YOUR OPINION: Response to Kesel on policy issues

Dear Editor:

Concerning Sylvester Kesel’s letter of Oct. 29, mine of Nov. 27 and his of Dec. 2 and 4.

Evidently, my characterization that Mr. Kesel is a “strict constructionist, abhors activist judges and thinks Democrats are daily assaulting the principle of our Constitution” touched a nerve.

If I mischaracterized Mr. Kesel’s positions in any way, I apologize. On the substance, he chose not to contest my stated perceptions and his Dec. 4 letter ends with, “Wake Up America,” which seems to indicate that he believes America is fundamentally under assault.

However, Mr. Kesel’s referring to me as a “delusional liberal” several times, questioning whether I have any belief system, questioning my performance of my civic duties as a voter and taking offense at my use of his first name make no contribution to any policy discussion.

If using his first name offended, I apologize. I am a “Bob” person. I open doors for people, smile at strangers as appropriate and generally have an attitude of treating my fellow man as just that.

As for the “delusional liberal,” I accept the characterization as liberal, though not delusional.

If Mr. Kesel would check Webster’s, a liberal is defined as “One who is tolerant in religious and political matters; one who is not constrained by orthodoxy or tradition.” I tend more towards progressive thought, “favoring or advocating progress, improvement or reform esp. in political matters” (Webster’s again).

If Mr. Kesel conceptually rejects tolerance, progress, improvement and reform, I am not sure anything I say would substantially impact his policy beliefs.

Hurling comments like delusional and questioning whether I vote add nothing to any policy discussion.

As to the percentiles applied to Democrats and Republican legislators in his first letter on religious orthodoxy, I stand by my initial statement.

When any group grades legislators, grading by definition is a test of the legislator’s compliance with the group’s policy positions.

Any effort to portray the intent of that grading as not a test distorts reality. The prohibitions of Article VI of the Constitution apply.

I suggest Mr. Kesel read Candidate Kennedy’s complete speech to the Greater Houston Ministerial Association delivered in September 1960. Catholic John Kennedy says in part, “I believe in an America that is officially neither Catholic, Protestant nor Jewish; where no public official either requests or accepts instructions on public policy from the Pope, the National Council of Churches or any other ecclesiastical source ...”

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