Here’s a couple of interesting letters from readers in response to recent columns I’ve written:
Who are Pa. legislators working for?
I would like to respond to the recent vewpoint by William Evans, Berks County Democratic Party Chairman, who criticized columnist Tony Phyrillas.
I have been a regular reader of The Mercury and make it a point to follow Tony Phyrillas’ columns. He has criticized both Republicans and Democrats. His recent assessment of the work of two Berks County Democratic legislators is not a case of sour grapes, but more a case of rotten apples.
The people of Berks County may be fortunate to have Sen. Mike O'Pake and Rep. Dante Santoni. I don’t know where these two gentlemen stand on every issue, but I can tell you two issues they have not addressed and the people of Berks County should know this.
First, where do they stand on lobbyist disclosure? Why is Pennsylvania the only state without laws regulating the rotten apples in the barrel? If they took care of that matter than maybe, just maybe, the small business owners could see some health care reform, like House Bill 1240 and Senate Bill 671.
Even though these bills are tied up in committee because of the lobbyists efforts, I have not see either of these veteran legislators take a stand and try to move them out of committee. Both committee chairs are sitting on these meaningful bills. It’s time small business owners had a say in the health care matter. So if these two gentlemen have done so much good for the voters of Berks County then they wouldn’t mind proposing lobbyist reform legislation and using their influence to get HB 1240 and SB 671 out onto the full floor.
I disagree with Mr. Evan’s partisan assessment of Tony’s columns. I have always found Tony’s articles to be truthful.
RONALD H. BLACK
Spring-Ford Business Association
Assault on Christianity from the left
I hope everyone had an opportunity to read the columns Tony Phyrillas wrote on Thanksgiving Day and Christmas Day about the relentless attack on Christianity by the secular left.
In view of the fact Pennsylvania voters finally got on their feet and grabbed the attention of their part-time legislators (with full-time salaries and benefits), it would now seem to be an excellent time to do something similar with those legislators in Washington and have them find a way to nip the secular movement in the bud!
Why not launch an effort to encourage those same voters to become more aware of the power and the presence of the overwhelming number of individuals who proudly identify themselves with a church or synagogue here in these United States? And, hopefully, those voters would speak up and contact individuals in the Senate and the House of Representatives. There must be a way to do something positive!
There is no apparent reason a minuscule movement spearheaded by an atheist, Michael Newdow, (who seems to believe God and religion are bad for our country) should now dictate policy and succeed in changing that which was set forth and given to us by our founding fathers over 216 years ago In other words, let us not be complacent and sit on our hands and allow another Madeleine Murray O’Hare to widen the secular influence. It has already achieved far too much foothold!
Historically, O’Hare’s efforts succeeded in banning prayer from the public schools in 1963 on behalf of her son, William. Ironically, he renounced his atheism in 1980, became a Christian, and subsequently an evangelist for Christianity.
CARL M. HOFHEINZ