His faith does not overrule or take precedent over my faith

To The Daily Sun,

Your Nov. 7 edition published a letter from James Veverka in which he castigates a previous writer for setting the rules that "our lives are gifts from God, and only He has the right to take them back." This was within the context of the news report that Brittany Maynard had moved to Oregon specifically to end her own life peacefully on her own terms, rather than suffer a period of pain before God took her "back."

I am with Veverka on this issue. The person who insists only God can take a life is practicing his faith, and I have no quarrel with that. But his faith does not overrule and take precedent over my faith — or Maynard's faith. To each his own, and I vehemently protest any one faith being supreme over all others.

That is not the American way.

Bob Longabaugh
Alton Bay

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This is our community's problem; come to our meeting on Thurs.

To The Daily Sun,

Dear Neighbors:

It seems to me that enough is enough. Four deaths due to substance misuse in our community in the past few weeks, eight total deaths in Laconia alone this year. Hundreds of families are heart-broken and torn apart because of this disease.

How many of us have put our heads in the sand and said. "It's not affecting me," or "What can I do?" In my opinion, it's time for us all to come together and make a difference. It's not just the schools' problem or a police problem or a mental health problem ... this is our community and it's our problem and it's time for us to do something.

You can start by attending an informational presentation hosted by the Greater Laconia Ministerial Association (GLMA, an interfaith clergy group), Stand Up Laconia, the Laconia Middle School and Jobs for America's Graduates (JAG) on Thursday, Nov. 13, at 6:15  p.m. in the Laconia Middle School Cafeteria. Learn about what is happening in our community from the Laconia Police Department and the Laconia Middle School and learn about a few next steps from Stand Up Laconia.

Don't think you can make a difference? Did you know that children who live in families that eat dinner together an average of five times a week are less likely to participate in risky behaviors such as substance use and are less likely to be depressed and have a greater grade point average? Did you know that students report that one of the greatest impacts on their decision making about substance use is what their parents tell them? Do you tell them not to use or just say "they're going to do it anyway"? Research shows that the parent's message matters.

Come learn more on November 13th at 6:15 p.m. in the Laconia Middle School Cafeteria — let's all work together for a better Laconia.

The Rev. Paula Gile

Greater Laconia Ministerial Association

Associate Pastor, Congregational Church of Laconia

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James Pindell - No big message; just structural advantages

Sorry New Hampshire voters, but your political identity crisis continues.

For 100 years this state was a solid Republican state. Then in the 1990s it became a swing state, up for grabs every election by Republicans and Democrats. In the last decade the state experienced the biggest Democratic election year in nearly 150 years, which was soon followed by the biggest Republican year ever.

Yes, it is true that New Hampshire Democrats have won five out of the last six presidential election here. And, yes, Democrats have won eight out of the last nine contests for governor. And, yes, New Hampshire did seem to be one of the few places in the entire country this past week that didn't get wrapped up in the big Republican wave that gave Republicans the majority in the U.S. Senate, more seats in the U.S. House and more Republican governors in state capitals, including in neighboring Maine and Massachusetts and almost even in Vermont.

There are people who look at the election results in New Hampshire this past week and see it continuing the trend line that New Hampshire is on a path to becoming a pure Democratic state. These people might be right in 20 years, but it is too early to say for sure just yet.

The truth is the 2014 midterm elections told us basically nothing about New Hampshire's political environment. Democrats did win three out of the four major races on Tuesday, but Republicans took over the majority in the state House of Representatives and the state's Executive Council and expanded their majority in the state Senate.

And in the Congressional races, consider that for the first time since 1992 voters here elected a Democrat in one district and a Republican in the other. What message did that send?

New Hampshire political identity crisis is rooted more fundamental changes that just who wins on Election Day anyway. There are three larger dynamics going on.

First, there are the demographic changes. The population is becoming less rural and more clustered in Southern New Hampshire, where now 50 percent of the population live in just two counties. Attracted by the Live Free or Die mindset, the lifestyle and cheaper housing within commuting distance of Boston, the state saw a population surge in the last 40 years, which has only now begun to drop-off. Nearly 70 percent of state residents are from somewhere else. It is not the same state it was before.

Second, there is political realignment keeping the state a swing state. While the percentage of Democrats has gone up over the last 25 years, the real momentum is with independent, or undeclared, voters. This group now makes up 43 percent of all state voters. Because they are unaffiliated they tend to be more open minded about voting for either party and going with the national political mood. (Though in midterm elections like last week, they tend to just not vote.)

Third, there are changes inside the once dominant Republican Party in New Hampshire. As the national Republican Party moved to represent the values of the country's growing South and West, moderate "New England Republicans", like former Congressman Charlie Bass, have become fewer and far between. They have been replaced by a new faction in the local GOP coming from "liberty" or more libertarian minded Republicans.

But the biggest reason why the midterm elections didn't really tell us anything about the state politically is that the difference between who won and who lost had really nothing to do with how New Hampshire voters really think.

Every win could be explained by some structural advantage. Due to redistricting if Republicans win Republican seats and Democrats win Democratic seats we would see same Republican majorities that won on Tuesday. (Republicans did write the current redistricting law, after all.)

Democrat Maggie Hassan won a second term as governor because historically most win a second term. Republican Frank Guinta won the 1st Congressional District seat because that district does have slighty more Republican voters. Democrat Annie Kuster won her 2nd Congressional District seat because there are slightly more Democrats there.

If you want broad political conclusions about New Hampshire you might have to wait until 2016.

(James Pindell covers politics for WMUR. You can see his breaking news and analysis at WMUR.com/political scoop and on WMUR-TV)

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Democrats & progressives likely to take pot shots at Christians

To The Daily Sun,

Thomas Lemay tells us pagans were better than Christians, so I must ask, by what measure does he decide this? Was it the frequent custom of pagans to indulge in human sacrifice he ascribes as superior? Perhaps he resents our Constitution and laws which are based on Christian values? Slavery was abolished in the Western world due to Christians and their teachings? Was all perfect, no, but worse then pagans?

I've observed over the years that Democrats and progressive's are likely to take these kinds of potshots at Christians and have decided their resentment is due to politics rather then any moral resentments. Christians tend to be conservatives and do not vote for progressive Democrats and therein lies the rub. Evidence that we never read or hear a Democrat critical of the Jewish religion, unless it's regarding Israel (again political) and never ever do they take issue with Islam, a religion that violates every publicized progressive value. Why, because they "vote right," or actually for the left. Case closed.

Steve Earle


  • Category: Letters
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