Tom Snell

I really enjoyed reading Diana Hopson’s “In My View.” First she attacks the “religious rights and gun rights people,” telling them that it will require us to “swallow a bitter pill” to fix the current financial issue we have in this country.

I don’t want to swallow a bitter pill, instead I want Congress to do the job that it was sent to Washington to perform. I also want our president to start leading our nation instead of going on tour with his teleprompter and bad-mouthing anyone who disagrees with him.

He is the one who suggested the sequester in the first place so now he should be in Washington trying to get a budget hammered out. The reason he is crying is because the only way he has been able to grow this economy is by hiring more government workers. Now, the increase to the budget won’t happen and he can’t pay all his new employees. Didn’t think it all the way through, did he?

Then Diana brings in eliminating the tax-free status that “places of worship” enjoy and the separation of “church and state.” I really wish people would read the Constitution so they would gain a better understanding of it.

The First Amendment states, “Congress shall make no law respecting an establishment of religion, or prohibiting the free exercise thereof ...”, which means that we are all able to worship freely without having an established state religion — such as Britain had in The Church of England.

The phrase “separation of church and state” is derived from a letter written by President Thomas Jefferson in 1802 to the Baptist from Danbury, Conn., and published in a Massachusetts newspaper soon thereafter.

Having tax-free status is the way that many churches are able to be viable and the large churches do many things to give back to the community. Leave them alone!

And she saved my favorite for last: gun control. According to her, guns aren’t for citizens. “The actual meaning of the right to bear arms probably means the state (the word state being synonymous with the word people),” she writes.

Probably not.

The Supreme Court has ruled on this and I have the right to own a gun or guns without limit.

If Hopson had read her history, she might have remembered why the Founding Fathers wrote the Second Amendment. Britain was concerned about a revolution and tried to confiscate guns the rebels had stockpiled and hidden. The rest is history.

The Second Amendment is meant to allow American citizens to protect ourselves in large part from a tyrannical government.

Our government spending is out of control, and I have a suggestion. Why not have members of Congress have their pay commensurate with the median income of the state that they represent? In Oregon, the median income was $46,816 in 2011. That sounds like a good number for Merkley and Wyden. It might be a small savings to the budget but perhaps that would eliminate the career politicians.

I might add that President Obama told us that we would all need to tighten our budgets and do more with less during these hard times. I wish he lived up to his words for they are as transparent as his presidency.