Dark day indeed

You may have heard about the IRS investigation of our church, All Saints Episcopal (“What would Jesus do … about the IRS?” Nov. 10).

This congregation is being investigated by the IRS because of a sermon preached by our Rector Emeritus, George Regas, on Oct. 31, 2004. 

Rev. Regas did not tell anyone who to vote for. I know. I was there.

Despite this fact, the IRS claims that the sermon constituted an endorsement of a political candidate and is threatening to withdraw our church’s tax-exempt status. It’s a dark day when the federal government tries to step into the pulpit and tell a minister what he can and can’t preach. 

I am asking you to help end this unjustified intrusion into the freedom of speech and freedom of religion. All Americans will suffer if our freedom of conscience is restricted.

Here’s what you can do to help:

1) Get the facts. The All Saints Web site has a transcript and MP3 of Rev. Regas’ sermon, the letter from the IRS and All Saints’ response letter. Visit www.allsaintspas.org/all_saints_church.htm.

2) Write a letter to the editor of your local newspaper.

3) Write the president, your senators and representative.  The following Web site makes this very easy: www.congress.org.

4) Consider making a special donation to support our legal expenses. Write a check payable to All Saints Church and designate it to "IRS DEFENSE." We are located at 132 N. Euclid Ave, Pasadena, CA 91101.

Despite everything we have been through in the past few years, I still believe that this is a great country with great citizens who are willing to stand up for truth and freedom.

Thanks for your support.

JON NEFF
PASADENA


You heard right

The article on All Saints and the IRS has made me so incredibly angry.

Didn’t I hear that the Catholic Church here in LA told congregations not to vote for Kerry because he was for abortion?

So nobody reported them?

MARY JANE SAINTIGNON
VIA EMAIL


From the bottom up

Our democracy is in trouble. Ordinary people feel that their voices are not being heard by their government at any level — federal, state or local. It is big money that rules government, whether that money comes from corporate lobbyists or union lobbyists or any other source.

Our government is no longer of the people, by the people, for the people.

I suggest that we as a nation take a hint from Toyota, the highly successful Japanese automaker. Toyota actively encourages its employees to make suggestions about how the company can improve its performance. According to Robert Stevenson, author of the book “How to Soar Like an Eagle in a World Full of Turkeys,” each employee contributes an average of 30 suggestions a year.

General Motors, on the other hand, receives virtually no suggestions from its employees.

If you consider how well Toyota is doing compared to GM, you will get my point.

American politicians are like the executives of GM. They do not know how to listen. They do not realize the tremendous creative resources that they have within their own ranks.

Is the United States, because of the arrogance of its political leaders, about to slide down the same slope of failure that has afflicted GM?

Our leaders are blinded by money and the special interests that contribute that money. They ignore anyone who does not have the financial clout to ensure their reelection.

I have many creative ideas that would benefit the many rather than the few. As the son of immigrants, I have the can-do spirit that forged this country and made it great.

But I am not the only one. Ask almost anyone and you will find at least one idea that deserves serious consideration by the country’s leaders. Contrary to what many people seem to think, ideas tend to flow as much from the bottom up as from the top down.

I also propose setting up a Web site to solicit the creative ideas and suggestions of ordinary Americans for making government at all levels operate not only more efficiently, but also more for the benefit of all the people rather than for the few.

The Web site would enable everyone to view these creative ideas, including our elected representatives, who, hopefully, will act on them.

It is time that politicians stopped arrogantly ignoring their constituents.

It is time for people at the top of the political pyramid that is America to look down and find out what the base of the pyramid has to offer.

Unless they do so, sadly, it won’t be long before the whole nation crumbles.

STEVE MOZENA
VIA EMAIL


Can’t win ‘em all

Thanks for showing me how to vote:

Prop 73 – YES
Prop 74 – YES
Prop 75 – YES
Prop 76 – YES
Prop 77 – YES
Prop 78 – YES
Prop 79 – NO
Prop 80 – NO

PS: Hooray for Arnold!
In God we trust!

B. PHILLIPS
PASADENA


No suicide assists

Sitcom solutions to real life problems are dangerous. Physician assisted suicide (PAS) will cause neglect of dying patients who need comforting care.

Why place physicians in a position, where heirs and HMOs can pressure them to prescribe lethal drugs? Our physicians can comfort pain and manage depression through established hospice therapies. Comforting care can be provided right to the end of life.

Even when the care may hasten the last breath, the doctor has done so with the intention of comforting, not killing, and is within his professional duties. We don’t need PAS because it’s not suicide when someone assists.

DAVID CAMPBELL
PASADENA


Don’t close Blair

Editor’s note: The following are some of many letters sent to us in response to an announcement by the Pasadena Unified School District that budget cuts will force the closure of a high school. Although a potential target has yet to be named, many are already against any plans to close Blair IB Magnet School.

Life saver

I was appalled to hear that the district is considering closing Blair. This is one of the most wonderful schools and faculty that I have ever come to know.

I had one daughter graduate last year, and this school literally saved her life. I currently have another daughter attending in the eighth grade.

Blair is a wonderful campus where parents and students and faculty have joined together to provide a safe educational environment.

Please do not close this school. The smaller classroom size and ability for children to attend sixth through 12th grade is advantageous for consistency and learning.

PEGGY WILSON
VIA EMAIL


Not an option

I would like to express my concern and my frustration to you about the possible closing or moving of Blair IB. 
I chose this school for my seventh grader for several reasons, and I am not happy about the thought of it being moved. The location of the school is in a safe neighborhood and it is right across the street from where she attended elementary school (Allendale), so we are familiar with the neighborhood. 

I understand that the school district needs to cut costs in areas, but closing or moving Blair is not an option in my opinion. 

My child is very comfortable with the school, the teachers and her friends.  She is in all honors classes and has always done well on her state testing, which will benefit the long-term plan for Blair. 

The district needs to sit down and develop a long-term plan to deal with the budget and stop discussing different school closings until they have this plan and know the effects it will have on the future enrollment of this district. 

I personally would rather continue to focus my attention and energy on making Blair better for the future than to search for a private school for my three children.

Please think more on this issue.

MICHELE HOISINGTON
MYRIAH MAURER
ABIGAIL HOISINGTON


Time to rethink

Closing Blair would be shameful and embarrassing.

This school has been an important part of this community and the school district for many years.
I urge the board members of PUSD and Pasadena’s City Council to re-think this closure proposition.

TED SERRANO
PASADENA