The Tribune Democrat, Johnstown, PA

September 12, 2012

Readers' Forum | Required-reading choice questionable

Submitted by Readers

— My son said, “Mom, you have to see this,” so I read the novel “Push” by Sapphire and fell out of my chair in shock. This was his required reading for English 12 at Westmont Hilltop High School. It is the story of a 12-year-old, obese, African-American, female growing up in the slums of Harlem. She is repeatedly abused mentally, physically and sexually by her father and mother, and twice becomes impregnated by her father. The book is laden with depictions of X-rated incestual sex.

I (and others) felt the sexual vulgarity of the book exceeded limits for children in high school.

We asked the faculty and administration to revisit the appropriateness of this novel. They heard us out, but were obstinate in their support of the book. We met with the superintendent and the school board’s curriculum committee. They also defended and supported the use of the novel (with the exception of one), but admitted that book selections made by teachers are not vetted by the school board. They trust the judgments of their faculty.

However, after hearing our concerns, they offered a compromise. Under a unit titled “African-American literature,” students will be offered a choice between three or four novels, “Push” being one of them.

Parents – please read “Push” and decide if it is right for your child. Contact the school for a copy. Students may opt out of any reading they are uncomfortable with, but you must be aware to exercise this right.

Katie and Shawn Dorian


Divisiveness hampers America’s well-being

The tone of the Obama administration was set when Obama spoke to the combined Senate and House of Representatives at the beginning of his term and Rep. Joe Wilson shouted, “You lie.” That was followed by the Republican Party’s divisiveness throughout his term in office. And our nation has suffered from their attitude. To shame on them all.

Most folks couldn’t care less about Mitt Romney’s tax returns, but why doesn’t he just reveal them?

I read an article in the Sept. 3 issue of Time Magazine that was dedicated mostly to the November election. An article written by Rana Foroohar, “It’s the Stupid Economy,” stated that Romney took a $77,000 tax write-off for his wife’s half-million dollar show horse to his complicated Cayman Islands accounts. Gee, it’s no wonder he doesn’t want to show his recent tax returns. That is more money than my husband and I made together in our working years.

May God bless these great United States and all the hard-working citizens and military everywhere.

Virginia Buser


Democrats denied God three times

After the name of God and acknowledgment of Jerusalem as the capital of Israel were mysteriously removed from the Democratic platform, enough Christians and Jews rose up to insist upon its reinsertion.

Following protocol, the platform was amended, which then required a two-thirds vote to secure its reinsertion. That is when Democratic National Committee Chairman Antonio Villaraigosa (mayor of Los Angeles and reading from a pre-written message on the teleprompter) called for those in favor to say “yea.” When he called for those not in favor, their “no” was equal in volume.

While his eyes told him from the teleprompter that it was supposed to be a two-thirds majority in favor of God and Jerusalem, his ears heard differently. So he thought he had better try it again.

Unfortunately, the “no’s” sounded even louder.

So a third time he asked the DNC delegates if they favored the name of God, and the response would come back to him with a more resounding “No!”

Three times they were given a chance to acknowledge the reality of God, and three times God was denied.

In my thinking, it is logical that when a political party embraces immorality such as abortion and gay marriage, there is no longer any room for the divinity.

I simply cannot understand how any Christian or Jew could support the Democratic platform at this point.

The Rev. Leo F. Arnone

Pastor of St. Francis Xavier Roman Catholic Church

Trojan horse is inside our gates

While the No. 1 problem confronting our nation is the economy, equally important is the infiltration of communists within our federal government. The Trojan horse is inside our gates while the government and national news media are purposely ignoring this present danger.

A Readers’ Forum letter by Ed McGarvey on Aug. 20, “No one concerned about Russia,” was an outstanding article on the above subject, and he deserves applause on his research. He finished his article by stating we are under attack and we don’t care.

We will care only if they take control of this free, capitalist country and turn it into a socialist one.

Vladimir Lenin, the founder of communism, wrote: “As long as capitalism and socialism exist, we cannot live in peace: in the end, one or the other will triumph – a funeral dirge will be sung over either

the Soviet Republic or over world capitalism.”

Since Obama’s presidency, communist China controls the Panama Canal and has increased its presence throughout all of the Caribbean and Latin America.

Also, since Obama’s presidency, Russia has been swarming all over the Caribbean and has sent a warship through the Panama Canal.

We are slowly being surrounded right here in our own hemisphere.

If alive, Lenin would be pounding the nails into the coffin of capitalism.

Jackie Clark


More people must get involved in gov’t

Recently, the Conemaugh Township, Somerset County, supervisors listened to the people and voted 2-1 against rezoning.

It took a lot of effort on the part of the community to achieve this goal, and I learned a valuable lesson. We as members of townships, boroughs, villages and cities, need to pay attention to what is going on at this local level in order to get government to pay us heed, all the way to Washington.

Attend the sometimes boring township meetings, get to know and talk to your elected officials, read the notices in the papers, speak up to support an issue or even to speak out against it.

Our government is by the people, and we need to get involved and speak up. I truly feel if more of us did so, we could get more of what we want as citizens in all aspects – from the smallest township to the marbled halls of D.C.

Beth Thomas


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