Letters to the Editor

New pledge proposed

To the Journal editor:

Have you ever thought about the actual words we use in our Pledge of Allegiance?

“I pledge allegiance to the flag of the United States of America and to the republic for which it stands….” Why do we pledge loyalty to both our Nation “and” the flag? I pledge my allegiance to our Nation and to the principles “for which it stands,” not to the cloth flag. That’s only a symbol, a reminder of the principles it represents. It is not an idol to be revered in itself any more than a plaster statue of the Sacred Heart of Jesus deserves Christian allegiance in itself. Don’t pledge to a symbol. Pledge to what it represents.

“… [U]nder God …” Why do we place our Nation “under” a god? Doesn’t Constitutional separation of church and state mean that sincere, loyal Americans are entitled to not include another person’s religion in their allegiance to our free country? Through two world wars we recited that pledge without endorsing anyone’s god. Why now?

“… [O]ne nation…” For those who favor promoting repeal of national laws in favor of a melange of 50 sets of “states’-rights,” isn’t there something inconsistent about proclaiming devotion to “one nation”? Many sincere conservatives today advocate moving away from oneness toward the many. Albeit inconsistent with America’s motto, “E Pluribus Unum,” they have a right to that opinion.

“… [I]ndivisible…” Why do we pledge inseparability? Unlike the earlier “Articles of Confederation and Perpetual Union,” nothing in our Constitution requires perpetual union. A state can legally secede, provided it doesn’t unlawfully seize federal property in the process (like what happened at Fort Sumter and with other federal land in the Confederacy). Secession is negotiable, just like Brexit. Our Constitution was born after the endorsements of only nine states, and before the other four belatedly joined. If it existed at nine, then the other four were as superfluous to its continuing existence as the later 37.

“… [W]ith liberty and justice for all…” Why is the fundamental principle of Equality missing from our prayer of allegiance and patriotic loyalty? Isn’t equality of opportunity for all Americans as sacred a principle as liberty?

I propose a new Pledge of Allegiance: “I pledge allegiance to the United States of America, as the constitutional republic for which it stands, one federal nation, united in diversity and tolerance, with liberty, equality and justice for all.”

ROBERT E. HICKS

Marquette

Line 5 plan too risky

To the Journal editor:

For at least 5 years, there have been numerous meetings, reports, studies and hearings on line 5. This is the 65-year-old Enbridge pipeline pumping 23 million gallons of Alberta light crude oil or natural gas liquids (propane) daily through the Straits of Mackinac to Sarnia, Ontario. When pumping crude, over 95 percent goes to Sarnia. When it pumps natural gas liquids, the figure jumps to 98 percent.

The Pipeline Safety Advisory Board did not recommend a tunnel alternative. To imply that 4-5 years of study and public comment produced the tunnel “solution” is misleading. The tunnel legislation was a total backroom deal, negotiated only by Snyder and Enbridge without consulting Gov. Rick Snyder’s own PSAB and with no public input.

She fails to note the Dynamic Risk Study found that closing of line 5 would mean only pennies a gallon temporary increases in gasoline or propane prices. 22,000 Yoopers use propane. About half get it from Line 5 at Rapid River. That can be handled by 3-4 propane trucks a day until a new supply alternative shows up.

Her argument that we use oil every day is a weak strawman that fails to address why we must continue to risk the Great Lakes to get Alberta oil to Ontario.

State Rep. Sara Cambensy, D-Marquette, mentions an unknown refinery in Michigan that daily processes 80,000 barrels of heavy crude (like the dirty tar sands oil that spilled a million gallons in the Kalamazoo watershed in July 2010 from Enbridge line 6B). But there is only one Michigan refinery in southwest Detroit (Marathon), that receives at most, 30,000 barrels of light crude daily from line 5.).

Cambensy also claims that the Michigan Tech Risk Study “further solidified the tunnel as a rational solution…” That study made no tunnel recommendation. It was all about estimating a worst-case spill volume (2.4 million gallons) and estimating its damages ( $1.9 billion)., MSU’s Dr. Robertson puts damages $45 billion!

Let us end by answering her big question: If you don’t like pipelines in the Straits, do you have the right to ask that they be relocated elsewhere? Hell yes!

Michigan has no duty to permanently serve as a shortcut for getting Alberta oil to Canada, particularly when it involves any risk to the Great Lakes.

JOANNE CROMLEY, chairwoman

Straits Area Concerned Citizens for Peace

Justice and Environment

PATTY PEEK, chairwoman

Straits of Mackinac Alliance

History at issue

To the Journal editor:

With all the splash about the sex crimes committed by priests throughout the world, an interesting bit of information from church history may be in order.

“Leo I (440-461) prohibited priests from marrying and celibacy of priests became a law of the Roman Church. But celibacy has worked the wrong way. Through all the centuries the notorious immorality of priests has been one of the standing scandals of the church.” (From Halley’s Bible Handbook, church history section).

“Forbidding to marry” was a prediction in scripture of a man-made doctrine that would come.

The Lord Jesus rebuked the religious leaders of His day as they were teaching for doctrines the commandments of men.

RICHARD KALLIOINEN

Ishpeming

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