Religions would squirm

Recent evidence suggests Europa has enough oxygen for life.

The global ocean on Jupiter’s moon Europa contains about twice the liquid water of all the Earth’s oceans combined. New research suggests that there may be plenty of oxygen available in that ocean to support life, a hundred times more oxygen than previously estimated.

The research says various openings in the top of Europa’s massive oceans could provide a pathway for oxidizers to deliver an oxygen content which could quickly exceed that of Earth’s oceans.

All this makes me wonder. What would the religions of the world do? What would they do if life was found elsewhere? I know many would adapt their teachings pretty quickly; they would ignore that a central part of their beliefs is that humans are special (the arrogance!). It may take a period of adjustment, but none of them would let go of what they’ve always believed. They’d just pretend like their holy book was ballparking its claims and move on (just like they do when they claim “days” really means “millions of years”). But what about the other guys? The creationists and likewise country bumpkins? While they tend to be some of the most dishonest people around, I do think they would maintain their point of view. Whereas most of religion would shift uncomfortably for a period, the more literal-minded mooks would squirm. They’d deny facts, twist evidence, make false associations and accusations. I guess I’m basically saying they’d continue exactly what they do now.

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Hubble

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The Star Pillars of Sharpless 171

The Star Pillars of Sharpless 171

Sometimes they get it right

While many people obviously put little thought into their letters to the editor, that isn’t true of everyone. Here is one example.

Today, I read a front-page article called “Changing the Law” and I decided to take a stand in Question 1 debate.

Your article noted two important factors in the debate, and I have a comment about each.

To Mainers I ask: Why do we allow tax-exempt status to an organization that collects political contributions alongside donations to the ministry? It sounds to me that the Catholic Church has abused its influence and blurred the line between worship and activism. I also ask the church, why do you ignore your members who share a different view, who accept homosexual marriage as a civil right, separate from faith?

A second factor is the influence of out-of-state groups. Why don’t we agree to keep the debate local? We don’t want transplant volunteers from Massachusetts or New Hampshire just like we don’t want copy-cat advertisements from California scare groups.

When we vote on Nov. 3, let’s remember what makes us Mainers: We respect everyone in our community; we do things our own way; we value reason over rancor; and we don’t vote on other peoples’ rights.

This November, please vote “no” on Question 1.

Padric Gleason

Dresden

I recently wrote about the Catholic Church abusing its tax-exempt status. Religions shouldn’t be exempt from taxation in the first place, but since they are, they should at least obey the law. Padric Gleason understands that; his comments deserve respect.

More letters to the editor

Do people put thought into what they write before sending their letters off to the editor?

I was reading Vivian Ellis’ letter (Oct. 11) regarding Judge Nancy Mills conduct in regards to the Leo Hylton trial for the house break-in and assault on the Guerrette family: “…He should be comfortable with his legal defense.”

Yeah, right! This travesty of justice is an old story with Judge Mills. Her typical sentencing is of the “20 years, all but 2 suspended…” variety.

How do we get rid of these liberal judges and replace them with judges with some spine? I do not know the answer, perhaps someone can shed some light on this subject. This business of letting murderers go free after 15 or 20 years is another example of the failure of our judicial system. The bleeding heart reply to stiffer sentences is, “the jails and prisons are overcrowded.”

Build more and bigger jails, get rid of the cable TVs, commissary, freebie this and freebie that, etc. In my opinion, jails and prisons should not have the “country club” status they have now. That’s a big part of the problem. Check out Sheriff Joe Arpaio in Arizona. Here’s a guy that’s tuned into reality!

Convicted murderers and sex offenders: Issue brown uniforms, glue antlers on their heads and turn them loose into the woods next month! Those that make it get to serve out their sentence.

Finally, what ever happened to the concept of a speedy trial? Lawyer shenanigans can result in a wait of two years, maybe more, for a case to come to trial.

Robert Schena

Whitefield

I almost wrote about the referenced letter last week. I decided against it because I told myself most people don’t buy into such inanity. I guess I was wrong.

Quick summary: Guy machete’s a family (which survives). He gets a lawyer. Recently, he asked for a different one and his request was granted. Some mook writes that this is absurd. Now we get the above letter.

Why don’t people understand that bar a few requirements, defendants have a choice in counsel? That anyone would think this absurd is tantamount to saying the Constitution is absurd. But my favorite part of this letter is the reference to a speedy trial. This concept specifically relates to the defendant. What Robert Schena suggests is that the state has a right to a speedy trial. At the very least his criticism should be that it is the fault of the state for allowing the defendant a new lawyer. This doesn’t mean the defendant should be denied his rights because the state is slow to act. To think otherwise is clearly illogical. Of course, this is all moot because Schena hides in language by referring to “lawyer shenanigans”, not any specific event. And if he is referencing this supposed “shenanigan”, then he is wrong. It doesn’t take years.

It’s utterly clear that these people who whine about this sort of thing are just emotional infants who have no concept of individual rights. ‘What? The bad guy wants something? Noooo! Waaaahhh!” Grow up, Schena.