Letters to the editor: Supreme Court decision, special-needs learning

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Redefining American ideals

Thanks for your recent cover story, “A New Reality (July 2 issue),” on the Supreme Court’s recent decision to define gay marriage as a constitutional right.
As an observant Jew, I was dismayed by the ruling. Not because it will affect me directly; my belief in the sanctity of the traditional family unit — father and mother raising children — won’t be altered.
The concern is much deeper; it relates to what America is, what it will be. Is America a unique, democratic “city on a hill” constructed with a mission to “Proclaim liberty throughout the land,” where God, family, country and the hope for a better future keep its citizens united despite differences in religion, income, creed and color? Or is it a secular society which offers its citizens stuff, sameness and freedom from the expectation of disciplined living, as a means to placate social angst?
Will America spill blood and treasure to make the world a better place without a Judeo-Christian guiding compass? Unraveling the moral foundation of the most powerful country on Earth ought to give pause to any youthful impulse to celebrate the breaking of mores.
The SCOTUS decision wasn’t reached in a vacuum. The court wouldn’t have written it a decade ago. It is reflective of the mood of the people, in its dispirited state. When one legalizes marijuana, borrows to a point that there is no hope of repaying national debt, makes healthcare a right not a privilege, and weakens symbols of law and order, it heralds the breaking of personal restraint. The mainstreaming of vulgar language and body art encapsulates the lack of human mission and dignity. The crumbling of the family unit, the most basic beacon of expectation and responsibility, necessarily follows.
It is unreasonable to expect a nation to endure without a spirit. For 239 years that spirit was the Judeo-Christian ethic. The future of that value system has been severely weakened by the recent SCOTUS ruling and ought to give many sleepless nights to those who celebrate the miracle called America.

— Rabbi Yaakov Rosenblatt, Dallas

Duty of office

Religious liberty is a fundamental right of all Americans, but the first duty of Texas state officials is to uphold the law. By telling county clerks, judges, and justices of the peace that they can opt out of their own sworn duties, Abbott and Paxton are encouraging them to break the law.
This will have disastrous consequences for Texas’ reputation as well as for Texas taxpayers, who will have to foot the bill for the civil rights lawsuits these officials will inevitably lose.
The right to same-sex marriage is now the law of the land. I encourage our local officials to ignore Abbott’s and Paxton’s terrible advice and issue marriage licenses to all couples who are legally entitled to them.

— The TJP received this same letter from several people.

Helping special needs children learn Jewish heritage a noble goal

Your excellent article about the Englander family and PERK touched on a critical issue facing the Dallas Jewish community.
There is not one comprehensive Jewish education program offered at any of the schools for the special needs population.
As a teacher, I can see the difficult choices that so many parents face when they need to choose between giving their child a Jewish education and having their needs be most effectively met.
The leaders of the Jewish community need to come together and fix this problem and help all of our children access their heritage.

— Malkie Ozeri

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