Letters to the Editor

June 17, 2009

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  Re: (The Tamil Problem: Tip of an Iceberg, HNN, June 10, 2009.)

Doug Thomas continued his efforts to provoke thought in his June 10 article on the Tamil problem in Canada.  He led me to reflect on some of the "conservative" ideas of the elements of a nation. 

They include borders, language and culture.  These elements define our nations and keep us strong and united.  We humans will need this national structure until we evolve to the level of a truly intelligent life form that is no longer self-destructive.

Democracies can be subjected to the issues of others who fail to respect our hospitality when we give them a place to live.  Such was the Canadian situation with the Tamils.  Europe is seeing this in some immigrant Moslem populations.  We see this in the United States in some imported criminal elements that include gangs and mafia-like institutions. 

The founding fathers of many of our modern democracies, through their tolerance and desire to serve man, unwittingly built into our constitutions and other defining documents small gaps.  These gaps fail to recognize traits in immigrants that thwart our national melting pots' abilities to integrate our immigrant populations

It is a real conundrum.  We love the diversity of "foreign" music, cuisine, dance, and dress.  And yet we loathe the violence and discrimination of race, national origin, gender, religion, sexual orientation and other factors that accompany some immigrants.

Certainly, humanism could mitigate this situation.  But humanism is not widespread today, and it tends to rile the fundamentalists and is rejected.  Few people today are offered the chance to learn about humanism or to consider free thought.  And so we sometimes bring our issues with us when we immigrate.

Thanks to Doug Thomas for another good article.  If only he had the magic solution to the problem.

–Wally Keltner, Star, Idaho


Just read the comments about "grumpy" humanists in Letters to the Editor of June 10. I get grumpy at the declaration "There are no atheists in foxholes."  Can someone identify the extraordinarily daring person(s) that crawled foxhole to foxhole to gather that information?

— Rob Maier, Corpus Christi, Texas

Editor's Note:Readers, can anyone answer Rob's question as to the origin of that statement? If so, please send us a letter .