too great and steadily increasing.

Unfortunately, all this bickering and suing and demands from the state will prove futile. The resource cannot be saved.

By the the early 2030s, sea level rise and higher river temperatures will destroy the estuary, the salmon run and Delta farming. Everyone involved in the so-called “science” behind river salmon and estuary restoration needs to look beyond their biased self-interests. Big trouble is around the corner. We need to look ahead to minimize economic disruptions and start making plans and preparations for that “inconvenient” truth.

Jerome Handley, Turlock

Harder impressive in first town hall

I worked hard and long on Josh Harder’s campaign. During Harder’s recent visit to our district, I knew all my efforts – and the efforts of many, many others – were worth it. Harder came home to listen. He talked with people about their concerns, but also did something very unusual for a politician. He asked questions and listened to the answers.

One question at the town hall meeting was about the government shutdown. I was impressed with Harder’s respectful answer. He talked about what people would think if we had a Democratic president and a Republican Congress in 2020 and the Democratic president demanded Medicare for All or he/she shut down government. He emphasized that holding the government hostage is not how democracy works. He talked about the large majority of heroin coming into this country, in shipments coming through ports of entry carried by semitrucks. He stated that’s where we need to put our efforts. It was a thoughtful, comprehensive answer.

Harder is a critical thinker, examining numerous perspectives to get to the most practical outcomes to benefit all of us in District 10.

Victoria M. Stewart, Modesto

Harder’s visit home proves he gets it

I welcomed Rep. Josh Harder’s quick return home after he was installed in the House. He had his first town hall of many promised and met with people one-on-one across the district. He had a good sense of his responsibilities, one being to welcome talk across the aisle. He mentioned that he had met with a group of Democrats and Republicans eager to work together, without which there will be no movement. I’m glad he was appointed to the Agricultural Committee. He has already spent time with farmers in the area and understands that a major problem is having enough water in the Valley. While he was here this last week, he visited with farmers and people at Don Pedro Dam. It sounds like he hit the ground running and I am looking forward to seeing his action in the House.

June Mills, Ceres